As parents of young children, we can only anticipate the emotions we’ll feel when we drive our oldest off to University residence with a U-Haul in tow. I’m told it’s a confusing mixture of pride, excitement, and sadness. I think we’re getting a taste of that emotional cocktail today, as the PushLife team pack up their desks for the move to Google’s offices at the Hub in Kitchener.
When we were looking for Basecamp’s first two portfolio companies in 2008, we met Ray Reddy. He seemed like an over confident young Turk with a vision to change a market that had a frightening legacy – mobile music. Full of doubt, we picked at Ray’s idea, and then poked, and then cattle prodded. We soon discovered that Ray’s confidence was justified. Regardless what roadblocks we’d have to overcome, we knew Ray was the kind of entrepreneur want wanted to work with. We forged ahead to build PushLife, proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ray as his co-founders.
Over the next two years we worked together to navigate the company through the shark infested waters of mobile operators and record labels. PushLife got a tailwind when they partnered with Virgin Mobile and Virgin Media – the Virgin folks were amazing. As PushLife’s product evolved it became clear that they had developed a unique capability for driving mobile commerce through immersive user experience and tightly integrated storefronts. It was this capability that caught Google’s attention.
Over that time, the company grew from 1 to almost 30 people – we had to double the Basecamp office space to accommodate them all. Any time of day or night we weren’t surprised to find a few dedicated PushLife developers cranking code and tunes in the lab. Lots of great friendships grew, and not just within the PushLife team. Thursday evening became beer and hockey night for the PushLife and Chango teams, with pickup street hockey. Before long, other companies like Bearing Media were coming over to help terrorize the other residents in the back parking lot.
PushLife and Chango even formed a band that rocked the whole neighbourhood at our 2010 Christmas party. They have plans to keep jamming together. We often looked on in amazement at the culture this incredible group of people had created.
So, while we are thrilled for Ray and the rest of the PushLife team as they start the next chapter in their story, Monday when we walk through the empty space, it will be hard to not feel nostalgic. But I know that it will also be hard to not feel excited anticipation, because we plan to fill that space again and again.
Congrats PushLife, good luck at Google, and thanks for couple of great years. You guys truly Rock!