A New World Apart

six-logo.gif Almost eight months ago I started the process of looking for a new job. I began this process by simply making a list of the companies whose products I enjoy using and respect the most. It was a short list, as I am somewhat of a snob when it comes down to usability.

But on that list was a relatively small company called Six Apart. For years, I have been using a product of theirs called MovableType. In fact, it powers this web site, and several other web sites that I maintain for friends and family. You only have to use it for a minute to realize for yourself that the people who created this product care about user experience, something I would like to believe I have in common with them, and over the years a very nice aesthetic as well. But more important than that, the people who work there have a history of giving and contributing the things they create and the ideas they have to a larger community. MovableType is a perfect example of that, MovableType is free (as in free beer), but what contributes the most to its success is the fact that it is "open," as in an open architecture, allowing anyone to extend its capabilities almost limitlessly. They have also invented trackback technology, and contributed XML::Atom, the Perl implementation of the Atom standard, among a number of other things.

tp-logo-home.gif So what will I be doing for them? I will be the Product Manager in charge of TypePad - a hosted blogging service allowing just about anyone, even your grandmother if this is her sort of thing, to create a blog, online journal, a website, a photo album, or you name it. What Six Apart has created though is something much more than blogging software -- they have created a publishing platform. "Blogging" is just one application of their technology. And that is why I believe Six Apart will be successful, because a platform, especially an open platform like Six Apart's is something that can be extended by anyone, and whose value and utility is only limited by the creativity of others.


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