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
A story beautifully told.
Dueling bios on a recent conference submission.
What is there to say about Robin2go? She is loud. She is a chewy center of enthusiasm,wrapped in a shiny candy coating of laughter. She has an uncanny ability to build community around her just by walking into a room. She’s notorious in the higher ed community, as inescapable as her brilliantly red hair, favors authenticity over political correctness, and can tie any lesson to a Firefly quote. Her career highlights include having a job that pays her to play with technology and people, and that, for some unknown reason, people invite her to speak at conferences on the user experience, community engagement, social networking, and knitting.
Also, she can kill you with her brain.
My co-presenter’s bio:
What is there to say about Erin? She’s nowhere near as loud as Robin. Her humor is dry, and usually focused on tripping Robin up before she knows what hit her. A learning designer with the John A. Dutton Institute at Penn State, her main focus is on online course design and development for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Her passion is working to understand preferred learning methods and technology use in education in order to enhance learning outcomes. Unlike Robin, Erin is a natural strawberry-blonde and will woo you with her Irish charm.
If we actually get accepted, I’m never going to hear the end of it.
@Robin2go I like your attitude. It’s highly combustible and seems wedded to an almost ethereal shamelessness. These are good qualities.