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Our Story

The inspiration for Squid started when Andrew Hughes was a Computer Engineering student at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. He wanted to take digital handwritten notes in classes so he wasn’t limited by paper or notebook size, so he could save, backup, and share his notes, and so he could carry all his notes with him on a single device. Unfortunately, the technology of the day wasn’t up to the task. Tablet PCs left a lot to be desired.

Then came Android. Andrew enrolled in the first Android course offered at Cal Poly by David Janzen in January 2010. Andrew carried his ideas forward in his Master’s thesis where he added active pen support to Android.


In summer 2011, just after graduating from Cal Poly and getting married, Andrew started working on Papyrus (later renamed to Squid) as a member of Cal Poly’s first class of the CIE HotHouse Summer Incubator. He sought out David’s advice and eventually asked him to come on as a co-founder in Spring 2012. They formed Steadfast Innovation, LLC and launched Papyrus at the time of the first Samsung Galaxy Note device. Tony Lenz joined the team in Summer 2012 as the first contractor and later employee.


Steadfast Innovation quickly formed strategic partnerships with Samsung, Google, Nokia, Microsoft, and Qualcomm among others. Papyrus received awards, was featured in Google Play, and quickly grew in popularity.

In 2015, the ability to import PDFs was added, which was the most requested feature at the time. Later that year, after a large app design refresh to Material Design, Papyrus was renamed to Squid due to a trademark conflict. In order to keep improving Squid, a premium subscription was introduced in 2016.


One of the primary missions of Steadfast Innovation has always been to provide a better way to take digital handwritten notes in education. In the beginning of 2017, the first Chromebooks with Android and active pen support were released. These devices are perfect for education because of their low cost and versatility, and on top of that, they felt like they were made for Squid.

Meet the Team

Andrew Hughes

Founder & Chief Innovator

BS, Computer Engineering, Cal Poly

MS, Electrical Engineering, Cal Poly

David Janzen

co-Founder & Professor of Computer Science, Cal Poly

BS, Mathematics/Computer Science, Tabor College

MS, Computer Science, University of Kansas

PhD, Computer Science, University of Kansas

Tony Lenz

Lead Software Innovator

BS, Computer Engineering, Cal Poly

MS, Electrical Engineering, Cal Poly

Christina Alanis

Customer Success Specialist

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