We haven't yet seen Razer's debut smartphone, but the team behind it is bidding farewell to an exec that played a crucial role back in its early days. Scott Croyle, who quit HTC as the Senior Vice President of Design, has left Nextbit as of September after a three-year run. His new gig? Going back to his design consultancy roots with the formation of Attic, a San Francisco-based studio covering hard goods (which obviously include consumer electronics), soft goods and furniture. Croyle is joined by former One & Co colleague
Jony Ive Daniel Hundt, who was the lead designer of the Incredible, Incredible 2, Desire 816, Desire 820 and more. Prior to HTC's acquisition, One & Co was also known for designing Microsoft's Arc Keyboard plus Arc Mouse, as well as the original Amazon Kindle.
While it may be easy to assume that Croyle left Nextbit over creative differences post-acquisition, he insisted that this was not the case. He explained that between One & Co and HTC's acquisition, his team suddenly grew from around 20 to over 100 people; he then joined Nextbit to focus on just one product, the Robin, but as the sole hardware guy at a small startup, he was also distracted by marketing, operations and engineering work. Hence his desire to go back to a smaller team and be closer to design work again.
"I wanted to work with a variety of clients and industries again," Croyle said. "For me, it's much more of a lifestyle choice and getting an opportunity to be back hands-on with design, wanting to really focus on what I really love which is actually working on products, and really working with a smaller group of designers and doing some really cool stuff."
In fact, Attic is already up and running as a team of four, serving various clients including some stealth startups in Silicon Valley. I obviously had no luck getting Croyle to talk about his current projects nor the upcoming Razer smartphone, but he did confirm that neither of his fellow ex-One & Co principals will be joining him any time soon: apparently both Jonah Becker (Fitbit's VP of Design) and Claude Zellweger (Director of Design at Google) are quite happy at where they are right now.