In early 2020, as the shockwave of the pandemic was changing the world and confining millions to their homes, we experienced a seismic shift in the workplace as millions of people were forced to work from home. In the Cotswolds, tucked away in a farm nestled in the hills north of Burford, a small web agency run by Adam Engberg had been aware of a niggling, undefined problem with the way it worked for a couple of years. The problem was vague, irritating, and indistinct. Lurking unnoticed in the shadows of our daily work, it was quietly sapping the life-force, productivity, out of the agency.
With the whole of the UK’s and Europe’s workforce suddenly confined to spare bedrooms, dining rooms, hallways, kitchens, garden sheds and any other cubby hole that could be made into a workplace, the dimly-lit problem that had been eating us from within was suddenly forced into the limelight, to be seen for the first time for what it was, it’s menacing face laid bare for all to see, and for us at the agency, to give a name to our personal demon.
And its name was; Browser Tab Hell.
The Kirmada Team yesterday. From Left to right: Fran,Tim, Rik, Adam, Mills and Genevieve
Swipe On, Swipe Off
Ok, ok, so you were expecting something a bit more dramatic, but come on, give us a break, this is a true story.
Browser Tab Hell, for those who haven’t experienced it (yeah, right!), is the term we coined to describe that peculiar tendency to end up with hundreds of browser tabs open, forcing you to open more browsers, fill those browsers with tabs, create profiles with their own browsers crammed to bursting with tabs, until the day comes where you have so many tabs open sapping your productivity and ability to focus, you start to smell the sulphur and feel flames licking at your feet as yet another floats by, missed. This is Browser Tabs Hell.
As a web agency with many clients, any one of us was always working on a primary project while supporting several others. This meant having tabs open, and keeping them open for when they were needed, and trying to remember what they were all for, and opening up new ones with every phone conversation and email.
It occurred to Adam that it would be cool if he could just have what he needed on the screen at any one time, then when he needed to switch focus to a different client for a moment, just swipe everything off the screen and replace it with another client.
From this kernel, Kirmada was born.
“Swipe on, Swipe Off. This is the Way of Kirmada.”
The Goal: To be The Ultimate Business and Personal Productivity Tool
Adam Engberg and Rik Yapp combined forces to work on “Project Kirmada” in 2020, bringing in Max Paukovs to oversee our crack coding team of Kristaps, Ritvars, Martins, Atis and Valdis who proved our concept could work.
Over the next two years, we raised investment, both institutional and private, and developed Kirmada to become the one app small businesses need to organise their client workloads, boost productivity, and increase billable revenue. Everyone who saw the concept during development immediately “got it” and we were able to build an impressive cap table of investors which includes a huge Australian investment fund and the legendary ex-CFO of Google, Patrick Pichette.
Now our team has grown to include Fran, Genevieve, Tim and Mills and we’re pushing ahead with an exciting development roadmap to deliver our goal of the ultimate business and personal productivity tool.