Lift, from Obvious Corp., a social network for ‘human potential’


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The Obvious Corp. has announced Lift, its first start-up, and its not obvious as to what exactly Lift is.

Obvious -- a San Francisco incubator started just about two months ago by Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams, and former head of product at Twitter Jason Goldman -- unveiled the new project in a blog post Wednesday.


Lift, Stone wrote in the post, is an ‘interesting new application for unlocking human potential through positive reinforcement. We love this software for what it does, and because we’ve tried it and it works. Our plan is to build something extraordinary together.’

How will Lift positively reinforce, uplift, encourage, give an ego boost to its users? For now, Obvious and Lift aren’t saying.

The application is in a private alpha stage and ‘a long way from opening the doors,’ said a separate blog post from Tony Stubblebine, who co-founded Lift with Jon Crosby.

Stubblebine is a former employee of Odeo, the podcasting company that eventually shifted gears to become Twitter after its side-project Twttr started taking off, and about a decade ago worked with Crosby. Crosby too has worked for various San Francisco start-ups, most notably Dave Morin’s social network Path.

Obvious, Stone said, is helping Lift with ‘strategy, design, funding, recruiting -- in general, we’ll be helpful wherever possible. In exchange, Obvious will own some equity in Lift.’

The blog ReadWriteWeb reported that Lift is actually a revamp of a project that Stubblebine, Crosby and their one employee, student programmer Connor Montgomery, were working on earlier this year called Mibbles.


Mibbles, ReadWriteWeb said, looked and worked a lot like Twitter with users sending short messages to each other through an online social network.

‘Back when it was called Mibbles, users joined multiple groups with names like Happydog (as in ‘I want to keep my dog happy’), Love or Home,’ ReadWriteWeb said. ‘Then they gave themselves Awards when they achieved accomplishment leading towards the goals around which they were grouped around.

‘The Mibbles team has been working with Obvious all Summer and the service itself appears to have been under active development since at least the spring. The website underwent a dramatic redesign to take on its snazzy new look just a few weeks ago, by which time it was already renamed as Lift.’


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles