Everything is Better with Friends

Jani Eväkallio
Posted on:7 Sept 2023

Sunil Pai on stage at React Miami

Everything’s better with friends.

That was the title of Sunil Pai’s talk at React Miami this April, where he released PartyKit to open beta. The title was a reference to PartyKit’s mission to make building collaborative, real-time interactive applications accessible to everyone.

I watched his presentation live stream from my couch, and I couldn’t help but notice the irony that Sunil stood on that stage alone, unveiling a company for whom he was the sole founder and team member.

Where were those friends? So sad.

Today, we’re happy to tell you that Sunil is no longer alone.

Throughout the summer, we’ve been building the foundations for PartyKit’s product, company and the team. We have big announcements coming later this month about the product and the company (ooh, foreshadowing…), but today we’re announcing the third foundational pillar of PartyKit: the team.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on PartyKit’s GitHub or Discord, you may have already seen spoilers, but today we’re making it official.

PartyKit, Party of Three

Look, we got professional headshots and everything!

Team portrait

Sunil Pai (CEO)

Sunil Pai portrait

Sunil is getting demoted from “doing everything” to CEO. Don’t worry, he’s still writing JavaScript and tweeting, but now he also has other people to write JavaScript and tweet with him.

Previously, Sunil’s worked for Cloudflare, Meta, JP Morgan, Cloudflare, Flipkart, and Yahoo.

Sylwia Vargas (CXO)

Sylwia Vargas portrait

Sylwia Vargas joins PartyKit as Chief Experience Officer. Previously, she’s led Developer Relations at StackBlitz and had a career in NGOs, teaching and research.

Outside of work, she loves books, hikes, plants, and pierogi.

Jani Eväkallio (CTO)

Jani Eväkallio portrait

Jani Eväkallio joins as Chief Technology Officer. Previously, he’s led engineering teams and built software for nearly two decades, most recently as the Founding Engineer at the AI writing startup verb.ai.

In his free time, Jani is an avid reader, writer, cold-water swimmer, and an occasional comedian.

But wait, there’s more…

Matt Webb, Inventor-in-Residence

At PartyKit, we don’t only want to bring collaboration to everyone, but bring everyone to collaborate with us. To this effect, we’ve started a residency program for technologists exploring the multiplayer software space.

Our first resident is Matt Webb. Matt has a long history in using design to help invent products, with clients such as Google, and recently in building his own AI-powered poem clock.

Matt will write more about his escapades on this blog soon, but in his first month in residence, he’s been exploring multiplayer cursors, presence, chat, games, polls, video, community gardening, and most recently, interacting with AI NPCs on an infinite-canvas whiteboard using tldraw.

Explorations help us stretch PartyKit, which makes it more useful for everyone. We can’t wait to see what Matt does next!

PartyKit x tldraw

Speaking of tldraw (nice segue, huh?), we’ve recently moved into our brand-new office in London. And because everything’s better with friends (have we said that enough yet?), we’re sharing the office the lovely bunch of arrowsmiths at tldraw!

If you’re ever in North London and want to talk multiplayer, real-time, building AI agents, or any that sort of thing, do drop in!

Nice to meet you!

That’s us. We have more big announcements coming, so expect to hear from us soon.

If you just can’t wait, come join us on Discord and follow us on Twitter. Sunil, in particular, is really bad at keeping secrets, so sign up for spoilers and leaks.

Welcome to the party, pals!

— Jani Eväkallio