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.


Jan 9:52 AM on 22 Mar 2007

wow. congrats!

Leonardo Herrera 9:58 AM on 22 Mar 2007

Hey, Ned, congratulations. HP did good.

Siddharta 11:09 AM on 22 Mar 2007

Cool! Congrats Ned!

Nate 11:10 AM on 22 Mar 2007

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!

Dave Delay 11:28 AM on 22 Mar 2007

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

Paul Leclerc 11:33 AM on 22 Mar 2007

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!


Bill Mill 11:48 AM on 22 Mar 2007

Ned, congrats!

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

Jesse Noller 12:14 PM on 22 Mar 2007

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

Matt Revelle 12:24 PM on 22 Mar 2007


Bob Congdon 12:34 PM on 22 Mar 2007

Wow, great news. Congratulations!

Miguel 12:45 PM on 22 Mar 2007

Congrats Ned!

Michael Wexler 12:55 PM on 22 Mar 2007

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!

Andrew Magerman 1:03 PM on 22 Mar 2007

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

Harish Mallipeddi 1:15 PM on 22 Mar 2007

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

Joe W. 1:18 PM on 22 Mar 2007

Wow, what a smart move by HP. Congratulations!

n.b. 1:46 PM on 22 Mar 2007

Hey Ned, congratulations! Onward and upword my friend.

Duncan McGreggor 2:36 PM on 22 Mar 2007

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

Shimon Rura 3:04 PM on 22 Mar 2007

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

David Montgomery 3:09 PM on 22 Mar 2007

Congratulations, Ned!

Richard Schwartz 3:50 PM on 22 Mar 2007

Welcome to HP, Ned! :-)

Lee Davis 3:50 PM on 22 Mar 2007


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.

Dave G 7:31 PM on 22 Mar 2007

Congrats, Ned! Very happy to hear such good news.

mikey 7:56 PM on 22 Mar 2007

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.

David Boudreau 9:28 PM on 22 Mar 2007

Awesome, congratulations!

Glyph Lefkowitz 10:53 PM on 22 Mar 2007

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

Jorge Gajon 12:45 AM on 23 Mar 2007

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!

André Roberge 6:28 AM on 23 Mar 2007

Congratulations! It must be an incredible feeling.

Don 8:35 AM on 23 Mar 2007

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.

Vadim M 11:25 AM on 23 Mar 2007

Ned, congratulations! This is fantastic news.

Jonathan Buchanan 2:07 PM on 23 Mar 2007

Congratulations, Ned :)

Eric Florenzano 3:37 PM on 23 Mar 2007

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.

Massimo Morelli 4:46 PM on 23 Mar 2007


Chris Reckling 6:26 PM on 23 Mar 2007

Cool - Interesting move by HP.


Paul Grous 12:25 PM on 24 Mar 2007

Congratulations Ned and the entire Tabblo team!

Kevin 5:32 PM on 24 Mar 2007

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

gjiro 6:01 PM on 25 Mar 2007

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

Bernard Farrell 10:59 PM on 26 Mar 2007


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.

Miguel Estrada 10:51 PM on 28 Mar 2007

Hey Ned,

Very happy for you (and your family)

Congratulations !


Daniel Schwarz 12:10 AM on 29 Mar 2007


Bruce Elgort 10:48 PM on 2 Apr 2007

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

Andre 5:16 PM on 7 Apr 2007

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.

Mark Mascolino 5:30 PM on 10 Apr 2007

Congrats Ned and welcome to HP.

Antonio Cavallo 10:35 AM on 12 Apr 2007

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

Art Scott 1:43 PM on 30 Jul 2007

Way semasiographic!

Vasudev Ram 3:15 PM on 7 Sep 2008

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
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