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The two Apple engineers who created Hype

Dana Franklin
May 24, 2011
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Jonathan Deutsch, co-founder of Tumult Inc., recently talked to The Startup Foundry about leaving a stable job at Apple to build Hype, the new HTML5 Animation Builder for Mac OS X. Despite some provocative headlines linking to the story, the reason the founders took on this challenge wasn't borne out of Apple's attitude towards Flash.

Released last Friday exclusively through the Mac App Store for an introductory price of US$29.99, Hype embraces the HTML5 family of technologies -- including new HTML5 tags, CSS3, and the latest JavaScript technology -- to allow customers to create standards-based interactive websites that rival Flash.

Over the weekend, Tumult's product became the top-grossing application on Apple's software marketplace, topping Pages, Aperture, iPhoto, Keynote, Numbers, and iMovie.

Prior to opening shop for himself, Deutsch was the engineering manager for Mac OS X Mail's back end. He also worked on Mac OS X's software update mechanism, automation technology, and even Steve-note demonstrations. Despite a successful career at Apple, he always wanted to have his own company, saying it's "in the blood." He and his business partner Ryan Nielsen, another senior member of the Mac OS X team, both saw a new wave of "Web 3.0" technologies, more commonly referred to as "HTML5," hitting the market. "It was always in the back of my mind that for any technology shift you'd need tools to help out," Deutsch told The Startup Foundry. "I'm really a tools guy, though we tend to call them 'apps' nowadays."

Deutsch said the idea for Hype came after a trip to Europe. He wanted to showcase photos from his travels on a website with animations and pizazz. Hand-coding the site he imagined in HTML5 would've been a "nightmare," and Flash wouldn't be appropriate for mobile access to the site. When he couldn't find a better way to easily build an interactive website for his photos, Deutsch recognized the opportunity to build a solution for himself and start a business around it.

Walking away from an established career at Apple was bittersweet. Deutsch says he formed a deep social and professional network at the Cupertino company that was painful to say goodbye to, but if he had chosen to stay at Apple, Deutsch would've been left to wonder what if. "'Regret Minimization' is what should win out in life," he says, "so it did."

[via Business Insider]

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