Jelly Announces ‘Employee #1,’ Designer Austin SarnerBy: Josh Wolford - April 29, 2013
Here’s some more Jelly news for you, and no, it’s not any additional info on what the hell it is. It’s more team news.
According to Jelly founder and CEO, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, the company has just hired employee #1: UI designer and engineer Austin Sarner. Sarner, who got his start building Mac OS apps, worked on the Push Pop Press publishing platform that won a Apple Design Award in 2011.
Here’s Biz Stone’s welcome letter:
Jelly is thrilled to announce our official employee #1, Austin Sarner. Austin was instrumental in developing Push Pop Press, the Apple Design Award winning multi-touch user interface and publishing platform. Austin has been busy building rich software user interfaces for the past eight years.
Austin got his start creating popular shareware applications for Mac OS such as AppZapper and Disco, and spent some time working in Amsterdam with the Dutch Software company Sofa. Pushing the envelope in software design brought Austin some success in this field and helped him discover his true passion.
Clarity for Austin came in the form of understanding that software development is an effective path towards facilitating large scale positive change. Following its sale to Facebook, Austin parted ways with Push Pop Press in search of an opportunity to collaborate with like-minded individuals on something new.
We were lucky to have met Austin via a recommendation from Loren Brichter, a very highly regarded iOS developer. When someone like Loren highlights talent, we take it seriously. In Austin, Jelly has found not only a gifted engineer with an eye for interaction design, but an individual who shares our world positive philosophy.
Although this is technically employee #1, Jelly has also made some additions to the executive team. Biz Stone revealed ex-Twitter employee Ben Finkel as co-founder and Chief Technology Officer last week, and a few days later we heard that Jelly has poached Twitter Music head Kevin Thau to be the company’s COO. Although Biz Stone has yet to confirm that one.
All we really know about Jelly at this point is that it will be a mobile-focused free service of some kind.
“News of Jelly emerged unexpectedly early so I’ll wait a bit to share more about the team. In the meantime, I’ll say this. Jelly will be for everybody, it will be developed first and foremost for mobile devices, and it will be free. But, it won’t be ready for a while,” said Stone, when announcing the startup.
With this hire, it looks like they’re starting to consider what the user experience on the app will look and feel like.