EVERY STORY HAS A NAME
FiftyThree’s story began with Paper. What began with three guys building an app out of a New York City apartment has gone on to become one of the most celebrated applications on iOS, defining mobile creativity and winning Apple’s 2012 iPad App of the Year. Paper embodied our belief that technology should support the human need to create. It’s a beautifully simple app that lets anyone capture their ideas and share them over the web. For millions of creators around the world, Paper is where they call home for their ideas—100 million, in fact, over the last two years. Paper has come to represent endless creative potential, and we couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to our story.
Stories have twists.
So it came as a surprise when we learned on January 30th with everyone else that Facebook was announcing an app with the same name—Paper. Not only were we confused but so were our customers (twitter) and press (1,2,3,4). Was this the same Paper? Nope. Had FiftyThree been acquired? Definitely not. Then, what’s going on?
We reached out to Facebook about the confusion their app was creating, and they apologized for not contacting us sooner. But an earnest apology should come with a remedy.
Stories reveal character.
There’s a simple fix here. We think Facebook can apply the same degree of thought they put into the app into building a brand name of their own. An app about stories shouldn’t start with someone else’s story. Facebook should stop using our brand name.
On a personal level we have many ties to Facebook. Many friends, former students and colleagues are doing good work at Facebook. One of Facebook’s board members is an investor in FiftyThree. We’re a Facebook developer, and Paper supports sharing to Facebook where close to 500,000 original pages have been shared. Connections run deep.
What will Facebook’s story be? Will they be the corporate giant who bullies their developers? Or be agile, recognize a mistake, and fix it? Is it “Move fast and break things” or “Move fast and make things”?
We’re all storytellers. And we show care for each other by caring for our stories. Thanks for supporting us.
Co-Founder and CEO
Our inboxes often seem to be our worst enemies. “Lost in my junk mail folder” is the new “dog ate my homework”. We strive for the mythical inbox zero, but we seem to be losing the battle of the inbox bloat.
Let’s trying something different: How about creating your perfect inbox?
When you wake up tomorrow morning, what 5 amazing opportunities would you like to find in your inbox?
For me, I’d love to sing the Lions fight song at Ford Field or deliver a TED talk on the virtue of pissing people off or work with the BW3 leadership team (seriously, why hasn’t anyone introduced bacon wrapped wings yet) or collaborate with Sir Richard on Plan B or brainstorm big ideas for Apple retail on the chairlift between ski runs.
Dream big: Business? Pleasure? Now think: What actions should I take to make these emails actually appear one day. Adjust your to do lists accordingly.
It’s a fun exercise to add to your goal list or vision board. If you have photoshop and five minutes, use this perfect inbox template to create a pretty version for yourself.