Thursday 22 March 2007 — This is more than 16 years old. Be careful.
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.
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!
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!
(I hope the missing bullet point is: "My bank account gets a healthy bounce").
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.
I have always been impressed by Tabblo, it is quite an achievement and I'm sure you must be very happy of the success!
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.
Very happy for you (and your family)
- Vasudev Ram
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