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Cassidy James Blaede
Works at System76
Attended University of Northern Iowa
Lives in Englewood, CO
7,618 followers|6,898,488 views
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  • University of Northern Iowa
    Interactive Digital Studies, 2012 - 2014
    Liberal Arts, 2010 - 2012
  • Valley High School
    2006 - 2010
Basic Information
February 1
UX Architect + Open Source
I'm an open source collaborator, front-end web developer, UX designer, tinkerer, and all-around geek.

Cofounder of and UX designer for elementary.

Things of which I'm a fan:
  • elementary OS
  • Android
  • Open Source
  • Design
  • Typography
  • LEGO
  • Star Wars
  • PlayStation
  • Tesla Motors
  • Minecraft
  • Destiny
Bragging rights
elementary cofounder. Married to a beautiful woman!
UX Architect, Front-end Web Developer
UX design, documentation, writing, tech support, being a friendly person, HTML5, CSS3, FTP, distributed development (bzr, git, svn), bug reporting/triaging, social media, UI sketching/whiteboarding
  • System76
    Front-end Web Developer, UX Architect, 2013 - present
    Front-end web development of the System76 website. User experience and interaction design. User testing. Distributed development/version control (git, bzr). Issue tracking and triaging. Catalog management.
  • elementary LLC.
    Cofounder, UX Architect, present
    User experience design, bug triaging, user testing, social media, developer communications, online chat- and email-based user support, high-level decision making, bookkeeping, corporate communications, press releases, developer documentation, end-user documentation
  • Visual Logic Group
    User Experience Intern, 2012 - 2013
    Icon design, front-end web development, print design, whiteboarding, UX design, UI design, user testing.
  • Blaedesign
    Consultant, 2004 - 2013
    Soldering/prepping audio connections; Researching, selecting, installing, and configuring PC A/V hardware and software; Training clients on PC A/V hardware and software; Assisting in the installation of audio and video presentation equipment.
  • University of Northern Iowa ITS Network Services
    Network Engineer Assistant, 2011 - 2012
    Upgrading switch firmware & configuration; Cacti Monitoring Service; Wireless Site Surveys; Configuring Enterasys Switches; Provisioning and configuring wireless APs; Handling RMA procedures; Utilizing NetSight Console for network management; Utilizing RingMaster for AP management; Creating and managing wireless heatmaps with Ekahau; Tracking tasks and progress in a ticketing system.
  • Waukee YMCA
    Day Camp Counselor, 2011 - 2011
    • Assist in preparation and delivery of positive activities.• Assist in the development of an activity schedule.• Perform routine checks on equipment and program area to ensure safety.• Demonstrate and enforce the policies and procedures for the day camp site.• Know all emergency procedures and be able to demonstrate them.• Educate participants on emergency procedures and policies.• Encourage participation in all activities.• Establish positive relationships with program participants and families.
  • LCS
    Technical Support Analyst, 2010 - 2011
    • Provide support to internal staff and external clients via help desk.• Assist staff/clients with password resets.• Assist staff/clients with software installation, configuration, etc.• Write and maintain documentation through Sharepoint.• Communicate technical concepts to facilitate understanding. • Rapidly learn and master varied systems and programs.• Track tasks and progress in a ticketing system.
  • Webspec Design, LLC.
    Web Developer, 2007 - 2010
    • Slice web designs into dynamic HTML/CSS/JavaScript/PHP.• Utilize PHP for low- to medium-complexity backend systems.• Create and work with MySQL databases.• Be familiar with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.• Utilize JavaScript and jQuery for enhancing web sites.• Know and love HTML5 and CSS3 for cutting-edge web development.• Use FTP and Linux servers.• Communicate with and train clients in person and over-the-phone.• Write easy-to-understand documentation for clients.
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Englewood, CO
Cedar Falls - Clive - Des Moines
Contact Information
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
  • Catan
  • Sky Force 2014
  • Shades:A Simple Puzzle Game
  • Quell Free
  • Thomas Was Alone
  • Tomb Raider I
  • Star Wars Uprising


Cassidy James Blaede

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Due to some nifty updates over the last few days, we can now do more dynamic things on the product pages on For example, we use the extra space* in the top bar to show dynamic pricing information!

The pages used to be completely static and manually updated, but I can also now do more intelligent things, like only show the Design + Buy buttons if the product is actually available.

In related news, an official API is in the works, and it's what the frontend of the site uses to talk to the backend. It's pretty fantastic.

*There's no extra space on mobile devices, so this is only on tablets/desktops.
Adorns your desk without consuming it. Small but fierce, Meerkat is the perfect combination of performance and efficiency. System76 desktop computers are custom-built to run Ubuntu flawlessly.
Cassidy James Blaede's profile photoNathaniel Webb's profile photoAnthony Kiniyalocts's profile photo
Yayyyy no more parsing html! 😄
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Cassidy James Blaede

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At the end of the day when I push my massive refactor and cleanup branch to our staging server and everything works as it should...

Nathaniel Webb's profile photoIan Santopietro's profile photoCassidy James Blaede's profile photo
+Ian Santopietro ...which is why it's on the staging server and not in production. ;) But Ben also has to clean some things up on prod before I can push. You can bet I'll be testing the crap out of the site here today. :D
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Cassidy James Blaede

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Signal boost!
Okay, follow up to yesterday's discussion! Revisiting the same idea but incorporating some feedback and framing it a bit better. So here's the proposal:

What if we created a special developer account with the following perks:

* An exclusive elementary developer t-shirt
* Some kind of exclusive elementary developer community, maybe a Slack instance where you can hang out with other elementary developers and talk shop.
* Exclusive access to development builds of elementary OS (right now they are internal only to our team)
* A way for you to publish your app into an official 3rd party app repository that would be installed in elementary OS by default.

For this account, we charge a yearly subscription fee. Apple charges $100 for theirs. Ours would be smaller, but it would have to cover at least the cost of printing and shipping shirts. Does that sound like something you'd pay for?

Why Should I Pay You To QA Your Software?

You are not expected to do any QA. We already have a list of issues targeted to the Loki milestone. What you're paying for is exclusive access to see and touch and play with something early. The reason I say this is a developer account is because that's important for 3rd party developers who want to build apps for elementary OS. They get to test their app in the new environment and build on the latest APIs so that when we release, they're ready to release too.

Why Do You Need More Money Anyways?

The basic problem is that the revenue that elementary brings in doesn't fairly compensate all of the people who work on it. At the moment our primary source of income is our pay-what-you-want download. Through this, we've been able to hire 2.5 developers at a below-market rate. It currently takes 40+ developers to provide elementary OS. On top of labor costs we do also have hosting costs, travel costs, and we pay our taxes at the bare minimum. We'd also like to be able to kick more funding into upstream projects and there are so big, expensive-to-get-started products that we'd like to do someday.

What About Crowdfunding?

The goal is to find another recurring source of revenue for elementary. Recurring is important because stability is a core tenant of our business strategy. A lot of new tech startups are focused on exiting. They don't need to have stability because the plan to get a high valuation and sell the company. This is why things like one-time crowdfunding are effective for those folks. They can raise enough money to startup (see what I did there?) a small company that only needs to last until they exit. We need to make sure that our business model is sustainable on the long term so that we can provide stable jobs.

What about Support/Training/Consulting/Books?

Stuff like selling support, consulting, training, etc all require running a totally separate business that would have to be so successful that it not only pays for the cost of itself to run but also pays for elementary. Not to mention half of these suggestions undermine the value proposition of elementary OS, which is that if we can run a wildly successful support or training business it means elementary OS is very hard to use because these things are in high demand. Not to mention you run into an ethical dilemma. Our monetization process would be directly at odds with providing free support, documentation, etc. We would have a monetary incentive to shut down our StackExchange site and stop supporting users on social media. This is not a road I would like to go down.

What About Hardware?

From speaking with people in the know, margins on hardware are extremely thin. Even if we somehow raised the capital to produce a competitive hardware product, it would likely not solve the initial problem of funding elementary OS development.

What About Pay For Features?

You can already do that :) Check out
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I would pay $1-5/mo
I would pay $10-20/yr
I might pay if there were other perks
I would not pay for this
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41 comments on original post
Joseph Dickson's profile photo
Include support for a yearly rate from actual employees.

Server Press a WordPress virtualization tool does this.

Of course you'll need to deal with refunds too.
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Cassidy James Blaede

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It's the little stuff, like space doodles. :)
Love that packaging, +System76​.
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Nicky Z's profile photoChristopher Horton's profile photoCassidy James Blaede's profile photo
+Christopher Horton yeah, unfortunately there was a lapse in supply (we sold more laptops than expected!). We had your laptop, but not the laptop box... but didn't want to delay your shipment by a couple of weeks. :P
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Cassidy James Blaede

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Ooh, Unsplash is working on its own "Collections" where you can group your favorite photos into your own collections.

Request early access here:
Do whatever you want free high-resolution photos. Download 10 new free photos every 10 days.
Aporva Varshney's profile photoCassidy James Blaede's profile photo
+Aporva Varshney whoops! :P
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Cassidy James Blaede

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It really bothers me that podcasts are being shoehorned into a music app.

Just because both use audio doesn't mean they share the same UX at all. Music has albums, playlists, and radio. Podcasts are episodic and spoken.

I'd much rather see a dedicated Google Play Podcasts app, much how Books and Newsstand are their own apps even though both use text and images.
Google Play Music Podcasts are live for at least one user

We've known for a few months that Google would be bringing podcast support to Play Music and it looks like at least one lucky user has had support for the new feature rolled out to them. I don't have it yet, do you?
Google is now seemingly testing podcast support in Google Play Music in server-side A/B fashion. One of the gents who spotted the change gave his early thoughts on the new interface, noting that it blended seamlessly with the application to feel just as "at home" as music does.
21 comments on original post
Marc Thomas's profile photoCassidy James Blaede's profile photoJosh Melling's profile photoIan Santopietro's profile photo
I keep pressing +1 but it just toggles on and off. :/
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Cassidy James Blaede

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I just posted a $100 bounty on Bountysource! We've had this issue collecting dust for a few years, and it would really be awesome for users of multiple displays.

If you're affected, consider adding to the bounty! If you're a developer, consider fixing the bug and claiming the bounty! :)
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Cassidy James Blaede

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Haven't read the article yet (added it to Pocket for later!), but that excerpt aligns so well with what we're trying to do at +elementary​. We're 100% supported by our paying users.

No big corporate backer. No privacy-invading advertising arrangements. No millionaire bankrolling us until we can monetize ourselves. Everything we do is paid for by our users, and that's the way we like it. :)
Somehow I missed this article a few months back. I found myself nodding in agreement with almost all of it, and I find it aligns very well with what I do and don't want to do with my business (and life outside of it) going forward.

I've highlighted two passages below, but I could've plucked another dozen or so. Highly recommended.

I wanted to make a product and sell it directly to people who’d care about its quality. There’s an incredible connection possible when you align your financial motivations with the service of your users. It’s an entirely different category of work than if you’re simply trying to capture eyeballs and sell their attention, privacy, and dignity in bulk to the highest bidder.

I’m going to pull out another trite saying here: It feels like honest work. Simple, honest work. I make a good product, you pay me good money for it. We don’t even need big words like monetization strategy to describe that transaction because it is so plain and simple even my three year-old son can understand it.
About 12 years ago, I co-founded a startup called Basecamp: A simple project collaboration tool that helps people make p…
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Cassidy James Blaede

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Our building guard got assaulted while a million Broncos fans riot in the streets downtown, celebrating the Super Bowl victory. Meanwhile our building is essentially locked down until further notice.

Go sportsball?
David Kasurak (DragonZlaver42)'s profile photoChristian Naylor's profile photoMarty Ballard's profile photoCassidy James Blaede's profile photo
+Marty Ballard ...yikes.
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Cassidy James Blaede

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Someone recently messaged me asking if we shipped to Jamaica. Well, I got the gears turning and now we do! 😉
Cassidy James Blaede's profile photoChristopher Lee Murray's profile photoJoseph Dickson's profile photoJavier Bastardo's profile photo
Considering the amount of issues we have around here right now, I wouldn't even ask for shipping to my country, Venezuela.

I do hope for the day we get our stuff sorted out, or maybe I move to country that has greenlit-awesome-System76-shipping :-)

Glad to see you guys adding more and more countries, really great project.
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Cassidy James Blaede

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After installing a Game Boy Advance emulator and binging on Pokemon LeafGreen on my phone, I am convinced that Nintendo needs to do one thing to make bank:

Release the Game Boy catalog as mobile apps. As-is (no in-app purchases or BS). Include transfer cable emulation. Charge $20 or so per game.

I hate the trend that mobile apps are short attention span, low investment affairs. I want quality content!
Harvey Cabaguio's profile photoCassidy James Blaede's profile photoAleksandar Stefanović's profile photo
+Cassidy James Blaede I recon I almost finished the game last time, I was in the last town with Dragon-type Pokémon, so it's at least finished when it comes to the main storyline... AFAIR there was only a bug where you'd be teleported to a wrong area after leaving a building... I can't quite remember, it might have been some other game... Anyway, it doesn't feel unfinished, I personally completely forgot that it was, in-fact, a fan-made port... 
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Cassidy James's Collections
Cassidy James Blaede's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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Eat24 Food Delivery & Takeout - Android Apps on Google Play

Your Android can now feed you. No, it hasn’t learned to cook. (What, are you in a hurry for the robot takeover?) But you won’t have to e

Dimly - Screen Dimmer - Android Apps on Google Play

Dimly lets you decrease the brightness of your screen beyond Android's default lowest setting. It is ideal for late night reading or general

Glucosio - Android Apps on Google Play

Using Glucosio, you can enter and track blood glucose levels, anonymously support diabetes research by contributing demographic and anonymiz

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Gmail、Exchange、Yahoo、Outlook、iCloud、Google Apps、Office 365、その他あらゆるIMAPアカウントに対応しています。 賞賛の声 ★ インターネット界最高の栄誉に輝きました - ウェビー賞でピープルズ・ボイス賞を受賞 ★ 「最高の

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