Thursday, April 24, 2008

A day at The Mechanical Zoo

I've been asked a lot about what I'm up to post-Google; I'm betting most of those who are asking weren't expecting to find out I'm working at a zoo as a keeper. ;) Of course, this isn't just any old zoo, this is The Mechanical Zoo (, and it's our very own, very unique zoo.

Judging by some media reports, you might think we ride into work on the backs of mechanical dinosaurs or show up at work wearing super-hero outfits to match our super-hero names (the super hero part isn't really true, but T-rex and I have a nice commute down Market street in the mornings).

As for who we are and what we're working on, thankfully Stefanie Olsen's original story that exposed the Zoo was mostly right with only a smidgen of hyperbole, and peeled away just enough of the veil of secrecy for our liking. Without elaborating much further, we're building products that enable a new kind of social search by accessing the knowledge of people in your network. Our first offering is currently in private testing; as we release it to more people, we're also developing several experimental offshoots built around our core technology.

Every day at the Zoo for me is exhilarating now, seeing the reality of our vision unfold. We have a fantastic team, and we're actively looking for more amazing people.We have great validation from our research and tests of our core technology. We have solid financial footing and commitments from fantastic investors. Our office is an amazing wood-paneled loft and I get to look out of wrought-iron windows speckled with post-it notes during the day, and take phone calls on our roof deck.

In short: I don't really ride into work on a mechanical T-rex. But I do get up every morning incredibly excited about heading into The Mechanical Zoo. And I'm glad I don't have to lay low about it entirely any longer; after all, I'm here so much it'd be nice if even more of my existing friends or even some new friends were working here too. Drop me a line if you want to come by the zoo or help us as a tester! nathan (-at-)