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Thursday, July 21, 2005, 03:15 pm PT (06:15 pm ET)

Delicious Monster co-founder joins Apple interface team

Mike Matas, the young man behind Delicious Library's stunning graphical user interface, has accepted a position at Apple Computer where he will have the privilege of working on the development of the Mac OS X user interface.

In a posting to his blog on Thursday, Matas, 19, formally acknowledged that he would relocate from his native home in Seattle, Wash. to join the Mac maker in Silicon Valley. "I am moving to down to Cupertino, CA where I will be designing user interfaces and drawing icons for Mac OS X at Apple," the designer said.

In joining Apple, Matas will depart from Delicious Monster, a company he co-founded with Wil Shipley only a year ago. The first product of the company, Delicious Library, billed itself as "The greatest media cataloging software in the world," and instantly became a runway success.

Written by Shipley and graphically orchestrated by Matas, Delicious Library generated a $54,000 profit in its first day of sales last year with no formal advertising. Since then the software has moved on to win several awards and generate the company "a small fortune in its first six months," according to a presentation made by Shipley at this year's Apple developer conference.

It was also at the developers conference that Delicious Library took 1st place at the Apple Design Awards for 'Best Mac OS X User Experience' and runner up for 'Best Product New to Mac OS X."

"In the near term his leaving won't have much effect on Delicious Monster as a company," Shipley said of Matas in an interview with the DrunkenBlog. "We still have the same people answering e-mail and doing the website and running the store and helping write our software."

Despite Matas' departure, Delicious Monster will proceed with plans to release Delicious Library 2.0. The major update has been on the drawing board since the release of version 1.0, and in development since the release of version 1.5, Shipley said. He'll be working off designs created by Matas in completing the project.

Prior to forming Delicious Monster, both Matas and Shipley were employees of The Omni Group, which Shipley co-founded and helped lead for ten years. The software company originally developed software for the NeXTSTEP platform and now creates applications for Mac OS X. It was there that Shipley and Matas formed a relationship, Matas squeezing in hours around his high school curriculum.

"He's going to be on a team of really talented interface designers, so for him this is a great opportunity to grow and it's also an amazing chance for him to really influence the entire industry," Shipley said of Matas. "He was always able to challenge me and keep me thinking, and I think I've done some of my best work with him."

You can see a sample of Mike's graphical work at MikeMatas.com.