An Interview with Maci Peterson of On Second Thought

I had the pleasure of meeting Maci several years ago here in DC. Since then, we’ve shared laughs, drinks, dating horror stories, and now a love for the vibrant tech startup community. She’s adorbs, right?

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Photo credit:  Christine Ciszczon

Perhaps you recognize her. Last year, she made major headlines  about her last year when she won the Startup Oasis competition at SXSW Interactive with her new app, On Second Thought.

I sat down with Maci to talk about the exciting developments of 2014, and what she’s looking to do this year.

Quin Woodward Pu: How exactly does OST work?

Maci Peterson: On Second Thought (OST) is very easy to use. Once you’ve downloaded the app, go into the app Settings and check the box to make On Second Thought the ‘default SMS app.’ While in Settings, you can determine your Grace Period, the amount of time you have to ost (recall) a message–you can choose up to 60-seconds. Since On Second Thought is now their default messaging app, all text messages are sent and received through the app. Osting a message is as simple as swiping left to recall or right to delete. 

QWP: Alright, so we’ve all been in this position before. In fact, I probably should have osted back when I blogged about that guy on my 26th birthday. I was far too nice to him in my text.
What event finally pushed you over the edge to launch this app? Be honest–did you send a naked selfie to your boss?
MP: I actually dislike taking pictures of myself, so there haven’t been any naked selfies. I did, however, accidentally send a very embarrassing autocorrected message. I was supposed to meet up with a guy in Maryland, but I wanted to move our date to DC. I intended text him asking, “Are you in DC or are you in MD,” but autocorrect changed the message to, “Are you in DC or are you in me?” I was SOO embarrassed, but he, being the gentleman he is, responded by saying he was at his grandmother’s house in Maryland. What really pushed me over the edge to launch On Second Thought was winning 1st Place in a pitch competition at South by Southwest last March.
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QWP: How is OST unlike anything else in the marketplace right now?
MP: We’re the only app that lets you recall SMS and MMS messages in general, and text messages before they get to the other person’s phone. There are other messaging apps in our space, but they all handle chat/IM. We’re the only app that becomes users’ default messaging app.
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QWP: I’m also a minority woman in tech, working in an almost 100% male environment. I love it, both because I love men and because I love being a trailblazer. How will your experiences in the industry affect the way you grow your team, board, and partnerships?
MP: Diversity is the key to any great company. That being said, On Second Thought will hire and appoint the best
people for the given job. As long as we continue to work with the best people, we will naturally develop a thriving company.
QWP: Startup launches are almost like the new restaurant opening–high rate of failure and a seemingly ubiquitous number of wannabes. Where can we expect to see you this year, and where would you like be this time in 2016?
MP: We have some amazing opportunities in the queue for this year. Our goal is to meet our market where they are. That being said, this year you can expect to see On Second Thought integrated into the storylines of popular television shows and movies. We’re also working on some fun partnerships with lifestyle brands so you can stay tuned for those as well. This time next year, we hope to be known as a trusted company that has helped countless people save themselves from their messaging mistakes. We’ll continue to develop new, interesting features that will help our users save themselves from themselves and autocorrect. 
QWP: Most importantly, how do you think being the CEO of a startup related largely to accidental inappropriate texting affects your relationships with men? I’m asking this completely out of journalistic interest, and not for personal curiosity reasons…
MP: Of course you are 😉 If nothing else, my company will save me from accidentally asking men if they are in me when I mean to ask them if they are in Maryland.
Learn more at www.onsecondthought.co, and download the app from Google Play here.
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