Stuntman And Lover Of Cheese

by Dan Bostonweeks

The Hard Thing, the Right Thing

Over the course of the last few years I have been fortunate enough to make friends with folks outside my industry and sphere of friends. Many of them happen to be in the developer community for Apple’s Mac and iPhone platforms. One of the people that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet in person is Daniel Pasco, CEO of Black Pixel Luminance. Daniel is an amazingly smart guy ((I mean, the dude has his work on another planet. So full of awesome.)) and I look up to him. If I had been living in Seattle when I switched jobs last year I would have held out to work with him and the guys at BPL. Today Daniel posted an open letter about Black Pixel ((The letter is quoted here in its entirety for posterity’s sake)):

We’ve developed almost twenty applications in the last nine months, including those we developed for our contract customers. We’ve spent much of our time working on iPhone, but at the same time, our work with iPhone and Apple has changed us, too. The expectations and demands we make upon ourselves as designers have increased dramatically. Great design and interaction are a huge part of the user experience for iPhone applications, and the more we experienced and learned what is possible, the more we desired to refine our work and take full advantage of what the platform has to offer. Creating our first iPhone apps was a very fulfilling experience, but like an artist looking back at early sketches, we soon began to spot the flaws and see the shortcomings of our initial efforts. We’ve made some great applications, but for a variety of reasons, our own applications have largely kept the same user interfaces that we introduced them with when the app store opened, and we feel that we can do better. The cognitive dissonance resulting from this situation started to become intolerable late last year. By the time we went to Macworld we had already decided that we were going to focus on raising the level of polish and focus on our applications as much as possible. The addition of Chris Clark to our team raised the bar for us even higher. Black Pixel means good design. To us, that means quality, innovation, beauty, and fun. We are pushing ourselves hard to develop applications that adhere to these principles. Effective immediately, we have decided to pull all of our applications from iPhone App Store until they are up to our own standards. Daniel Pasco, CEO Black Pixel Luminance March 18, 2009

I’m excited to see what BPL comes out with. Daniel has always been concerned about the company and the employees. The addition of Chris Clark is huge. I’m looking forward to all the guys up there driving to better things and beautiful software. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is the right thing to do. In this case it’s hard to pull already released apps from being sold. That’s income and a public face for the company. I know that with a little bit of time the BPL team will come back stronger and better and more satisfied with their work than ever before. Good luck guys. I’ll be here waiting to see what happens.