Featured on Nov 22, 2010
"Strangers are the new black."
Amanda Peyton is the co-founder of MessageParty. She's a recent MIT grad and Y Combinator alumni.
- Title: Co-founder of MessageParty
- Age: 27
- Location: Williamsburg
- Contact: http://amandapeyton.com/
You built MessageParty at Y Combinator this past year. Can you name a couple moments during your time at YC that really stick out?
1. When you live with your cofounders, you learn a lot of stuff that you wouldn't otherwise. My cofounder Jason had all these amazing one-liners so we started a top-secret Twitter account halfway through the summer. It's still a source of high entertainment for us.
2. Our summer sublet had no working toilet for the first 2 weeks of YC. It eventually got fixed but I thought this was a great sign - what better way to "rise up from nothing" than starting out in a house with no plumbing? Our current office has a great bathroom. Gotta appreciate the little things.
You made the switch from a free blog to a paid email Newsletter (http://letter.ly/amanda) back in July, which you wrote about quite extensively as your last post on http://savemefrombschool.com. Has the change gone as well as you had hoped and are you glad that you did it?
It's both good and bad. I do like the email medium and the people I have met/interacted with through my newsletter are amazing, but sometimes I miss the randos that would find my blog and comment.
In your opinion, who is the one person here in New York that we should all keep our eyes on for great things to come in 2011?
Bloomberg. No joke. I think he really respects the entrepreneurial community in NYC and will continue to contribute to it over the next year.
The idea for your startup, MessageParty, came at a music festival. Obviously there are a lot possible scenarios where MessageParty can be used. What's the best one (or your favorite) that you've heard of thus far?
Someone suggested using MessageParty at airport security lines to let people discuss TSA stuff as it's happening. I thought that was pretty brilliant. The possibilities for interacting with strangers in new ways is really exciting to me.