The rabbi realizes he's not in the middle of a corny joke so he leaves. But the monkey. The monkey starts raving wildly. He's slapping the Picnik engineers on the back, congratulating them for pioneering the online photo editing space 6 years ago, and for enabling a whole new class of photographers to create beautiful images and hang out together. And the monkey has more ideas about time travel, connecting people, light speed, and making Brussels sprouts taste better. The engineers, they're listening, but they're onto something new. They scribble furiously on the backs of napkins and the edges of sleeve cuffs.
Several months later, here we are. A dynamic duo became a small dynamic team. And the world's friendliest photo editor got a chance to start again. If you loved Picnik, PicMonkey is back in town and better than ever. It's faster, more powerful, and easier to use. It's the real deal you already know, plus 78% more monkey.
The Monkey is not a mascot. He doesn't like bananas or swinging from vines. He's like our chief innovation officer: he points us to the future and puts the shazam into everything we do. He's the one who goes into the back room and comes out hours later with, like, singed eyebrows and a demonstration involving toner cartridges and non-dairy creamer. And pretty soon we find ourselves crushing another cool photo editing feature you never knew you always wanted.
The Monkey sees the world as his own personal physics puzzle. Once he came back from lunch with caramel macchiato all over his face, apparently thrown by someone whom he informed he could levitate her borders. That happened right before he dreamed up our epic Collage app. So we've learned to embrace the crazy to get the crazy-good. (Our apologies to the woman wearing the Mondrian scarf at Caffé Vitta.)
Those of you who aced your animal families unit in fourth grade are probably twitching to inform us that he looks like a chimpanzee, and therefore belongs to the ape family, which doesn't include monkeys. Yeah, we know. The Monkey says that his personhood “does not conform unambiguously to conventional species labels” and has chosen to live as a monkey-identified individual. PicMonkey is a species-affirmative workplace which supports everyone's right to self-identify.
Most ironic mod: rigging an electric massage tool to wax and buff his muscle car
Significant brother: his hairless cat, Kojak
Moment of glory: winning a Karaoke contest at which he sung the periodic table of the elements
Will lecture for food: now taking bookings for “What others have learned from my speeches, lectures, and fireside chats around the world”
Despite growing up off the grid (No TV! Solar heat! No phone!) Brian Terry got the tech bug early: he won a computer in an Apple programming contest at age 10. After getting a CS degree at Stanford, he coded Web apps at several startups, became a dev manager at Expedia, and was employee #1 at Picnik, where he wrote more than half of the code. Getting high and getting lost are family values for Terry: he and his wife climbed Kilimanjaro together and they love wilderness hikes with their two young boys.
2-for-1 jonesing fodder: Galen Rowell adventure photography
Probable influencer for vegetarianism: childhood cat who played with and then ate rattlesnakes
“127 Hours” wanna-be moment: stabbing himself with a crampon
Has to be leashed when discussing: car commuters who disrespect the spokes!
Jen Shetterly is no stranger to complexity, having designed some of Microsoft's most successful, most labyrinthine, most crazy-making products to work on. But the real complexity has been balancing the vagaries of a full-time work load with mothering her three children and still finding time for creative romps in photography, painting, and drawing. Shetterly is grateful to the fine ladies of “Real Housewives” who impart sage advice and helpful tips on a weekly basis!
Fave effects: Orton, Cross Process, Wrinkle Remover
Latest art project: design her own tattoo and decide where to put it!
You'll have to pry it from her cold, dead hands: Pepsi
He's never run a backend server off dilithium crystals, but Justin Huff doesn't mind when people compare him to Scotty, the ingenious engineer of “Star Trek.” At Picnik, Huff's software engineering earned major geek cred: he's lectured to large developer crowds, including the O'Reilly Velocity conference in 2009, where he was the keynote speaker. Despite a demanding job, he makes time for the outdoors—running, camping, cycling— with his husband and his Golden retriever, Kaiser, who bears no relation to the cantankerous German emperor or the round bread product.
Fave effects: Cinerama, Gritty, Focal Soften
Most shadowy job: writing software for underwater sonar equipment. Yes, he does have scans of you swimming in the lake the night of your sister's graduation party!
Worst outdoor hack: pineapple upside down cake in a camp fire Dutch oven. Hockey puck, anyone?
Cooper got her start story editing and coordinating scripts at the Muppets. She produced kids and teen programs for NBC, ABC, and PBS. She moved to Seattle in the 90's to write and produce interactive television, online learning, and interactive fiction programs for Microsoft, and learn how to order complicated coffee drinks. At PicMonkey, Cooper makes words happen, and nervously awaits punishment for fake ones like “embetterment” and the scientifically lazy characterization of an ape referred to as The Monkey.
Roommates: two children, husband, and a dog who believes he is her husband
Past time pastime: dislocating her life at Seattle's onstage storytelling series “A Guide to Visitors”
Unnecessary degree, as it turned out: M.A., Instructional Technology, Columbia University
Tony nominating moment: putting out a fire onstage while staying in character in 8th grade play
Photographic Feed & Grain
Chelsea Fisher was a happenin' urban artiste with a budding photo business when a great guy walked up to her espresso machine at Starbucks. They dated, married, had kids, but his family's farm in Illinois beckoned. Now they're living the dream: he's a farmer and she splits her time between her photography business, her Little Red Chair lifestyle blog, and the two urchins that inspire it all. PicMonkey features her gorgeous photos as a base for users to mod up and make their own.
Favorite landscapes to shoot: sunset across the flatlands
Coolest home repair find: vintage electrical plates for their 1880's Victorian
Shameful admission: she loves the sound of canned laughter
Wonders if she'll go to hell for: adoring her chickens but not going vegetarian
Brian Sharon entered the world of software with a fistful of physics degrees, but he hasn't had an urge to accelerate a particle since. His work writing code and leading engineering teams for digital imaging products and game titles has taken him from Seattle to Austin and as far as London. Back in Seattle now, he enjoys living in the ever-groovy Ballard neighborhood with his wife and right-brained daughter, who threatens to outshine him in their weekly guitar lessons.
Most bittersweet border: Polaroid, because he can't get film for his Spectra Pro anymore
Alter ego extraordinaire: dropping vinyl as “DJ Pootie-T” in Austin, Texas
Why he loves long commutes: a longer ride means more time on his bike
Tex-Mex or Cal-Mex: please do not insult the Texas with this comparison
Wolfe started her software career at Microsoft back when Al Gore had just invented the Interwebs. She honed her user experience design talents working on Money, Office, MSN, and Windows Live, among others, during her 13-year tenure. She rehabilitates stray animals and neglected houses, including every square inch of the 60's ranch she lives in with her (now) geriatric pets.
Most sleep-depriving avocation: night photography, a recent fixation
Fave effects: Boost, Cross Process, Holga
Handy chick initiation rite: installing a water pump in her car at age 16
First taste of altruism: delivering Meals on Wheels with her mom, when she was a kid
Hard-won advice for fellow feline lovers: cats don't dig acupuncture
Community Groove Conduit
Systems installations and software consulting for large financial institutions might not sound like a good onramp to digital photography, but Brenda Anderson had no idea she would end up where she is now. After 10 years in finance, she fell in love with a New Zealander, moved to his homeland, and pressed the restart button. She got into photography after they had kids, and became a Flickr group admin. PicMonkey is thrilled to have her onboard, remotely connecting to help people get the most out of their photos.
Often hears when the camera comes out: “Don't put me on the Internet, Mum!”
Favorite photo subject, after kids: New Zealand's colorful birds (with awesome names like Pukeko, Tui, and Kaka)
Celebrity sighting, in her genealogical tree: Celine Dion, 9th cousin
Best time on four strings: playing in her Ukelele orchestra, The South End Strummers
Community Groove Conduit
A good listener and a people pleaser, Jenn Wells was a natch for the customer service jobs that kicked off her career. Her first great job was working at the legendary Elliott Bay Book Company, where she developed her customer love mojo. Wells moved to TeachStreet.com, a tech startup that helped lifelong learners connect with independent teachers. When TeachStreet closed their doors, PicMonkey got the best community outreach specialist in this hemisphere. She's also an outdoor enthusiast and an urban culture vulture all rolled up into a foodie burrito.
Current photo project: printing all her photos from the past two years
Favorite backpack destination with a fairy tale name: the Enchantments, in Washington state
Why she never surfed in Hawaii: fear of eels and other creepy deep water creatures
Crawled under the B12 curtain to: defect from veganism, after years of allegiance
Growing up on a ranch in Wyoming not far from Custer's last stand, Whiton's immersion in the rugged realities of cattle raising was enough to fuel a lifetime of aversion. Why would you ride a horse when there are those cool things called motorcycles? He found his place in the digital landscape of his Apple 2E, and his camera and darkroom.
After college, Whiton began his software career as a tester and moved up the ladder at Expedia, Microsoft, Picnik, and Google. Whiton now manages PicMonkey's test and release cycles, and is the first one to queue up the morning tunes on the Sonos. Outside of work, he kicks up mountain bike dust when he's not wrestling with the kids or wine tasting with his lovely wife.
Ironic pay-back: three year old son who is crazy about tractors and horses
Two words for the glory of living outside the city: elbow room
Atavistic conundrum: why would you drive a car when there are these cool things called trucks?
Maria Kaufman's love of sports and dance led her to a master's degree and work in the field of health promotion. In 1999, she wasn't quite sure she was sleepless enough, so she got a job at Amazon.com cutting her teeth learning e-commerce and getting an M.B.A. At Expedia, she created the ad platform for hoteliers, and then built up Picnik.com's ad business and moved with the team to Google. At PicMonkey, she's jazzed about developing native content with advertisers who want to charter new territory.
When the Tennessee accent comes out: phone calls with hometown friends and whenever she drops stuff
Most painful part of working in high tech: cutting herself making her own desk at Amazon.com
Cowboys she loves: her three children, Wyatt, Levi, and Ruby, not intentionally named to sound like characters in a Zane Gray novel
With summer jobs like updating weapon manuals in the Department of Defense, filing documents at the Teamsters union, and gutting fish on an Alaskan barge, Lisa Conquergood once seemed more qualified to be a “Fear Factor” contestant than the marketing professional she is today. After getting her MBA, she worked at Eddie Bauer, where she came to love making fast decisions on small, nimble teams. She had a stint at Expedia before moving to Picnik as the Chief Marketing Officer. Then onto Google with the rest of the Picnik team. Conquergood considers herself a relationship marketer, not a spreadsheet marketer, and she loves hearing what people want and then giving it to them.
Takes no insult being called: an adrenalin junkie
Got pantsed regularly by 5 year olds: playing “Billybob” at ShowBiz Pizza Place
Love at first click: an antique Brownie camera given to her when she was ten