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Hipstamatic on Layoffs: 'We Lost Our Focus'

In a surprising turn, the makers of the popular (and profitable) photo app scrapped a handful of employees.

Synthetic, makers of photo app Hipstamatic, laid off a handfull of employees yesterday.

And now co-founder and CEO Lucas Buick is opening up via the company blog.

He wrote that while the layoffs were “not an easy decision," the company has simply “lost focus” and is having trouble scaling.

The company laid off a total of five people: three developers, one designer, and one writer.  For a staff of only 11, that’s a significant cut. 

“Hipstamatic was founded as a lifestyle and culture brand that happen[ed] to make software,” wrote Buick. “We aren’t a typical software company, and our inability to scale and ship became clear...by streamlining our organizational structure, we are planning to ship more products and updates in the next few months as we reset and rebuild our team.” 

At least a few employees who were laid off took to Twitter. Engineer Jonathan Wright tweeted the news: “So in case you didn’t get the memo. Entire team laid off...Some of THE best people I’ve ever worked with.” Justin Williams, also an engineer, tweeted that he is “now accepting contract work.”

The news might come as somewhat of a surprise as Hipstamatic boasts over 4 million users, has never raised funding, and has been profitable since it launched in 2009. The company brought in $10 million revenue last year. 

Recently, Synthetic launched Snap, a monthly iPad magazine about photography and culture and announced a partnership with W magazine Wednesday to release a magazine-inspired lens, film and virtual camera case. 

“Our biggest product launch this year has been a magazine called Snap, which has been extremely well received and already has over 100,000 subscribers,” Buick added in the post. “We are excited to ship the September issue in the coming weeks.” 

But Hipstamatic is undoubtedly the crown jewel of the San Francisco-based design studio. The company and app are the brainchild of co-founders Buick and Ryan Dorshorst.

 

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