Work inspiration with Gregory Koberger

Generic placeholder image

Gregory Koberger

Web developer and designer, the founder of ReadMe.io
@gkobergergkoberger.net

My name is Gregory Koberger, and I'm a developer and designer. I'm the founder of ReadMe.io, which was in Y Combinator's Winter 2015 class.

How did you get started in web development / design? What is your background?

I started programming bad, bad PHP years ago. Living on a farm left me with very few options, and websites were a great way to build something other people could see. I got a degree in Computer Science from Rochester Institute of Technology, and went to work for Mozilla (the makers of Firefox).

I slowly started shifting more to design. As much as I liked programming, I got the most joy out of making things that combined design and programming in unique ways. Being able to switch between them keeps both my left and right brain active, which is great.

What are you working on now?

My current startup is ReadMe.io. ReadMe provides every company the ability to quickly create beautiful documentation, and build loyal, productive developer communities. Remember the first time you used Stripe or Twilio? My goal with ReadMe is to bring a magical feeling of simplicity to even the most onerous of APIs and code libraries. Documentation is the interface we all use to interact with them, yet it is still stuck in the dark ages.


ReadMe.io

What tools and software do you use for your work?

I design all my websites in Photoshop. I spend the rest of my time in iTerm. I use vim for text editing. For websites, I tend to rely on Angular for the frontend and Node/Express for the backend. I can't work without Rdio in the background.

What is your ideal work environment?

It depends on the day! I think collaboration is key, and I don't believe in remote teams. Without haphazard collaboration over morning coffee, people are too silo'd and the company becomes stale. Having everyone work together created a cohesive culture where everyone is working together.

That being said, I work best when alone. Distractions are killer.

So, the ideal setup for me is half a week in an office, and half alone in my home apartment.

Where are your favorite places for sharing experiences?

I've always loved traveling. For a while, I ran a traveling startup incubator called Phileas & Fogg. Me and some friends that I hired spent a few months traveling around the world building things. That's how ReadMe got its start! 


Phileas & Fogg

Who are the creatives you admire most?

My favorite designer is Ryan Putnam. I'm envious of his simple yet effective style. I tend to over-design; I wish I had the ability to distill what I'm trying to say like he does.

I just finished reading Creativity Inc, the book about Pixar. The raw talent of everyone involved is staggering. The most impressive thing was how they worked together. All were impressive on their own, and none of them were known for being easy to work with (John Lasseter and Steve Jobs had been fired previously). Yet they respected each other and the result was an amazing partnership.