This week is the 20th anniversary of Hammock, the company I named in honor of a rope-swing napping device hanging from some trees in my backyard (and not, as some have suggested, because it’s an eponym).*
It started out being called Hammock Publishing and still would be, were it not for Apple Computer dropping the word Computer from its name. I happened to be at the gathering where Steve Jobs announced the company’s name change. While other people may remember he also announced a cell-phone (the phone-part didn’t impress me, from re-reading this post), I was thinking, “Hey, hammocks hang from trees just like apples, so I think I’ll drop Publishing from our name like Apple dropped Computer.”
Amazingly, from that day forward, no one has stopped calling us Hammock Publishing.
In addition to striving for insane greatness and being named for something that hangs from trees, Hammock has lots of things in common with Apple. The CEOs of both companies are natives of Alabama. Apple has billions of dollars in cash stashed away and, well, Hammock has a CEO from Alabama.
During our weekly company meeting today, the incredibly smart and creative people who allow me to work with them, presented me with this too-awesome-for-words lab coat declaring me Research Director of Hammock Labs. Short of receiving the Nobel Prize for Most Ripped Abs (a 14-year old joke from The Onion that never fails to amuse me), I can’t think of anything I’d rather receive.
Hammock Labs started out as an inside joke several years ago. As I’ve been known to skunk work projects with pick-up teams of in-house and independent geeks, the label Hammock Labs sort of appeared one day as a term applied to those Rex experiments.
Soon, it became a virtual place where we actually started a process of trying out platforms that enable our creative and editorial team (Hammock Studio) to more efficiently and productively do their work on behalf of clients. Today, we use the name to describe the group of people (employees and a growing geek network) and the physical and virtual place where we, as our slogan says, “blow up stuff during the process of trying to understand and make things helpful.”
Earlier today, as I was writing this post, I noticed that the URL of Hammock Labs pointed to Godaddy. That happened last week when someone actually did blow up something. I think it was me. I think I had just fallen to sleep in that hammock with a MacBook Air in my lap.
Thanks to the incredible people with whom I work today — and the many alumni of Hammock who have left us and gone on to do great things.
And thanks also to the tremendous clients with whom we have worked as partners and friends during the past two decades.
It’s been a great journey, and the road ahead promises even more excitement.
*I lied. I don’t have a hammock in my back yard.