A Rough Day At The Office

In an attempt to perfect ETA prediction, the Twist team took Twist the racetrack yesterday.

We uncovered a couple of flaws:

  • Twist doesn’t account for spinouts while driving.
  • Twist doesn’t account for T-boning your colleagues.

But we also verified that Twist is not too shabby already:

  • Repeated laps around the track does indeed get more and more accurate on a per-driver basis!
  • It’s a damn good thing Twist works automatically, in the background, while you drive.  Attempting to use your phone on the track will result in injury to your phone (if you’re lucky) or you (if you’re not lucky!)

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Twist Smokes Out Competition with New Feature for 420

Mobile app provides ETA for traveling to and from network of San Francisco dispensaries to help marijuana patients arrive on time

San Francisco, Calif. – April 1, 2013Twist, the free app on Android and iOS that lets people know when you’re on your way, today announced that every San Francisco marijuana dispensary will be a point of interest within the app by April 20, 2013, popularly known as the 420 holiday. Twist users will be able to navigate to each of the 38 San Francisco dispensaries, let contacts know when they’ll arrive –  by providing an estimated time of arrive (ETA) –  and preview each dispensary on Yelp!

“Medicinal marijuana prescriptions and appointments are just as important as primary health care,” said Twist CEO Bill Lee. “Adoption rates among the 420-friendly culture has always been, well, high! But the effort necessary to find an address and plug it into Twist can cause undue anxiety and stress. With this feature, we’re simply streamlining the process; users can now find the right dispensary, get directions, and coordinate hangouts, all within the app.”

Twist is the mobile app that texts your arrival time to your 420-friendly friends, and updates your ETA if you get distracted en route. Twist’s proprietary Twist Time Platform for ETAs accounts for traffic, multiple modes of transportation, and even a mellow driving style to create highly accurate arrival estimates. These ETAs can be sent within the app or via SMS to any person in your contact list. In addition, Twist users can read Yelp! reviews prior to arriving and post their destination to Facebook and Twitter.

Traditionally aimed at highly productive personalities – those affected most by tardiness – Twist now seeks to engage a less ambitious demographic.

Says Bill Lee: “Twist is the perfect app for letting others know when you are on your way. It would be foolish of us not to target the demographic that is ‘chronic’-ly late.”

San Francisco is one of the most progressive pot cities in the U.S. From the Summer of Love in Haight Ashbury – which Hunter S. Thompson termed “Hashbury” – to the Moscone act of 1976 – which made marijuana possession a misdemeanor and not a felony – San Francisco has established itself as one of the most 420 friendly cities in the world.  The Daily Beast lists San Francisco among its Top Pot Smoking Cities and CoEd magazine ranks it as the best city to celebrate 4/20.

 Why 420

Today, April 20th, otherwise known as 420, is a world-wide weed word, but the history of the term is more humble. Despite rumors to the contrary, 420 is neither a police code, the number of chemicals in the plant, nor the traditional tea-time in Holland. Instead, the term was coined by four high school friends in San Rafael California who, after hearing about an abandoned marijuana farm, met each day at 4:20p.m. to smoke up and search for the forgotten stash. Before long, the boys were using the code 420 to describe all marijuana activities. When the Grateful Dead adopted the term, 420 went national, and when High Times Magazine adopted it, 420 went global.

Today, 420 has become a part of the national consciousness. 4:20 has a Wikipedia page, Craigslist renters search for “420-friendly roommates,” and April 20th ‘smoke-outs’ across the country draw cannabis connoisseurs by the thousands.

For more information visit www.twist.com, or to download the app go to Google Play or the App Store.

About Twist™
Twist is the easiest and most accurate way to let people know when you will arrive. Twist’s innovative scheduling system accounts for traffic, different modes of transportation and your own habits when estimating your arrival time. If you are delayed, Twist will automatically send an update to your predetermined contacts to let them know your current location and ETA.

Whether it’s meeting up with friends, coordinating pick-up times, or rushing to an urgent business appointment, Twist makes life easier by notifying those you select of your exact arrival time and eliminating the stress and headaches caused by uncertain wait times and travel delays. Twist, it’s about time!

The Longest Twist

We get a lot of folks asking us what the longest twist in history is, so we decided to find out. What we uncovered may startle and surprise you, so be warned…

Brian and Lisa Anderson might seem like the typical happy young professional couple, but in the world of antique pens, they are entirely something else. Yes, it’s that Anderson of Anderson Pens fame. They actually got married at the Chicago Pen Show in 2010, and now travel to every pen show in the United States (15 in total, at least one every month except for December) spreading the love and passion they have for writing instruments.  

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Enter Twist. Says Brian: “We have friends from all over the world which we meet at the shows, and while most of them think we are absolutely crazy for doing the driving we do (will be 30,000 miles this year for pen shows alone, they want to make sure we reach our destinations safely… or know to come and raid our tables when we arrive!”

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Brian discovered Twist one afternoon while bored out of his mind at an old IT job reading a Lifehacker article. “I thought it was a terrific way to let my wife know when I was going to be home (I had a 35-40 minute commute at the time),” recalls Brian. “Then Lisa started twisting me when she would pick me up from work on the way to a show. I started spreading the word about how cool this app was to my pen (collecting) pals, and then they started requesting we twist them when on the road.”

Is it any wonder this crazy antique pen loving couple were on the mark for the longest twist? “Our longest trip — thus far — was from Appleton, WI (our home) to Los Angeles. It took us 33 hours to get there and 37 to get back, driving straight through. Lisa and I trade off driving on long trips like this, but I usually get stuck with the 3am shift.” 

Sorry Brian, we unfortunately don’t have an app for that. 

Top 10 Songs to Listen to While Twisting

Whether you’re coming or going, you’re on the way to somewhere. And on that journey we call Life, it’s pretty darn important to have a soundtrack. Heretofore are the unofficial Top 10 Twist tunes to get you from Point A to Point B, no app required:

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1. The Twist by Chubby Checker. The original twister. So good that he could only follow it up with a sequel

2. Twist & Shout by The Fab Four aka The Beatles. The birth of rock ‘n’ roll started with this fab pop hit. 

3. Time Is On My Side by The Rolling Stones. Mick & Keith knew that time is all we have, and who controlled it came up on top. 

4. Twistin’ the Night Away by Sam Cooke. Yeah, Rod Stewart covered it, but Sam did it right the first time around. 

5. Waiting On A Friend by The Rolling Stones. Sometimes it’s a lover, but more often it’s just your best pal, hopefully coming by with pack of smokes.

6. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper. “If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me…” Wonder if she’s using the iPhone or Android version?”

7. Right Here Waiting For You by Richard Marx. “Wherever you go, whatever you do…” Ok, that’s a little creepy, Dick, but if you just want to know her arrival time we can help with that. 

8. If I Could Turn Back Time by Cher. Yet more proof that every minute counts. She laments, “I didn’t want to see you go,” but with Twist she could have requested his ETA. 

9. I Don’t Want To Wait by Paula Cole. “For our lives to be over?” Drastic, but when it involves Dawson and Pacey, things can get dramatic. 

10. Remember The Time by Michael Jackson. A underrated gem from MJ, with a video featuring Eddie Murphy and Magic Johnson. Ok, we just like this song. 

Did we miss your essential song about time, waiting for someone, or arriving? Email us! 

Request a Twist (or why Paul Westerberg will have to write a new hit single)

How many times have you found yourself waiting for someone to show up? Whether it’s a too busy busy colleague, a potential date or just that perpetually late friend (you know the one), our improved request feature (on the iPhone for now) now lets you request a twist and know exactly when they will arrive!
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Say you had plans for happy hour at 5:30pm and it’s 5:40. Where’s that girl? You whip out Twist, and send her a request to this particular watering hole. She gets a message on her phone (whether she has the app or not) and taps on a link to share her ETA. Now you know she’s not just “on my way” but where she is now and how many minutes it’ll be before she shows up.  

So Paul Westerberg, while you’re still a timeless pop rock icon, we hate to say it but your hit “Waiting for Somebody" just doesn’t make sense anymore. No more cryin’ or waitin’, Paul.

Twist’in at Mobile World Congress

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In an effort to always stay on top of the latest tech trends, Twist was lucky enough to have our own Chris Prouty reporting live from one of the biggest tech events of the year, AND helping some of our favorite journalists sooth the typical event coordination headaches by showing off Twist!  

Here’s what he had to say:

"Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain is always considered THE event to showcase the newest chipsets and hardware for mobile devices. Or at least that’s what the 70,000 attendees from around the world believe. This year was no exception, as practically every Android phone showcased a 5-inch (or up to 6.2!), 1080p display; a quad-core processor; and advanced camera features. image

OS systems were also being showcased outside of the Android and iOS; everyone from Firefox, Ubuntu and others are hoping that developers (and consumers) will tire of the big guys in the operating space. The place was abuzz with people rushing around, snapping photos, writing, making deals, and haughtily taking note of their competitors.

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What was unusual was that while there was a competitive focus on interactivity with the phone and the next generation of OS, there was a lack of features that helped the mobile user with their daily lives. Where was the scheduling assistance that came standard with the phone? Or the social navigation system? It’s one of the few times that while you see everyone rushing around to their next power meeting,

With massive events like this, it’s common see and often get elbowed by the savvy journalist or eager product managers sprinting to their next power meeting. Big deals being made, stories being scooped and little focus on time management and what all this technology that we have built can do to make sure we don’t swing open a door 15 mins late to a meeting of ornery executives.”

Gracias, Chris! 

Twist hangs with HighTechDad!

We were so excited when HighTechDad covered Twist that we couldn’t resist “twisting” things around and inviting Michael Sheehan in for some of our own Q&A (with interviewing credits to Nish Nadaraja)

Nish: What was the driving factor in starting HTD?

Michael: A long time ago, I had wanted to write a book on how to do things. It was going to be a how-to guide for technology. However, with 3 small kids and a full time job, I didn’t have the time to go down that path. Right around that time, blogging was really starting to take off and I decided that was going to be my medium for providing helpful information. Over the years, I found a niche, essentially, “where technology and fatherhood collide…”

Nish: As a Dad myself, I’m curious about whether your own kids have smart phones yet? How do you talk to them about which apps are ok to download?
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Michael: All of my daughters have iPhones. As I tend to be an early adopter when I can, they get my previous versions of hardware (once I upgrade). With iOS devices, we have a single account for all purchases. They do not have the password for that account (only my wife and I do). That way, they have to come to us to ask if they can install a new app. I always talk to them about why they want a particular app, if they have read any of the reviews (trying to teach them how to be smart in their “purchases”) and if there are in-app purchases (we are wary of those!).  

Nish: Definitely wary and scary. How do you see your kids interacting with technology?

Michael: Technology is a part of everything now. While you don’t want to be too open and just allow unfettered access to everything, you probably shouldn’t say “no” to everything. I recently watched a TED video with my youngest daughter (9) that took a different approach to explaining science. It’s critical this day and age that kids don’t fear technology and that they know how to use it smartly and safely. Otherwise, if they suddenly get access without any guidance, the dangers are potentially severe. But it is a communication and learning process, one that parents need to regularly do WITH their children.

Nish: If you could twist with one person, living or dead, whom would it be?

Michael: Without saying anyone specific, I think it would be interesting to twist with an explorer. Think Christopher Columbus or Neil Armstrong or someone going to a place that requires a long journey with discovery along the way. This might be a “new frontier” for Twist as you would only be able to vaguely set a “destination” (e.g., Mars), but you could track the progress, see the route and stay up to date along the way.

Nish: I’ll send that to the fellas in engineering! Who are some Dads, famous or otherwise, that you think have figured out how to be the best Dad in this high-tech world of ours?

Michael: Well I have to say the Cast of Dads (www.castofdads.com) who I do a podcast with!

Nish: Ha, stellar answer, thanks for coming by Twist HQ, and of course glad that you twisted here!

In the Studio: Bill Lee talks shop about Mobile Apps and Angels!

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Hearts out to TechCrunch: Bill was on “In the Studio” yesterday with Semil Shah chatting about everything from running a venture-backed company to an acquisition, to investing in “some of the most iconic and bold consumer-technology companies in the past decade”, to then “going back to the well again to run” this little thing we call Twist.