Chaotic Moon Studios
|Industry||Mobile apps |
|Founder||Ben Lamm |
whurley (William Hurley)
|Ben Lamm (CEO) |
Mike Erwin (CFO)
John Fremont (Chief Revenue Officer)
Chad Darbyshire (EVP Marketing)
C.K. Sample III (EVP Technology)
Ivan Cook (EVP Design)
Number of employees
Chaotic Moon Studios is an American creative technology studio focused on software, mobile development and design. Chaotic Moon was founded in 2010 in Austin, Texas. After several years of growth and acquisitions, Chaotic Moon opened a second Dallas location in 2015.
Chaotic Moon was founded in March 2010 by Ben Lamm, Whurley (William Hurley) and Mike Erwin. In 2012, they launched Chaotic Moon Labs, a research and development division that involved into BASE, their in-house innovation lab.
- March 2013 - Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor, in conjunction with their technology investment and equity partner Silver Lake Partners, announced that they had taken a significant position in Chaotic Moon Studios.
- July 2015 - Chaotic Moon was acquired by consulting and technology services company Accenture, as part of the company's interactive, social media and artificial intelligence division.
- August 2015 - Chaotic Moon announced development of Freewheel, a fitness tracker for wheelchairs. Freewheel uses Hall effect sensors, a barometer, a gyroscope and an accelerometer to measure speed, acceleration, distance, altitude, incline and decline. It also uses Bluetooth to transmit data and can connect to wearable devices for heart rate monitoring.
Culture and Strategy
The company’s website describes Chaotic Moon as not just a company, but a cult with a focus on being the best, a mantra that is exhibited in mural form in the lobby office. CEO Ben Lamm has spoken with the Huffington Post  about the importance of maintaining the creative edge and wrote an op-ed in the Austin Business journal  in which he described creativity as a culture, the need to take risks, and how to build, maintain and instill a brand within one’s employees.
Chaotic Moon’s software emphasizes overall user experience, while in terms of hardware, they claim to be agnostic, and develop cutting-edge products for all products The company has claimed to treat its client engagements like partnerships and partners solely with brands who are a good fit and align with Chaotic Moon’s forward-thinking vision and innovation focus.
While Chaotic Moon is reported to have many projects for high-profile clients under NDA, some of the brands they’re known to have worked with include News Corp Microsoft, Pizza Hut, Fox, CBS Sports, Sanrio, Betty Crocker, Starbucks, Best Buy, Groupon and Discovery Channel
Chaotic Moon has an in-house R&D team, known for their creative innovations. The team created the SmartestCart, a “smart” shopping cart capable of following the user around the store, making suggestions for the grocery list and meal ideas, keeping track of allergies and allowing the user to bypass the checkout line. The company also created Tech Tats, an exploration into the use of skin-mounted components and conductive paint to create circuitry that lives on the human body in the form of a tattoo that has the capability to collect, store, send and receive data. Chaotic Moon has created two fitness tracking apparatuses: Fitcoin, which paid the user for their workout in Bitcoin, and a fitness tracker for wheelchair users  that also gathers data that can be used for terrain mapping. Other notable projects include Sentiri, a proximity-sensing headband; Blue Eyes, a camera-equipped drone mounted to the roof of a police car that can take off and record an encounter from above; and a motorized skateboard, referred to as the Board of Awesomeness, that was showcased at South by Southwest in 2012. It reaches a top speed of 32 mph.
Games & Experiences
Among notable games that Chaotic Moon has created are two virtual-reality experiences. Shark Punch  combined the Leap Motion device with the Oculus Rift for a game in which users were immersed in a virtual environment where they fought off sharks. Death From Above  allowed for a two-player VR experience by combining a PC, manned by player one, running a virtual reality driving game, with an iPad, manned by player two, that communicates directly with the game in real time.
Chaotic Moon Studios has made a series of acquisitions since its inception in 2010. Two such public acquisitions were Dollar App and Symbiot Security. In May 2012, Chaotic Moon acquired Dollar App, a San Francisco-based mobile app developer founded in 2008 by Dom Sagolla. That same year, Dollar App developed Barack Obama’s official iPhone presidential campaign app. Dollar App became Chaotic Moon’s Bay Area satellite studio, with Sagolla staying on as chief product officer. Later in 2012, Chaotic Moon Studios purchased information and risk metrics security management company Symbiot Security. Symbiot, which was also co-founded by Hurley, previously specialized in providing information security for the US government and military, as well as corporate clients.
In July 2015, Chaotic Moon was acquired by consulting and technology service company Accenture.
- Schnurman, Mitchell (12 June 2015). "Dallas' startup scene gets a big lift from Austin's Chaotic Moon Studios". Dallas News. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- Susan Lahey, “Chaotic Moon is the quintessential Austin company,” Silicon Hills News, January 25, 2012.
- Anna Gonzalez, “Who’s Next: William ‘whurley’ Hurley,” CNN, March 23, 2011.
- Paul Bond, "WME Takes Stake in Mobile App Developer," The Hollywood Reporter, March 8, 2013.
- Sarah Buhr, "Chaotic Moon Sells To Accenture," TechCrunch, July 22, 2015.
- Anthony Ha, TechCrunch. “Chaotic Moon is Building a Fitness Tracker for Wheelchairs.” August 13, 2015. August 24, 2015.
- Brian Gaar, “Chaotic Moon attracting big-name mobile app clients,” Austin American-Statesman, March 20, 2011.
- Stacey Higginbotham, “The Mobile 15: Our picks for the most innovative companies,” GigaOM, September 18, 2012.
- Ben Lamm, “6 tips from an Austin CEO to build your amazing company,” Austin Business Journal, August 14, 2015.
- Phil Simon, “3 Tips for a Smarter Mobile Strategy,” Inc., September 10, 2012.
- Dara O Briain, “BBC One: Tomorrow’s Food” BBC One, November 30, 2015.
- Sarah Buhr, “Chaotic Moon Explores Biometric Tattoos For Medicine And The Military” Tech Crunch, November 23, 2015.
- James Stables, “Why FitCoin is the NikeFuel of the future” Wareable, March 19, 2015.
- Anthony Ha, “Chaotic Moon Is Building A Fitness Tracker For Wheelchairs” Tech Crunch, August 13th, 2015.
- Steve Dent, “Headband detects obstacles and guides the blind haptically” Engadget, November 13th, 2015.
- Mitchell Schnurman, “Drones don’t lie: Chaotic Moon puts eyes in the sky for traffic stops” Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine Dallas Morning News, September 18th, 2015.
- Joseph Volpe, “Punching virtual sharks for points with the Oculus Rift and Leap Motions” Engadget, March 7th, 2014.
- Michael Gorman, “Playing 'Death from Above' with Oculus Rift” Engadget, June 22nd, 2014.
- Sarah Drake, “Austin startup Chaotic Moon buys Dollar App,” Austin Business Journal, May 31, 2012.
- Michael Learmonth, “We Ask a Twitter Co-Founder, What’s Up With Fail Whale?” Advertising Age, October 20, 2009.
- “Dom Sagolla, DollarApp,” BBC News, July 5, 2010.
- Brian Gaar, “Austin app-maker Chaotic Moon expands into Bay Area,” Austin American-Statesman, May 30, 2012.
- “BMC’s William Hurley talks up open source,” Archived 2013-06-30 at Archive.today CIO, November 27, 2007.
- Matthew Fordahl, “Texas company wants to bring vigilante justice to cyberspace,” Seattle Times, June 21, 2004.
- Sarah Buhr, TechCrunch. “Chaotic Moon Sells to Accenture.” July 22, 2015. August 24, 2015.