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One Year Review of Lob.com
Lob Culture
August 7, 2014

One Year Review of Lob.com

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Harry Zhang

We recently celebrated our 1 year anniversary at Lob. It's a great time for us to reflect on our progress in our mission of building the world's best API. This first year for Lob was an eventful one and we look forward to many more.

It's crazy to think that just one year ago, it was just Leore and me. We were hacking away out of a 2 bedroom apartment in Sunnyvale. It's been a long journey and there have been many highlights along the way:

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The Beginning

Lob (Printbox initially, and later Infraprint) originated in Seattle. Armed with our computers and no printer in sight, we put together Printbox and started gathering customer feedback. We attempted to purchase a million dollar commercial grade printer directly from Xerox on a cold call. That was the moment we realized the pain and problems companies face automating and accessing commercial printing infrastructure; we created Lob to change that forever.

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Y Combinator, Demo Day & Seed Round

Being accepted into Y Combinator jump started Lob. First of all, we fed on the energy and stories of other founders. After a few intense months of hard work, we announced Lob to the world! At the time, we were still printing and manually stuffing envelopes every day to get our orders out to customers. The API was running but the "automated printing process" was manual. While running back and forth between USPS, our own printers, and various local print shops, we had fun! It was an exhilarating time as we on-boarded our first few customers. Being forced to manually manage the printing ourselves, we could feel the pain our customers dealt with on a regular basis first-hand.

Finally we got to demo day and got the opportunity to present in front of hundreds of amazing investors. After raising our seed round, we were able to move up to San Francisco and bring on our first few employees.

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Growing the Team and Building the Culture

Other companies talk about their early days working out of the garage. For Lob, it was all about the couch. Our first two hires, Dan and Peter, both slept on the Lob couch for over 2 months while we built a company we could be proud of. It couldn't have been more fun. Peter created the now famous "Peter's Pasta Sauce". We even host Throwback Thursdays (#tbt) to relive the environment of working out of our apartment and making dinner together.

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We hosted our first annual Lob Ski Trip to Keystone, Colorado. This trip gave us an opportunity to have fun as a team while taking the opportunity to work hard and focus on creating products that our customers love.

Today, with a team of 9 great people - we regularly find time to make sure that every employee looks forward to coming to work. From ice cream delivery to Barry's Bootcamp to Mario Tennis rivalries, Lob is focused on keeping our employees happy and healthy. We are even looking forward to running our first half-marathon together!

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Looking Ahead

Hard to believe that today we put in more orders per day than we had over the 3 months leading up to Demo Day! We've built a nationwide Print Delivery Network that ensures our customers get products delivered quickly and at the highest quality. Our product-set spans across letters to checks and even the ability to send postcards to entire zip codes through Simple Area Mail. We'll continue to grow our product set, all while building additional features to help customers manage their print and mail needs.

I can't wait to see what's ahead for Lob and to keep on making the transformation of bits into atoms more accessible than ever before. Here's to a great year 2!

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