Big companies have “corporate mission statements”. This ain't one.
The App Store is a huge place, and as an independent studio, we rely a great deal on building a long term relationship with our customers: i.e. You
. However, you are a busy person, and have to wisely choose where you want to spend your valuable attention.
So, let me briefly share with you why we do what we do, and let you decide if you'd like to follow our work more closely.
Here's the tl;dr up front: We see the iPad as a personal creativity device, and we build Apps that help you organize your thoughts a little better, communicate a bit more effectively, and connect with others in new and interesting ways.
Here's an early “back-of napkin" Inkflow doodle that captures this as part of a larger Learn-Think-Communicate cycle:
In plain terms, what we do as human beings is:
- Discover and learn new things,
- Organize and assemble those things into new ideas (think & create),
- Represent and share those ideas with others (communicate & teach).
Nowadays, we do more and more of these things with the help of tools like our iPads.
Here's what's interesting about tablets: They allow us to represent and manipulate information in ways that more closely match our kinesthetic and mental models. And in so doing, let us extend
A simple example: When you first use Inkflow
, it's designed to look and work just like pen & paper. You can immediately use the many pen & paper tricks you already know. However, you quickly discover that there's a new trick you can incorporate: Moving and resizing anything you've written.
What follows are a series of “aha!" moments as you extend old techniques. For example, working on an annotation or sketch on the side and then moving it into place. While this is something you could never do with a pen & paper, it feels like a natural and obvious extension.
The iPad has now become not only a “magic” piece of paper, but also (if we do our jobs right) a seamless extension of your thought processes. Soon, you are doing things you could never before, and with greater impact.
If you think about it for a moment, pretty much everything we create with a computer is to help communicate ideas or information to someone else, or to our future selves.
We tend to think of “documents" as the things that we create, but what we are really doing is crafting a piece of communication, one that generally has an intended purpose: To entertain, inform, inspire, or provoke action.
In a connected society, the effectiveness of our communication
matters a lot.
What's an “electronic document" these days? Many of us might still think of text files, spreadsheets, images, and perhaps hypertext. But these forms of documents were created during the desktop computing era. They are in the process of evolving.
Certain things are clearly easier to do on a tablet than others. E.g. it's pretty hard to type out a long novel on an iPad vs. on a laptop, but it's far easier to sketch out a quick diagram.
More importantly, new forms of documents and communication are now possible
. What was once almost impossible is now easy.
, for example, lets you record videos of whiteboard-style presentations
, with just your iPad. This task is a perfect fit for the tablet form-factor, but would be very difficult and more expensive to do with a desktop or laptop. With new abilities come new opportunities.
We've barely begun to scratch the surface of what's possible with these methods of communicating. Even we can't predict all the ways these tools will be used, but one thing is for sure: Enterprising individuals will use these new methods to stand apart from the crowd, and to spread their ideas further.
These changes are exciting and full of possibility. They will also happen with or without us.
We are toolmakers at heart. We love making things that help you do what matters to you.
We are a small team, with limited but focused resources. So we need your help: If you like what we do, please let us know, and help us spread the word.
Getting feedback is important. Tell us what's working and what else you’d like to see. While we can't possibly do everything, it helps us prioritize our future work, so we do what has the most impact. i.e. what best increases your impact.
Please feel free to drop us a note anytime
We don't have a big ad budget, or even a modest one for that matter. Our “marketing" strategy is really simple: We'll put our energy in making great tools for you. If you like them, please tell a friend. That's it.
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