Our Story, so far…

The Beginning of Ripple

“Nah, it sounds like a dumb idea.”

the view from my rooftop in Seattle, with a special appearance from my thumb!

We were sitting on my apartment rooftop watching the sunset. It was mid June, and we’d established this rooftop time as a summer routine.

For the past hour or so, we had been talking about social networks. Why do people share? Despite all the ‘sharing’ in our world, why is it still so hard to hear about events and news in my neighborhood, and my own block!?

Before we knew it, we started devising a new spin on sharing information. That is, before I cut us short….

“Nah, it sounds like a dumb idea. There are hundreds of ways to share something! Does the world really need another one?”

Three months later, we started working on it. A month later, I quit my job to focus on this idea full time.

The Ripple concept: people can spread a post to more people or dismiss it to never see it again

This “idea” was Ripple. It started with a simple question: what if there was a way to spread information to people nearest you, and have them decide if other people near them should see it?

What if posts could travel…like a ripple, and reach more and more people the further it spread?

So what?

By September, Ripple had been brewing in our heads for 3 months. We realized that:

  1. Ripple is a great way to spread relevant and engaging posts. A ripple (or post) only travels when people find it engaging enough to spread. Ripples that are relevant to a specific location would not travel far outside that community, while a globally engaging ripple could travel to people all over the world. This could be a great way to remove a lot of noise on the internet.
  2. Ripple is a boundless way of sharing something. Ripples aren’t limited to a list of followers or friends. Instead, a ripple simply diffuses through the ecosystem and and grows exponentially as people spread it. Ripple makes it easier to have one’s voice and opinion heard by more people.
  3. Ripple visualizes the impact each post has. “Likes” and “retweets” are one-directional measures of a post’s influence. With Ripple, we could show people maps that visualize where a ripple started, how far it travelled, what countries and cities it reached, where a ripple was most popular, and how it travelled. It’s mesmerizing to think about.

So we started coding it. Within weeks, we had a working prototype. A month later, I quit my job to work on this full-time. I was too excited not to devote time to it, and I saw it as a real challenge and learning opportunity.

We started our beta at the beginning of January 2015, and formally released Ripple at the end of February 2015.

We’re in the thick of discovering the potential Ripple has, how to reach more people, tell our story, and how to bring more value to our users. Every day is exciting, busy, nerve-racking, and filled with learning.

It’s been a helluva ride, and it’s but step one. We’ve had a great time taking this step with you, and are only looking forwards.

Here’s to the next leg of the journey.

Paul Stavropoulos
& the Ripple founders

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