There is a small Oshawa office where Toga Pit’s three 25-year old co-founders–Chris Noble, Patrick Weekes and Andrew Drebit–sit hunched over their computers, working furiously on new, innovative applications to turn iPhone owners’ downtime into entertaining, hilarious ‘uptime’. Begun in Spring 2009, Toga Pit blossomed from a university friendship to the partnership it is today; Chris, Patrick and Andrew all graduated from the University of Waterloo’s internationally-recognized Computer Sciences program, which is ranked highest in Canada. Having lived together on-and-off throughout university, they found the perfect balance between distraction and motivation, concentration and camaraderie…which explains their work dynamic.
The office itself feels much more like a home than a workspace. Its nickname? The Toga Pit. It’s high-paced, yet laid-back; professional, yet casual; and demanding, but fun. And it reeks of coffee. As long as the office is open, there is coffee brewing, with a shot of Bailey’s available for flavour. Cold beer also remains close at hand. Patrick plays the guitar; Andrew heckles; and they both help Chris with his many random injuries. With an affectionate iguana and a playful kitten, The Toga Pit office does indeed feel like a home (…and not only because of the long hours they put in). There’s a lot of pressure, but there’s also a lot of laughter, as Chris, Patrick and Andrew clearly love what they do.
How does this closeness translate into Toga Pit’s success? The projects, from start to finish, are born of their friendship–manifestations of inside jokes. So, each team member is personally invested in the execution of each idea. Pocket Zombie grew from their appreciation of zombie movies, (involving many “corporate discussions” about the masculinity of a Tamagotchi-like approach, concluding that Tamagotchi was, indeed, for little girls). It was while developing Pocket Zombie that the guys discovered they can upload and manipulate friends’ photos and move them in embarrassing and awkward positions… and that it would be a good idea to empower the world with the ability to embarrass friends with iTouch My Friends.
You can see an element of Toga Pit’s friendship in their applications, each of which is guaranteed to be fun, funny, simple and visually appealing. Collaborating with leading designers and animators to bring highly visual, highly fun and highly hilarious applications guaranteed to make you smile, even on a dreaded Monday morning subway commute. So watch out for Toga Pit, because their applications are executed with the talent of ambitious experts who love their job… and, well, if your job was creating pet zombies and creative ways to digitally embarrass your friends, wouldn’t you?