HP acquires Tabblo

Thursday 22 March 2007

Today brings a big announcement: Hewlett-Packard is acquiring Tabblo. This is really great news for a number of reasons:

  • It’s a vivid demonstration of the value of our work over the last eighteen months building ways to share online stories, and print them to bridge them into the physical world. Speaking of which: Have you seen our just-announced PhotoCube?
  • Although we still had money in the bank, we were looking ahead to raising more in the next year, and closely tracking the health of our business plan. This deal removes all of that uncertainty from our landscape.
  • HP brings enormous clout and opportunity to our efforts. They are a very large organization with a huge interest in all kinds of printing, and they believe strongly in the direction we’ve taken.

Of course, this also brings big changes to Tabblo as an organization. There’s no way a company the size of HP (150,000 employees) can acquire a 9-person company and not change the day-to-day feel of the place. We’ve only just taken the first step on this journey, so there’s no way to know what the future will bring. It will be exciting so see how this next phase of Tabblo unfolds.

One note about the press release itself, and I hope this doesn’t sound too defensive. The press release uses the phrase “acquiring Tabblo’s technology”. This unfortunate wording makes it sound like Tabblo was on the rocks, and HP picked up our intellectual property at some kind of fire sale. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like all startups, we had challenges ahead of us to prove our business model, but this acquisition is not a last-ditch effort to survive. HP was excited by what we created, and are very excited about how our work can help them to become “the print engine for the web”. Tabblo is my baby, and I’m proud of what we’ve done, so I don’t want any misconceptions.

For me personally, this will be an interesting full-circle. My career started at Digital over 20 years ago. Through a couple of acquisitions, Digital is now part of HP. I’ve worked in big companies, and I’ve worked in small companies. This is my first start-up acquisition, so it’s a new blended experience for me.

All told, these are exciting times. I’m looking forward to this new adventure.

Comments

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wow. congrats!

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Hey, Ned, congratulations. HP did good.

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Cool! Congrats Ned!

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I hope congratulations are in order. If so, I give them whole-heartedly. I have been in a company that was acquired as part of a fire sale (unlike Tabblo), but they kept on the developers (with hefty bonuses)..... at least until we had integrated our product with theirs, and then they booted us to the curb (nicely, and with decent packages, but still...).

So, I hope it works out Ned. It'll certainly be different working for a big company, but hopefully it'll just mean that you have more money behind you without any additional red tape in front of you.

Good luck! Please keep us updated!

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Congratulations, Ned. I hope this works out well for you. As a Tabblo customer, I'm excited about the news.

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Welcome to the HP family Ned! I've been reading your blog and Susan's for quite a while now and didn't expect that I'd ever be a colleague of yours.
I work in the IPG division (Imaging and Printing) also and have to say that this is a very good move for us. VJ 'gets it' and understands what it takes for HP to maintain our lead in the market.
I'll send you email from my work address and welcome you. I wish I knew Python better so I could join your team!

Paul

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Ned, congrats!

(I hope the missing bullet point is: "My bank account gets a healthy bounce").

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Congrats to you and the entire Tabblo team, I know you guys busted your hump. Now, hopefully HP starts some python/django loving :)

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Congratulations!

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Wow, great news. Congratulations!

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Congratulations, Ned! It's so great when hard work pays off, and that's a rare thing these days. I'm very happy for you and the team!

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Andrew Magerman 1:03 PM on 22 Mar 2007

well done. Hope you will not lose your freedom of action!

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Congrats Ned! (Great news for Django devs too!)

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Wow, what a smart move by HP. Congratulations!

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Hey Ned, congratulations! Onward and upword my friend.

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Man, I was so pulling for you guys... that something like this would happen. Nice one!

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Ned, congrats! I guess this is a good excuse for missing BarCamp2. :)

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David Montgomery 3:09 PM on 22 Mar 2007

Congratulations, Ned!

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Welcome to HP, Ned! :-)

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Congrats!

I think you don't need to be defensive about "acquiring technology." It is SOP; if someone wants to sue over a past incident of being sexually harassed with an asbestos ceiling tile, then that why would the acquiring company want to take the (nonexistant in your case) exposure of getting their "deep pockets" sued.

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Congrats, Ned! Very happy to hear such good news.
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That is fantastic news Ned. Having been a player in one act of your start up drama, I know very well how deserving you are of this validation.

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David Boudreau 9:28 PM on 22 Mar 2007

Awesome, congratulations!

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Wow! Congratulations to all of you! That's really fantastic.

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That's fantastic news!

I have always been impressed by Tabblo, it is quite an achievement and I'm sure you must be very happy of the success!

Congratulations Ned!

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André Roberge 6:28 AM on 23 Mar 2007

Congratulations! It must be an incredible feeling.

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High five, Ned! With change comes uncertainty -- in this case mostly good but uncertain things to come -- but that's what makes it so exciting. Keep us posted about your opinion of how/if HP may create a combined SnapFish - Tabblo hybrid.

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Ned, congratulations! This is fantastic news.

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Congratulations, Ned :)

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Congratulations! This must be an exciting time for you. Good luck to you over the next weeks and months as you and your company adjust to this change.

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Cool - Interesting move by HP.

Chris

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Congratulations Ned and the entire Tabblo team!

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Totally awesome news! - I'm sure the next phase of the journey will be as exciting as the prior one.

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Congratulations. I am glad you guys came to bear the fruit of your effort!

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Ned

I wish you all the best in the HP family. I'm not sure that I fully understand how HP will effectively use Tabblo. I assume it's in part to do with their imaging product lines.

Regardless, I think that HP has gained someone with great expertise. I hope it all goes well for you.

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Hey Ned,

Very happy for you (and your family)

Congratulations !

Miguel.

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Job well done Ned and team. I look forward to seeing Tabblo grow even more under HP's wings.

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WOW - well done. You guys did great work at Tabblo.. It is a fantastic concept... I also believe it is a good fit for HP.

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Congrats Ned and welcome to HP.

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Antonio Cavallo 10:35 AM on 12 Apr 2007

Congratulations, I am very pleased to hear this great news!

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Way semasiographic!

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Congratulations! Nice to hear of a Python startup doing well. I had come across Tabblo some time ago, and signed up. Thought it was a good idea.

- Vasudev Ram
Biz: www.dancingbison.com
xtopdf - quick and easy PDF creation toolkit:
http://www.dancingbison.com/products.html

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