Picture this: you’ve typed out a complete paragraph expressing your brutally honest feelings to a certain person or you misread a contact and slipped up, sending the wrong message.
Now get this: What if there was a way you could take the message you wish you’ve never sent back, even before it reaches the other line. Well where there’s a will, there’s a way, and it started with entrepreneur, Maci Peterson.
Three years ago, Peterson made a bright idea into reality with the communications system, On Second Thought, a mechanism geared toward creating clarity through messages to match a person’s digital self, before messages are sent to the opposite party.
Peterson, 31, got the idea after sending a text she wished was never sent in the first place, to her ex-boyfriend. But from this experience, she gained the title as co-founder and CEO, with what started off as an app, before transitioning into a recall system that can be used on all platforms.
Whether it was running a lemonade stand, operating summer car washes or creating friendship bracelets and selling them, Peterson always had a drive toward originality and building on an entrepreneurial lifestyle. “My parents pushed us to be whatever we wanted to be, they were always very supportive.”
Ultimately graduating from California’s Chapman University, after transferring to Spelman and then returning to her original institution, Peterson said she was set on becoming a lawyer, inspired by her father’s occupation. “My dad said he became an attorney so we wouldn’t have to. This means he wouldn’t push us to do it and wanted us to follow our own dreams.”
Before that, she dipped into photography during her high school years, petitioning for honors courses as her passion grew, and even scored an internship with a Hip-Hop media outlet, taking photos at celebrity events.
But in the end as she stretched her interest in what else her creative mind wanted to explore, she took the opportunity during her sophomore year of college to jump back into her entrepreneurial instinct, creating her own magazine, Mwari, which means young woman, in Swahili. “My experience at Spelman was extremely transformative. I walked away with who I am as an individual, and what it meant to be a black woman in this world and the honor that goes with that.”
And the ideas didn’t stop rolling in, as they became equally as good, when Peterson had the opportunity to pitch her On Second Thought, messaging app at South by Southwest in Austin, TX. With no clue how she would even make it in time for the competition, being as it was expensive to make the trip.
“I walked away with who I am as an individual, and what it meant to be a black woman in this world and the honor that goes with that.”
But the blessings came graciously down, when Peterson was not only able to make her way to Austin, but also win first place in the pitch competition out of many other hopefuls, trying to change the game. Thus, producing the December 2014 launch, of the On Second Thought, app.
The app had raving reception, reaching over 190 countries and 100,000 users. Peterson and her team, wanted to focus on areas such as, ‘Ultra Mobile’ (taking back text messages) and ‘Social Pay’ (users can take back payments). “We realized the problem was much larger than we thought. 85% of Americans wished they could take back messages, 71% sent messages they wished they could take back and 11% said the wrong thing resulted in lost jobs, nearly 40% were willing to pay to fix this and 30% of dates were cancelled due to bad messages.”
Before Peterson knew it, through immense word of mouth promotion, consumers from other countries started reaching out in hopes of using the app and many media platforms in all areas such as the TODAY Show, NBC, Forbes and more, were making On Second Thought, the newest and most beneficial messaging technology, in the market.
“We realized the problem was much larger than we thought. 85% wished they could take back messages, 71% sent messages they wish they could take back, and 11% said the wrong thing that resulted in lost jobs, nearly 40% were willing to pay to fix this, and 30% of dates were cancelled due to bad messages.”
Also with the help of generous investments from Peterson’s family and friends, raising $150,000 for the first round, bringing in an even more promising raise in the second, with $500,000, kept the idea afloat with a starting financial platform, of around $750,000.
Peterson faced many challenges in the process of keeping her booming business afloat, but she wanted to make sure she had the right team around her, especially when most engineers thought taking back text messages, was nearly impossible.
Her ultimate goal being to deliver a product people deserve, and would need in the long-run, which dissed any doubts of the reception she would get from the app, knowing a lot of people within society, deal with scenarios where their communication, didn’t reach correctly. “Livelihood is at stake for mistakes and not being clear, and unclear messages are damaging the relationships we have with one another.”
Although she says On Second Thought is occupying most of her time, Peterson is excited for what’s coming for the new year, and we can’t wait either, for more black girl, innovative magic.