The BERG Weeknotes are back and in full effect.
A quick recap: four hundred and fifty weeks ago Jack and Matt affixed their surnames to the door of a new design consultancy in North London. It quickly grew from two to some, and bigger digs were needed.
Two hundred and thirty weeks ago it was redubbed BERG and quartered a bunch of smart people in East London, inventing and making stuff with computer networks and physical things. In parallel, work began on the company’s first product, Little Printer, and the technology that would make it possible for this diminutive device to connect to the web: BERG Cloud.
Little Printer was launched in 2012. Tiny paper faces were snapped on Instagram across the world and, all the while, BERG Cloud quietly hummed along, automatically pulling the levers and managing the switchboards in the background.
Thirteen weeks ago it was announced that BERG was taking funding to relaunch as a tech company, making BERG Cloud available for anyone to build, launch and manage their own web-connected products. And now, for the first time, everyone in the company is focused on one single thing!
As is the way with weeknotes, here’s a few highlights of what’s been happening this week.
The company is divided into three groups overseen by Jack — BERG Cloud, Little Printer and New Product Development (NPD). In the past few weeks, roadmaps have been drawn up to provide each operation with clear direction and goals.
The BERG Cloud group breaks down into two main areas, design and tech, interweaving rapidly over time. On the tech side, Nick, Adam and ‘Low Level Phil’, are working on ways to improve the speed and reliability of the platform going forward. They could be heard this week discussing wifi integration and socket connections. I heard a cheer on Friday. Must investigate further.
On the design side of BERG Cloud, we are looking to create a new set of communications about the platform. This will end up as a new website for anyone interested in learning more and a new home for people actively making things on BERG Cloud. In line with this we’ve had Tom Stuart working with us all week to document the platform and its APIs so that people can get started super easily with the system.
As I alluded to earlier, BERG Cloud and Little Printer were developed in synchrony, and our website reflects that. So up next, Denise has been working on a new site especially for Little Printer. I’ve seen it. It’s a treat. ‘Website Phil’ is implementing all of its ‘responsive’ glory as I write.
Little Printer will continue to grow and change over the coming months as Denise focuses in on what’s in store for it. That’s the beauty of a product powered by web connected software: it can transform at any time!
NPD create connected devices that people want to use. They build using BERG Cloud and push the platform group to make new features possible. This month, Jack, Durrell, Tom, Neil, Andy and Alex they are prototyping like the wind. And Timo has flown in from Norway to document the latest work. It is such an exciting spectacle! More soon.
In other activity we’ve been approached by a company with a brilliant app that’s in need of some hardware to close the service loop. Andy’s been joining the dots in County Durham, speaking to manufacturers about making it all happen.
On the business side, Helen is making the numbers work, Kari is making the studio tick along. The whole thing is watched over by Matt, who is also out there, giving talks, meeting people and making connections. And Cridge is making it all happen faster.
We’re using a new project management systems that requires lots of standing up, but is giving everyone a broader perspective on where their immediate tasks fit into the bigger picture. Also, what’s up next and what has been achieved. Simple and effective. Run brilliantly by ‘Project Manager Phil’ (also ‘Website Phil).
That’s about it for this week. Looking back, BERG Cloud was six years in development. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here…