Great ideas are Obvious in retrospect.
The Obvious Corporation is more of a philosophy than a company or product. We focus our long term view on ideas and technology that can be generally described as “world positive.” When opportunities resonate with our worldview, we do what makes sense to help them succeed. So far, a small portfolio of companies across a variety of disciplines and a vision for how publishing could be improved have grabbed our attention.
From a practical standpoint, Obvious is a small company in downtown San Francisco, CA. Most of the folks working in this office are focused on a product called Medium. However, we have dedicated resources—not just in the form of capital but also in the form of “roll up our sleeves and help out” to a group of philosophically aligned people and organizations. Karma, Branch, Lift, Beyond, and Neighborland are examples of how we've chosen to get involved with other projects.
Obvious has been around for several years. Few people realize that Obvious was, at one point, the parent company of Twitter—a project we saw as meaningful and worth a commitment of resources. Whether the companies we help stay with us or take another path, depends entirely on what makes the most sense. Twitter has long since fledged, Karma sold to Facebook, Branch moved to New York City with Jason, and the Lift team still sits elbow to elbow with us here at the office.
Ev, Jason, me, and the fantastic group of folks who have joined us, share a belief that technology is capable of unlocking vast quantities of human potential. Together, we have dedicated our careers to actualizing the idea that building systems to help people work together makes the world smarter, healthier, and just plain better. Through our work, we hope to make a positive impact while simultaneously achieving traditional business success. So far, things are going great.