Meet (one of) Our Founders

I liked Kevin’s introduction so much that I’m going to encourage everyone else here to write one. Which I’m pretty sure means I should do one first.

I’m Ellen, one of the people who started Ilium Software, back in 1997. I’ve met some of the people who are reading this – many of the people who run the PDA and mobile related websites, as well as many other developers and even quite a few users – at various conferences and events over the years. I’ve also talked to a number of users (fewer in recent years, but still keep my hand in a little) over the phone and by email. And of course I’ve seen many companies and individuals drop out of mobile software completely. Like people say about old age, it’s definitely not for sissies.

If companies reflect the personalities of the people who started them, I guess Ilium Software reflects mine to a large extent. Certainly our emphasis on providing really good support is a direct result of my frustration with the very bad support I’ve received from too many companies over the years. I don’t accept bad support from anyone (at least not more than once), and as long as I’m in control, we won’t provide it.

Like Kevin, I use our software all the time, because I like what it does and how it works. This probably isn’t coincidence – I designed or at least specified much of it. But because my background isn’t in tech, I think (or at least hope) that I have more of an end-user perspective than other people might.

I don’t want to put up a picture of myself (like many people, I hate pictures of myself), and don’t have quite the collection of handhelds that Kevin does, so will instead put up my bulletin board. Since I’m writing about my personality, I think it’s a pretty good illustration.

Photography isn't my long suit

The buttons say:

  • Trust me; I’m a professional
  • This is just my corporate image
  • If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention
  • Making the world safe for musical comedy
  • I am a Jewish American Princess; please buy me a Tab

The bumper stickers say:

  • Oh No, Not Another Learning Experience
  • Don’t make me release the flying monkeys

The cartoons are about being impatient, easily distracted, grown-up, and short. I’d show pictures of them, but I think that’s a violation of their intellectual property, which, as a software developer, I’m of course very sensitive to.

The picture is the guys on Sports Night (TV series of a few years ago), in their shirts, ties and boxer shorts.

I think that pretty well sums me up.

3 thoughts on “Meet (one of) Our Founders

  1. Mike Temporale

    Hi Ellen! It’s nice to put a personality with the name. Maybe someday I’ll get to put a face to it as well.

    I’ve had a couple dealings with your customer service and I have to say that you guys did a great job. I’m happy to hear that it’s a key part of the company as it makes a big difference to the customer.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Frank McPherson

    If I looked real hard enough, I bet I could find a picture. jk! :) Glad to see Ilium doing a blog and that you all are hanging in there. I wonder how many of the original Windows CE developers are still going?

  3. Ellen Post author

    Hi Frank! Yes, it’s amazing the number of software – and hardware – companies that have fallen out of the mobile space. It hits me every time I clean out my business card box or look through the ad booklets that came out with the first generation devices.

    I don’t know if we’re smart and tough, stupid and stubborn, or just lucky. Probably all of those.

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