The three partners of Toronto-based design firm Teehan+Lax — Jon Lax, Geoff Teehan and David Gillis — are bidding farewell to their company and their home city and packing up for the San Francisco Bay area to join the Facebook Design team.
The move was a decision by founders Lax and Teehan and partner Gillis, not an acquisition by the social network.
Facebook said in a statement confirming the hires:
Teehan+Lax designs best-in-class experiences for both mobile and Web. We’re excited to welcome key members of the Teehan+Lax team to Facebook.
And a post on the Facebook Design page added:
We are happy to share that members of the Teehan+Lax team will be joining Facebook. Teehan+Lax is a world-class design agency that supports the creation of digital products for Web and mobile, focused on the user experience. The company launched in Toronto in 2002 and since then has become a leader in design services working with Bell, Medium, The Globe and Mail and even Facebook’s own Atlas, where they helped Atlas relaunch a new and revamped product, website and brand. Working with the team on the Atlas project showed us just how talented and committed they are, so we decided to bring them onboard. Founders Jon Lax and Geoff Teehan, as well as Partner Dave Gillis, will be joining our team later this month.
Lax, Teehan and Gillis wrote a detailed blog post explaining their decision, and highlights follow:
We are incredibly excited about the future. The things we will be doing at Facebook are amazing new challenges. The scope and scale of them are simultaneously thrilling and scary. The opportunity to make things that will impact over 1 billion people is extraordinary.
There has been a lot of thought and consideration that went into this decision. Since this will be the last thing we make as part of Teehan+Lax, we thought it was only appropriate to try and tell the whole story.
If Teehan+Lax was to be successful going forward, we would need to find what Geoffrey Moore calls “escape velocity.” Escape velocity is the work and investment required for established companies to break patterns in their business to find new levels of growth and sustainability.
To compound issues, Teehan+Lax was imagined as a boutique. We had organized it in such a way that scale (in the way that agencies traditionally do this — more offices, more admin, more offerings) was in conflict with the values of the company. If we wanted to be successful over the long term, we would need to fundamentally retool how the company worked to resolve this tension.
We tried to imagine Teehan+Lax as a company at scale and it just didn’t feel right to us.
Readers: What did you think of the blog post by the Teehan+Lax partners explaining their decision?