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Maci Peterson is Co-Founder and CEO of On Second Thought - a messaging app that let’s you delete or edit SMS and MMS messages after you've hit 'send.'  Named ‘Tech’s Newest Innovator’ by Essence Magazine and included in Washington Business Journal’s ’40 Under 40,’ Maci is using her business savvy and background in marketing to provide innovative technology solutions for her generation.  On Second Thought won first place at SXSW’s annual pitch competition #StartupOasis in 2014, was named as ‘The Texting Savior’ by AT&T, and ranked #1 on Vice Magazine’s list of 5 apps beating Uber and Tinder.  Find out why Maci believes all women can work in STEM fields, her lessons learned as an entrepreneur, her funding advice, and how you can be smart like Maci.

Click here to download On Second Thought for Android or join the iOS beta

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You have a purpose, voice, and perspective that can change the world.

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On Second Thought

What is the text message regret that gave you the idea for On Second Thought?

I’ve had many text regrets that could have inspired the idea for On Second Thought, but one incident in particular made me realize I had to create this app.  My ex-boyfriend called several times and for some reason I missed all of his calls.  I texted him back saying, ‘Hey, for some reason I keep missing your calls.’  But auto-correct changed the text to ‘Hey, for some reason I keep missing your (that part of his anatomy that rhymes with calls).’  That was the embarrassing last straw I needed to create On Second Thought in order to recall and delete text messages.

How can we delete or edit a text message on second thought?

On Second Thought is very easy to use.  Simply swipe right to delete your message or left to edit the message.  Whether you’ve accidentally sent a text to your boss meant for your spouse, or auto-correct has changed your text, On Second Thought can undo those mistakes within seconds after hitting ‘send.’

Can you share a few success stats for On Second Thought users?

We’re extremely proud of the success we’ve had and the service we provide to our users.  On Second Thought has been downloaded over 44,000 times and used over 1,000,000 times.  20% of all messages sent through the app are recalled or edited and the average user sets their ‘grace period’ recall time as 10 seconds after pressing ‘send.’  On Second Thought has a 100% success rate of recalling or editing your desired texts and was named ‘The Texting Savior’ by AT&T, #1 on Vice Magazine’s list of 5 app beating Uber and Tinder, and won 1st place at Women Who Tech Startup Challenge, #StartupOasis at South by Southwest, and The Innovators Classic sponsored by AT&T.

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Even if you don’t have a technical background, you can work in the tech industry.
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What are your favorite message recall examples from On Second Thought users?

There are countless examples of message mistakes and text recalls for OST users.  A few of my favorite examples include:

'Are you by chance in the city or in me? I mean MD.' - Sent before a first date.

'Hey bastard, are you going to send me the pictures?' - Auto-correct changed pastor to bastard.

'What’s the best part about having sex with 28 year olds?' - Text joke sent to the wrong person.

All of these text messages could have been deleted or edited before they reached the recipient with On Second Thought app.

What is the most effective way to market to millennials?

The most effective way to market to Millennials is to understand their unique and diverse interests and behaviors.  Millennials crave what is authentic and relevant–and the key to success is to prove you’re both.  My advice for effective marketing is to have a clear value proposition and speak to your customers in a way that communicates you truly understand the issue your product solves.  This approach is what has made On Second Thought successful and relevant for our users.

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On Second Thought can undo those mistakes within seconds.

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Manage your Message

How did your background prepare you to run a technology company?

I’m the non-technical co-founder of a tech company (I majored in Public Relations and Advertising).  Since I don’t know how to code anything beyond a rudimentary website, I brought on two co-founders with technical backgrounds—one leads development and the other leads design.  I’ve had a diverse career ranging from entrepreneurship to journalism, and from Hollywood to working for a major corporation.  Altogether, the relationships, experiences, and skills I’ve acquired along the way have made me uniquely qualified to run this groundbreaking tech company.  While I’m young, my faith in God has also given me the confidence and assurance necessary to pursue my dream with abandon.

What have been your biggest lessons learned as a female entrepreneur?

My biggest lessons learned as an entrepreneur thus far include:

1.     Pray like your life and business depend on it.

2.     Operate and govern yourself with integrity, no matter the stakes.

3.     Surround yourself with people who know more than you.

4.     When bringing on partners or staff, set the expectation that everyone deserves to work with the best.

5.     Don’t be afraid to pivot.

What can we do to increase the number of women in tech?

Any woman who is interested in a career in STEM should go for it.  Don’t let anyone make you feel inadequate or let quiet intimidation deter you.  You deserve to learn and grow in this field like everyone else.  You have a purpose, valuable voice, and perspective that can change the world.  Even if you don’t have a technical background, you can work in the tech industry.  There are plenty of non-technical jobs available in marketing, finance, legal, and business development departments.  If you want to get a technical job, but still need the skills, enroll in classes at your local General Assembly.  They have phenomenal programs that will equip you for the jobs you desire.

What is the best funding advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?

I received the advice, ‘The best investors are the easiest to work with.’  This means they’re straightforward, honest and won’t give you the runaround.  They respect your time, business and will act from that position.  Don’t be afraid to part ways with an investor.  Be intentional and look for smart money—funding that comes from investors who also have the relationships and experience to advance your business initiatives.   

What should women in tech and digital media know to be smart like you?

Don’t let anyone make you think you’re inadequate or unworthy of the amazing things God has for you.  I spent most of my early-twenties under a cloud of unworthiness, and it was blocking me from experiencing the abundant life and full purpose God has for me.  Like Mark Batterson said, ‘God doesn’t always call the qualified, He qualifies the called.’  You were made to be fearless and you were fearfully and wonderfully made. 

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My advice for effective marketing is to have a clear value proposition.

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Don’t let anyone make you feel inadequate or let intimidation deter you.

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Meet Maci Peterson

Neighborhood: Russian Hill

Occupation: Entrepreneur

Women I Admire: Willa Peterson (My mom) and Mary Bush

Dream Mentor: Troy Carter

Favorite Store: Amazon.com

Must-have Shoes: Tory Burch ballet flats

Favorite Nail Polish: Zoya

Salon Recommendation: Cole Stevens Salon, Washington, DC

Cocktail of Choice: Whiskey Apple Cider

Travel Destination: South Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia

Best Advice: 'You’re not married, you don’t have kids and you don’t have any real responsibilities. You have a dream, go for it. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, your mom and I are here to catch you.' – Gerry Peterson (my dad)

Favorite Quote: 'If both of us agree on everything, one of us is unnecessary.' – Henry Frank Elmore (my great-grandfather)

De-Stress Technique: Pray, journal, and read my Bible

On My Playlist: Good Good Father by Housefires, My Soul Longs for You by Jesus Culture

Favorite App: On Second Thought

College / University: Chapman University (graduated), Spelman College (attended)

Sorority: Alpha Phi 

 

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