2016 at Hologram
Hologram has had an incredible and noteworthy year, changing and evolving to become the best company we can. Even our name changed this year, previously working under Konekt, we re-branded as Hologram. With that change, we took 2016 by the horns.
This meant expanding and adding new people to the Hologram family. Until then, Hologram(then Konekt) had been a work of passion for 5 guys: Ben Forgan, Pat Wilbur, Pat Hogan, Reuben Balik, and Erik Larson. They worked together to hire the right people, eventually boosting our staff by 350%. And when I reached out to everyone for personal additions/stories for this blog post, it was evident they had succeeded. The rapport was palpable, even over Slack. Notably, one of the most used phrases to describe this past year was “good times”.
This could be attributed to our addition of offsite’s to our agenda and to the Hologram work culture in general. One of the Fab Five, and our CTO, Pat Wilbur described it best in his in-depth interview: “One of the things that I think is great about Hologram is that there is a good culture around humility and honesty and people valuing one another. It is a very healthy dynamic where people feel like they can be genuine and they can ask for help without feeling like that somehow weakens their image to the team. It is a strong point for our team and I think that it enables us to bond and work together, and to also remain teachable, which is very important in our industry.”
This is evident in all facets of Hologram. Our ability to work together was integral to our year. We worked together on office Hack Days, where we created fun and interesting hacks like Long Range Cellular Earth Rovers, Epic Unicorn Trackers, Connected Power Outlets, and an Aggro-Crag-in-Real-Life-Button and Leader Board, and many more.
Beyond hacks, we worked to further develop and improve our hardware. When we launched our Kickstarter, we had three versions of our hardware: two dashes(one for US and one Intl), and a Dash Pro. As we looked forward we decided to make some changes. We retired our Dash Pro, and introduced the Dash v1.1 in 2016. We wanted to focus on improving the power management, increasing the size of user buttons, implementing a single jumper, and a few other small and aesthetic changes as well.
We couldn’t focus only on hardware though, we wanted to add to our platform, too. In the same month as the release of our Dash v1.1, we also introduced SpaceBridge. SpaceBridge allows you to create an encrypted, authenticated, inbound tunnel to your SIM cards. Reuben Balik even made sure you had instructions to help you utilize this tool.
Toward the end of this year, we rapidly pushed out even more changes. We overhauled our documentation. And of course, we even went into the technical aspects of how we keep our docs up-to-date. We spent time working on our dashboard and API in order give you the option to collaborate on projects with your friends and family with our new Organization feature as well.
Beyond our dynamic in-office, our relationship with our community is important too. We are lucky to have such inspirational, and intelligent people supporting us. Because our community is so important to us, we knew we wanted to open source our documentation. With a lot of hard work, we are proud to say we accomplished just that in December, along with a couple new features to make our user experience even better.
As our year is coming to an end, we were able to see our hard work come full circle when we were placed on Chicago Inno’s 17 Startups to watch in 2017. We can’t wait to take on 2017 and make our mark on a new year.