It might seem odd for an enterprise technology company (Mesosphere) to acquire a design firm, but that's just what we did. We are pleased to announce today that we've acquired H1 Studios, a NY-based design firm, to help create the user interface for the datacenter and make the datacenter as easy to use as an iPhone.
As our CEO, Florian Leibert put it: "The datacenter has not yet had it's ‘iPhone moment', but it will soon. The user interface on the iPhone transformed how we interact with mobile devices. As a company, we're going to make that happen in the datacenter."
H1 Studios has a Who's Who client list of breakthrough technology companies, including Bitly, Heroku, Offerpop, and Salesforce. The company founder, John Ashenden, has assembled a world-class team that is one of the most sought after product, web and industrial design firms on the planet. Ashenden himself served six years as SVP and Creative Director at Grooveshark – one of the largest on-demand music services – and he will join the Mesosphere team as Head of Design. His primary responsibilities include developing an exceptional customer experience and crafting a cohesive family of products. He will also play a part in elevating the Mesosphere brand and fostering creativity across our growing team of talented designers.
"The team at Mesosphere is pushing what is arguably the next step in the evolution of computing," Ashenden said. "They have a unique approach, an insanely talented team, respected investors, and truly visionary leaders. The phrase ‘enterprise software' sends chills down my spine. The term has become synonymous with confusion. The goal of design in software is to provide structure, set boundaries, delight the user at every touch point, and build a clear line of communication with the individual using the product or tool. Why should ‘enterprise software' be the exception?"
Design has emerged in recent years as a key differentiator in the success of consumer and enterprise technology. Apple pioneered this path with its Macintosh Computer in 1984, and again in 2007 with the iPhone. Top venture capital firms such as Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and NEA, among others, have established design specialist practices in-house to support their portfolio companies. Facebook acquired design firm Hot Studio in 2013 to bolster its own design team.
"The way people interact with technology is fundamentally changing and H1 Studios is in the middle of this transformation of our industry," said Leibert. "We're building an operating system for the datacenter and the user interface needs the same care and attention as the UX design on your iPhone. We're onboarding a world-class creative team that will be core to our vision that managing and operating a datacenter should be as easy, elegant, straightforward and delightful as using your cellphone or laptop."
Please join me in welcoming H1 Studios to the Mesosphere family.