We’ve all been there: tapping our touch screen phones at a mile a minute only to realize what you meant to say somehow got lost in translation. Like auto-correct turning “call” into “ball?”
So much for technology, right? That’s what the co-founder and CEO of “On Second Thought” app, Maci Peterson thought when the text message she sent to her ex boyfriend went from “Sorry I keep missing your calls” to “Sorry I keep missing your balls.” Embarrassed, Peterson made her dreadful mistake into the ultimate gain. “On Second Thought” allows users to retract a text message up to 60 seconds after sending it. “It’s what I like to call ‘text regret,'” she told Vixen.
Here, the marketing strategist-turned-brand manager-turned technically savvy entrepreneur dishes on how she built her company off of an embarrassing text, how “On Second Thought” compares to competitors and more. –Ashley Monaé
VIBE: How does one come up with the idea of such a life saving app like “On Second Thought?”
Maci Peterson: It’s such a crazy story (laughs). It all really stemmed from a text message that I sent and well auto-correct intervened, and made my text a lot different from what I was actually trying to say.
What did the text say?
I was responding back to a text my ex had sent me. It was supposed to read, “Sorry I keep missing your calls,” but “Sorry I keep missing your balls” was what it read instead. I was so embarrassed (laughs). In that moment, I wished there was something that could have undone the situation, but hey things happen.
What a blessing in disguise. Were there not any apps out that catered to your situation?
I don’t believe so. We are actually the first messaging app that lets you take messages back before they get to the other person’s phone.
Did you know about the fictional app that forbids you from calling your ex on the HBO series, Girls?
I love Girls but I don’t remember that episode. But you know, that’s the thing about “On Second Thought” and the idea in general is that it’s a thought that everyone has had at some point. People are always like, “Oh man I wish I could get that message back.” We just happen to be the one’s who have done it.
So what about the apps makes it so cutting edge?
While most messaging services service more of an instant messaging type of chat we are dealing with your actual texts, and with OST only the sender needs to have the app for it to work. You are given up to 60 seconds to retract your message after sending it. It’s what I like to call “text regret.” Also, with OST you can set a curfew for texts. So let’s say you know it’s going to one of those nights and you’ll be out and partaking in libations, you can set a curfew where your messages are basically housed on your phone until that next morning. We have a lot more planned for OST, but for now these are it’s moving parts.
So OST is more than just an app.
Of course. We’re building more than just an app, we want to be the ultimate messaging destination. My team and I have really had a blast creating OST. It’s amazing when people are like, “You really saved me last night.”
You have a professional background in marketing, but is there a full team behind you that helps you with all the technical aspects?
My team is awesome. Even though we are all located in various cities we are a close network. I’m good on basic HTML coding, but that’s about it. It’s all a collaborative effort of ideas and thoughts and then we all focus on our specialities. The demand for the app is crazy right now. I honestly couldn’t imagine having a better team.
In May of 2014, OST won 1st place at the Start Up Oasis at SXSW. How was that moment for you?
I was like “Praise God!” It was one of those divine moments that was beyond fulfilling. The app was something that the public and myself wanted and I was able to create it for them. It really feels great.
How can people get OST?
You can download it for free on Google Play, and with the download we give you nine text recalls for free per month. Once those nine calls are depleted it costs $1.99 for unlimited recalls for the month or $9.99 for unlimited recalls for the year. We wanted people to feel comfortable using it without breaking the bank. We want to be accessible to everyone.
Photo Credit: Maci Peterson