It all started in an apartment. Our fearless leader and Chief Instigator Bryan Zmijewski set out on his own to help people design better products, websites and services. In 1998, he opened up the one man shop of ZB Design with little more than a computer, some Sharpies, and some big dreams. After securing his first client, Bryan was convinced it was only a matter of time before the world came knocking. To his surprise, things didn’t go very well. He learned in that moment just how important it is to embrace failure, learn all you can from it, and move forward.
Bryan rallied and decided reorganize the business under a shiny new name. After going through 50 four-letter domains, he chose ZURB for its energy, and also because it accurately described Bryan’s hair.
Surviving on a steady diet of Cup O’ Noodles, Bryan hunkered down and put all of his time and resources into building the business. ZURB’s first startup client was Rentpayment.com, a company still thriving today!
Never one to sit still, Bryan created a photo site called ZURBphotos. With tons of interest in his images, he spun it off into another company and cemented our commitment to taking risks.
An interesting company called TransactTools engaged ZURB to help build a better web presence. All of their web apps were eventually purchased by the NYSE!
As we started working with more and more startups, we began to see our work create big impact. Our client Protego Network was eventually purchased for $65M!
We set up our first 600 sq. foot office in Los Gatos, CA, and began filling it with ZURBians.
We enjoyed a huge growth spurt this year. Just one year after we got our first office, we moved to a 1500 sq. ft. office in Campbell, CA and later took over the office next door to double our working space!
Bryan had done some pro bono work for nonprofits but felt we could have more impact by being more focused around a deadline. We had our first ZURBWired with Second Harvest Food Bank. Working 24 hours straight, we helped them create a new website and all the marketing materials they needed for their first “Skip Lunch - Fight Hunger” campaign. We’d go on to do bigger and bolder ZURBWired projects every year after that.
We helped our 100th startup!
To help us design better projects, we began creating fun and inspiring tools for our team. In August of this year, we launched Notable, our first product design app that makes it easier to give and get feedback on your designs.
After the success of Notable, we created a slew of new design apps including Bounce, Clue, and Verify, the fastest way to collect and analyze user feedback.
The ZURB Style guide was beefed up to help us prototype more rapidly. We took our global CSS, jQuery plugins, common elements and best practices, and whipped them into what became Foundation. We decided to open-source it because we knew it would help push responsive design forward, but mostly to help people design better and faster. It would later go on to shape how the web was built!
200 successful projects and 11 original design apps later, we decided to help even more people design better products through our online and onsite training.
This year was HUGE for us! In addition to celebrating our fifteenth birthday, we released two updates to Foundation and created a brand new framework for building responsive emails, Ink (later called Foundation for Emails).
Continuing our experimentation with the newest technologies, we released Foundation for Apps, an experimental framework for creating responsive web apps. Foundation for Apps is one of several fun and useful experiments in our Playground.
Foundation 6 is released. This new version is faster, lighter, more versatile, more flexible and more powerful than ever before! Tens of thousands of the world’s biggest and most influential companies decide to build their websites on Foundation.
Ink is updated and transformed into Foundation for Emails 2, the best way to design and develop responsive HTML emails.
Helping companies organization surface design insights and unlock their power through Progressive Design!
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