01 Oct 2014

Beyond Light Table

I have three big announcements to make today. The first is the official announcement of our next project. We've been quietly talking about it over the past few months, but today we want to tell you a bit more about it and finally reveal its name:

eve

Eve is our way of bringing the power of computation to everyone, not by making everyone a programmer but by finding a better way for us to interact with computers. On the surface, Eve is an environment a little like Excel that allows you to "program" simply by moving columns and rows around in tables. Under the covers it's a powerful database, a temporal logic language, and a flexible IDE that allows you to build anything from a simple website to complex algorithms. Instead of poring over text files full of abstract symbols, you interact with domain editors that are parameterized by grids of data. To build a UI you don’t open a text editor, you just draw it on the screen and drag data to it. It's much closer to the ideal we've always had of just describing what we want and letting the machine do the rest. Eve makes the computer a real tool again - one that doesn't require decades of training to use.

Imagine a world where everyone has access to computation without having to become a professional programmer - where a scientist doesn’t have to rely on the one person in the lab who knows python, where a child could come up with an idea for a game and build it in a couple of weekends, where your computer can help you organize and plan your wedding/vacation/business. A world where programmers could focus on solving the hard problems without being weighed down by the plumbing. That is the world we want to live in. That is the world we want to help create with Eve.

We've found our way to that future by studying the past and revisiting some of the foundational ideas of computing. In those ideas we discovered a simpler way to think about computation and have used modern research to start making it into reality. That reality will be an open source platform upon which anyone can explore and contribute their own ideas.

While we have a long way to go before Eve is ready for the spotlight, we've shown a few people what we've done so far and their reactions have been exciting. Which brings us to my second announcement:

We've raised $2.3M from Andreessen Horowitz.

We've raised a $2.3M seed round to help us turn Eve into a reality. The round comes from an amazing set of investors: Chris Dixon of Andreessen Horowitz, Sam Altman, Tom Pinckney, Sep Kamvar, and Zubair Quraishi. Given how ambitious this project is, it was important that we find people who are not just interested in handing us money, but deeply care about what we're actually trying to do. We are on a mission to realize the world I described above and we managed to find people who not only believe in that mission but who have been actively working on it themselves. Chris and Tom had plans to create a company like this and have been thinking about the problem ever since Microsoft killed VB6. Sep has been researching how to make programming more accessible at the MIT Media Lab. Zubair has followed Light Table since the beginning and has been an active member of the community. And Sam's been looking for a "better programming" since his first company. Each of these people brings something unique to the table and we couldn't be happier to call them all partners.

This gets us to my third announcement:

We're hiring!

We raised money to expand the team, as it's going to take more than the three of us to get Eve ready for the world. So we're looking for a few developers and a designer to join us.

Working on Eve so far has been an incredible challenge that has taken us through everything from language design and query optimisation to high-dimensional geometry and cognitive science. We are truly working on the "full stack" and there's no shortage of interesting problems for us to solve. On the engineering side, we'd especially love to find some folks who have experience working on databases, query optimizers, constraint solvers, systems/ops, and crazy UIs. For our designer, we're looking for someone to own the personality and feel of Eve itself, which presents one heck of a challenge: how do you invite a billion people to program without them ever knowing about it? We're not sure yet, but we know finding out will certainly be fun.

Realistically, it's somewhat difficult for me to say exactly what we're looking for, because no one person is really going to know the breadth of area that we cover. But one thing we do know for sure is that you have to be willing to go way outside of the box with us. If this sounds like your cup of tea, shoot an email to jobs@kodowa.com and introduce yourself - we'd love to meet you.

And Light Table?

Light Table will continue to go on strong. We haven't talked too much about it lately, but it's used by tens of thousands of people and still growing. We use it every day to help us build Eve and thanks to the awesome people in the community that has sprung up around it, it gets better every week. Our original goal with our kickstarter was to affect change and with your help we managed to do exactly that, both directly through people using LT and through influencing the broader industry as well. Eve represents the next step for us to take the ideas in Light Table and bring them to far more people. We are stoked for the future that Eve and LT will create together and I hope you'll join us for the ride.