The Founders

Chapter 5 of The Cola Story

Marc had assembled an impressive team of co-founders whom I still needed to meet. I already had Marc’s buy-in, but was still nervous about the rest of the team. Mike had been a CEO and led engineering for Adobe Photoshop. Jamie was a programmer and had designed arcade games in the `80s. One of those was “GORF”, a game I remember playing at Aladdin’s Castle when I was a kid.

Jamie and I talked over the phone and hit it off. Like me, she’s from the Midwest. She’s originally from Milwaukee, but worked in Chicago when she was at the gaming company Midway. Jamie and Marc co-founded Macromind with one other person back in 1984.

Mike and I met in the city over Chinese. Not only was he another Midwesterner, but he’s from a Chicago suburb adjacent to the one I lived in for 13 years.

David took over recruiting the rest of the team. At the same time I was coming on board, he pitched Jeremy Wyld, another Newton alum. Jeremy and I were on the Newton team at different times, but we knew of each other. I think we actually met when he was working for David at @HomeExcite.

Jeremy went back to Apple in the early 2000s and ended up working on the original iPhone team. He was one of the few people in the world, let alone the company that knew what was coming.

Steve Jobs knew he wanted to do a mobile phone, but he wasn’t sure whether it should be based on the iPod or a small OSX device. The two competing projects were referred to as P1 and P2, and it was Jeremy’s job to get telephony and networking to work on both. In the end, P2 won and Jeremy went on to help build what became iOS.

Jeremy set another precedent, he was the first iOS engineer to get to work remotely when he left the Bay Area for Southern California. Jeremy’s boss had to convince Steve Jobs who was adamant about the team working onsite. Since it was the only way to keep Jeremy, Jobs made the rare exception.

To accommodate Steve’s obsession with secrecy and security, they had to fortify Jeremy’s home office. That meant no one, including his wife, could see what was going on inside.

By the end of March 2015, the founding team of Interface was formed and ready to get to work.

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