Steve believes in the people, the process, and the tools of publishing. He has seen technology leverage the skills of capable people with speed and quality as never before in the history of the written word. Steve believes that we can use these tools to manage our work, clarify our communications, and produce great books with less heartache and stress. Steve has been working in the publishing industry since the cutting edge of technology meant improving the rubylith and the red tape.
Fun fact: Steve likes to listen to the guitar greats and support his teams. Steve has honed his guitar skills via YouTube lessons and is an avid sailor with Piers Park in Boston.
E-mail: steve at appingo.com
You can follow Steve on Twitter at @SteveJewett
Also follow Steve on the Appingo blog (his vlogs light up the screen).
Derek is a self-proclaimed Business Designer who takes great pleasure in building companies from their earliest stages. He first discovered Appingo at a conference and was an instant believer in its value. He sees very bright things for Appingo. Derek holds an MBA from Babson College.
Fun fact: Derek made it up Mt. Kilimanjaro in 3.5 days even though he spent 12 of those hours puking his guts out. (He's very glad he did it and crossed it off his list, but he is even more glad he doesn't have to do it again.)
E-mail: d.skaletsky at appingo.com
You can follow Derek on Twitter at @dskaletsky
Belinda has spent her entire career managing publishing projects through production. If anyone knows how to make a book — it's our beloved "Bel." Belinda played an integral role in the development of the Appingo system and takes great pleasure helping Appingo's new friends find success in their work.
Fun fact: Belinda once managed 55 projects at one time while tending to her one-year-old son!
E-mail: b.thresher at appingo.com
Mark is Appingo's resident artist. He has been managing projects in the Appingo system since its inception and is integral in the development of Appingo's neat new features.
Fun fact: Mark once converted slices of fruit into a bound book, painted a rocking chair racing red with flames, and just finished his first season as head coach of a high school lacrosse team!
E-mail: mark.jewett at appingo.com
Once upon a time, a 25-year publishing veteran started a little production services business with the idea that the process of making books could, and should be better. He watched as the publishing industry evolved and he watched as publishers were forced to layoff entire floors of production people. Talented copy editors, designers, proofreaders, compositors, and indexers were quickly being recast as "freelancers." He watched as new technologies transformed every aspect of the industry — from new authoring tools to printing technologies to electronic distribution formats. He watched as Production Managers were expected to adapt to all of these evolutions and do more work with fewer resources. "More" with "less" became the mantra that ruled the land. He watched as the industry ignored the needs and pains of their production department.
And that is why he made a commitment to make a difference.
When he started his little service business, he promised himself that he wouldn't run it like a typical production department. He promised himself that he would build tools and systems that would make production better. Better for his Production Managers, better for his freelance workforce, and better for himself as an executive. He brought in smart software developers and they listened to a team of smart production people. He challenged them to create a tool that would achieve all of his goals. With trepidation, they accepted and went to work. As a team, they worked for almost four years — tinkering, refining, and making adjustments in an active production environment, which produced hundreds of books for a wide variety of clients.
And the tool worked. In fact, it REALLY worked. The big publishers caught wind that Appingo's Production Managers were managing 50+ projects each (versus the normal 15-20) and bringing them in on-budget and ahead of schedule, and they began to ask questions. Once they heard that the system was able to provide real-time data on all the schedules and budgets in production, they really started to ask questions. And they wanted it for themselves. The publishing execs went away and did what they did best. They created committees, started holding meetings, and wrote long, extensive RFPs. And this process took forever. The people of Appingo weren't happy. They realized that all of these meetings and documents and contracts just didn't feel right. Although dust was being kicked around, the people in the production departments were still struggling.
So, Appingo went back to the drawing board. They realized that they had a great product, but they needed to redesign their business. They realized that, more than anything, they wanted to see production people benefitting from their system immediately. They saw that the execs making "enterprise purchasing" decisions were more worried about "specs" and 18-month "implementation timelines" than they were about improving the lives of their production teams. The Appingo team needed to find a way to create value for production people immediately.
And they did! They redesigned their business. They redesigned their brand. And they redesigned their company. They changed their pricing model. They changed their delivery model. They started to build a community. They created Appingo Sally as the model for the Production Manager of the future. And they launched Appingo 2.0.
Welcome to Appingo 2.0
We hope you enjoy Appingo 2.0 as much as we do. We feel like we are helping to usher in a new age for the publishing industry. One that is more flexible, more nimble, more progressive, and more fun.
We're very happy to have you along for the ride!