HOW IT BEGAN
2001 was the year it all started, when Masanori Hashimoto learned about Toshitaka Agata from a senior colleague at work. “An incredible programmer”, was what Masanori recalled his senior co-worker described Toshitaka to be. As a programmer himself, Masanori developed a keenness to meet with his peer from the same company and created an opportunity to do so. The pair met, and eventually began working on the same project together.
As the remarkably passionate programmers that they are, the duo also pursued their hobbies together outside of work. Masanori was picking up Java from Toshitaka, experimenting with the development of a bulletin board system (BBS). The duo even formed a community, called Mobster, for learning the Java language. The BBS that they developed was later released as an open source project from Mobster.
AND THEY ALL MET
In 2002, Masanori and Toshitaka were introduced to Shinsuke Tabata in a meeting that the latter coordinated. Through his new acquaintances, Shinsuke learned about the Mobster community and became a member of it himself. The Mobsters have since released many other open source softwares including a wiki engine, a bug tracking system, an application launcher, and even a code generator. The concept of the bug tracking system became the initial framework for backlogtool.com, and the practice of open source collaboration was to become a huge influence on the products and creations of their future company, Nulab Inc.
Apart from writing a book and publishing articles for Java programmers, the Mobsters also created an Internet broadcast radio called 'Mobdio' for geeks and programmers in 2003. On the show, the Mobsters would collaborate with Mobdio listeners over the airwaves to edit and improve on the wiki that they developed. The art of collaboration, as such, gradually became an important and cohesive experience for the three of them.
THE START OF NULAB
In 2004, the three guys who were still working as programmers then, were determined to find better ways for software developers like themselves to communicate and interact with users so as to establish a more effective feedback loop. This determination led to an epiphany: "The best way to communicate with our software users directly, is for us to establish our very own startup. " In the same year, they founded Nulab Inc. in Fukuoka, Japan.
This determination led to an epiphany:
"The best way to communicate with our software users directly, is for us to establish our very own startup. "