An illustration of an elephant.


Can we help make hiring more humane?

Limbo was an anonymous job platform. We made it to make tech recruiting more humane. Chris came to me with the idea and an early prototype and invited me to join him as a partner. I wrote more about our beginnings in Starting Something New.

Note: When we shut down in 2019 we took the site, pattern library, and blog offline. One of these days we'll get a static archive up somewhere.

  • Hats worn

    Co-founder, product, design, front-end

  • Code used

    HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python/Django

  • Continuum

    The Web

  • Timeframe


  • Status

    We shut down in 2019

A partial screenshot of the Limbo home page

We were trying something different with Limbo. Chris and I were eager to see something in tech recruiting that we hadn’t seen before so we set out to create it. We also wanted to start a business on our terms. A business where growth for the sake of growth wasn’t the goal.

We don’t have an exact count, but we know we helped a handful of companies find quality candidates that made it to interview processes and a few hires from those. At the beginning I said I’d be happy if we could help make one hire. We did that and then some.

In March 2018 we moved Limbo to side project status to allow us to move on to other opportunities. Chris wrote his thoughts about it.


Our approach to business allowed us to focus on designing a slow product. Not slow in terms of our speed of production. Slow meaning the product doesn’t beg for customers’ attention every minute. We designed Limbo to encourage candidates to take their time and think about what type of work would make them happy. We designed Limbo to slow hiring managers down to really think what qualities they need to see in a potential team member. Limbo is a tool for accomplishing tasks, not a thing to engage.

A partial screenshot of the Limbo Pattern Library

Pattern Library

From early on, we iterated on the design in browsers. To help that process we built and maintained a pattern and component library.

We didn’t use any fancy tech for it. The first iteration of the library was a single HTML file with no styles. We built it up from there as we moved along and learned more about our needs.


I’m a little old-fashioned when it comes to web tech. From the start, I wanted Limbo to embrace progressive enhancement. I think all sites–or apps–should strive for that. Limbo in particular is a site that can and should function without JavaScript. With that, I worked with Chris to make sure we had backend support for template rendering, form posts, and the like. For each site addition we’d identify the core functionality that had to work without JS and go from there.

Our JavaScript setup consisted of custom state handling, jQuery, Gulp, Rollup.js, Babel, and Prettier. The JS was light on-purpose. We wrote the minimum amount to get the task at hand done and not a line more.

Chris handled the infrastructure and server-side work. Limbo was built with Python/Django and runs on AWS by way of Elasticbeanstalk. We made use of Elasticsearch for our Profile search capabilities.


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