Fog Creek Software

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Fog Creek Software, Inc.
Industry Software
Founded 2000
Headquarters Manhattan, New York, NY, USA
Key people
Joel Spolsky
Michael Pryor
Products FogBugz
Fog Creek Copilot
Slogan N/A

Fog Creek Software is a software company specializing in project management tools. Its main products are FogBugz, a web-based project management tool; Fog Creek Copilot, a remote assistance tool; CityDesk, a desktop-based content management system; and Kiln, a source control and code review tool built around Mercurial and Git.

Based in New York City, Fog Creek was founded in 2000 as a consulting company by Joel Spolsky and Michael Pryor. As the consulting market started to dry up due to the collapse of the Dot-com bubble, Fog Creek moved to a product-based business, releasing FogBugz and CityDesk in 2001.[2]

In 2005, Fog Creek released Fog Creek Copilot, along with a documentary detailing the development process of the interns who created it.


One of the company's goals is to make the best programming work space possible. Its first large office, in Midtown Manhattan, was custom designed by architect Roy Leone. It featured angled walls to allow programmers a window next to their computer monitor to reduce eye strain.[3] Fog Creek's new offices, located in the Financial District of Manhattan have been similarly designed, this time with adjustable height standing desks, a library, and fully stocked kitchen.[4][5]

Stack Exchange[edit]

Main article: Stack Exchange

In 2008, Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky created Stack Overflow, a question-and-answer Web site for computer programming questions, which they described as an alternative to the programmer forum Experts-Exchange. In 2009, they started additional sites based on the Stack Overflow model: Server Fault for questions related to system administration and Super User for questions from computer "power users".[6]

In September 2009, Fog Creek Software released a beta version of the Stack Exchange 1.0 platform[7] as a way for third parties to create their own communities based on the software behind Stack Overflow, with monthly fees.[8] This white label service was not successful, with few customers and slowly growing communities.[9]

In May 2010, Stack Overflow was spun-off as its own new company, Stack Exchange Inc., and raised $6 million in venture capital from Union Square Ventures and other investors, and it switched its focus to developing new sites for answering questions on specific subjects,[9]


Main article: Trello

On July 2014, Fog Creek Software spun off Trello, a collaborative project management hosted web application, as its own company operating under the name of Trello, Inc.[10] The primary reason for the move was to attract new investors looking to invest in Trello alone as a product.


Fog Creek Copilot is a remote assistance service offered by Fog Creek Software. It launched on August 8, 2005.[11]

Originally known as Project Aardvark, Fog Creek Copilot was developed by a group of summer interns at Fog Creek Software. Fog Creek's founder, Joel Spolsky, wanted to give his interns the experience of taking a project through its entire lifecycle from inception, to mature released product.[12] The interns set up a blog, called Project Aardvark, where they posted updates on the progress of their project to the world. even though at that time the details of what they were working on was still a secret.

On July 1, 2005 the Project Aardvark team revealed that they were working on a remote assistance system for consumer use.[13]

Fog Creek Copilot uses a heavily modified version of TightVNC, a variant of Virtual Network Computing (VNC), as its core protocol. [14]

On November 7, 2005 they released a documentary on the interns' summer, titled Aardvark'd: 12 Weeks with Geeks, produced by Lerone D. Wilson of Boondoggle Films.[15]


  1. ^ Kiln - Version Control and Code Review Software
  2. ^ Livingston, Jessica (2007-01-22). "Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days". Apress. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  3. ^ Spolsky, Joel (2003-09-24). "Bionic Office". Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  4. ^ Spolsky, Joel (2008-12-29). "The New Fog Creek Office". Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  5. ^ Wilson, Claire (2009-02-07). "A Software Designer Knows His Office Space, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  6. ^ Clarke, Jason (August 20, 2009). "Super User - question and answer site for power users". DownloadSquad. AOL. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ Mager, Andrew (September 27, 2009). "Find the answer to anything with StackExchange". The Web Life. ZDNet. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ Oshiro, Dana (October 12, 2009). "StackOverflow Shares its Mojo: White Label Q&A for All". ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved January 1, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Kirkpatrick, Marshall (May 4, 2010). "All-Star Team Backs StackOverflow to Go Beyond Programming Questions". ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  10. ^ Pryor, Michael. "A Special Announcement: Trello is now part of Trello, Inc.". Trello Blog. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  11. ^ Spolsky, Joel (2005-08-08). "Project Aardvark Ships". Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  12. ^ Spolsky, Joel (2005-05-10). "First Post". Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  13. ^ Guez, Yaron (2005-07-01). "Full Disclosure". Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  14. ^ "Fog Creek Copilot - Technical Information". Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  15. ^ Spolsky, Joel (2005-11-07). "Aardvark'd DVD Goes on Sale". Retrieved 2009-01-08. 

External links[edit]