WaveMetrics Under New Ownership
Wed, 08/31/2022 - 03:36 pm
Effective immediately, WaveMetrics is under new ownership. The new owner is Sutter Instrument.
I want to explain how this came to pass and what it means for the future of Igor. Please forgive my long-windedness but I think that our devoted users deserve a full explanation.
In 1987, my former boss and mentor, Larry Hutchinson, showed me an early version of software that he was working on which he called "Igor" as in "scientist's assistant". The software came on one 800K floppy disk and ran on my Mac Plus (upgraded from an original 1984 Macintosh) with 1MB of RAM and no hard drive. Despite the early nature of this software, it already had a command line, a procedure window, graphs, curve fitting, and other analysis operations.
I decided to quit my job and join Larry in a new software venture based on Igor. We shipped Igor 1.0 in early January of 1989. That same year we had the good fortune of hiring Tom Peterson and Jim Prouty, both of whom still work for WaveMetrics.
Igor became Igor Pro circa 1994. We had the additional good fortune of hiring John Weeks and AG, both of whom still work for WaveMetrics, in 1994. And our lucky streak continued with the hiring of Adam Light, who is also still with us, in 2009.
Over the decades, we devoted our efforts to continual improvement of Igor and were rewarded with a user base of bright people all over the world engaged in a vast range of scientific fields. Working with them, and feeling that we made a small contribution to their work, has been tremendously gratifying.
Now 35 years have passed since Larry handed me that floppy disk and we have blown past retirement age. We felt that WaveMetrics and Igor needed younger and more energetic leadership to continue to fulfill our obligation to our users. So we started to look for a potential buyer. Our main criterion was to find a buyer that would respect that obligation.
To make a long story short, the buyer is Sutter Instrument, a neuroscience company based in Novato, California which makes amplifiers, microscopes, micromanipulators, and imaging products. In addition to its long and distinguished history since its beginnings in 1974, Sutter has extensive experience with Igor Pro.
In 2015, Jan Dolzer and Greg Hjelmstadt of Sutter Instrument visited WaveMetrics World Headquarters in Oregon and explained that they were working on a patch clamp system using Sutter hardware and software based on Igor Pro. I noted at the time my impression from the meeting: "The company [Sutter] has a culture much like WaveMetrics - laid back and bending over backward to help customers."
Sutter assembled a team of experts to work on the Igor-based SutterPatch software. It is still under continual development and represents one of the largest and most-sophisticated Igor-based software projects. Our work in providing technical support for SutterPatch development gave us the opportunity to observe Sutter's dedication and inventiveness.
Larry and I are optimistic that this change of ownership will strengthen Igor and ensure its long-term viability. We wish Sutter nothing but success.
And finally, we are very grateful to our users, especially to the old-guard who have been with us for virtually the whole ride. Thank you.
LHR Software, Inc. (formerly WaveMetrics, Inc.)