Jack Cheng  /  Updates

Disrupto + Sleepover

January 21, 2011

If this were a press release, the title would be something like “Disrupto acquires Sleepover.” But since I’m not keen on writing press releases, here’s the story: our friends David Cole and Tag Savage of Sleepover have trucked out their belongings from San Francisco and joined our company here in New York! They started on Tuesday.

I first met David when I was in San Francisco last March, and a couple months after, we hired him and Tag to work on a project with us for BET Networks. They flew out to New York for the first part of the gig, and we rented a sublet in the Upper West Side. There was a patio. We had barbecues.

The thing about David and Tag is they both possess that rare combination of striking intelligence and supreme humility, and as my business partner Mike told me after working with them so closely, “it’s like they’re these old-world craftsmen, the type you’d find building a piece of furniture or a pair of leather shoes by hand, except they just happen to be working in front a computer.” The care and attention they put toward everything they do is infectious; so infectious that Mike and I flew out to the west coast in September to convince them to join the team.

And they said yes! So here we are. The Sleepover brand and their phenomenal Tumblr themes will still be around, but we’ll be taking on new client projects together as the new-and-improved Disrupto.

Last year started out with Mike, Jason and I all working remotely from different states. As a result of the work we did together building Steepster, some opportunities came along that made us pause and reconsider the path of our company. We decided to take on more contract work, and Jason and I both moved back to New York. Toward the end of the year, we hired Ricky Cheng (no relation), a bright young developer we first met at a Steepster meetup, and Matt Quintanilla, a talented designer who’s had extensive experience working in both web and print. With David and Tag, that puts us at a team of seven.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be talking more openly about what we’ve been working on this past year. Steepster’s still going strong on its own, but through the process of building and maintaining the site, we learned that as much as we love tea, we love building products even more. Lately we’ve been working on larger projects with the likes of BET, Samsung and the New York Knicks, but also advising startups and helping them with design, product strategy, and user experience. We all have product development in our blood and think we can do a lot to help big organizations act more like startups, and help startups execute with the best of them.

We’re excited about the new year, the new direction of the company, and growing into our new office near Madison Square Park; an office which will soon have a kitchen, conference room, arcade cabinet and arduino-wired door (more on this later). We’re even more thrilled to be doing all this in the company of a group of friends with whom we share a deep respect and mutual admiration.

If you’d like to keep up with what’s happening with the company, check us out on Tumblr and Twitter. Onward to 2011!

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These Days

My debut novel, about the human side of technology. Available now. Details.

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Jack Cheng is a Shanghai-born, Michigan-bred, Brooklyn-based writer. Full Bio

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