- What does it mean to be an app?
- Are people starting to take this seriously?
- This company is probably $200 in the red
Pastecard formally launched in Q4 2010 in Palo Alto, California. In Q1 2018, the company moved its headquarters yet again to Jupiter, Florida and is still happily operating there. Employees were not given relocation bonuses, but were encouraged to take advantage of Florida’s zero income tax on their zero income.
- Brian Sutorius, UX
- Hudson the koala puppet, Chairman of the Board
The Pastecard app was only available on the web for the first seven years (including bookmark-installs to iPhone home screens). Developing for the web ensured that Pastecard would work as well as possible on any platform the company couldn’t test on—that is, everything other than an iPhone.
In late 2017, work began on a completely native iPhone app. Initially, there were no benefits other than the smug satisfaction of another line item on the developer’s resume. And soon after the first version of that app was finished, the focus went back to the original web app for a complete rewrite that made it slightly more respectable. The two coexisted, on company phones, in complete parity.
The Apple ecosystem being what it is, it was relatively easy to expand the native iPhone app into one that worked on the iPad as well. Both gained Share Extensions that are only available to native apps, creating an advantage. A functioning proof-of-concept Apple Watch app followed shortly thereafter. And now the product is bifurcated in a complicated way, since the native apps aren’t available through traditional App Stores.
The company is keeping a close watch on The Light Phone II as yet another platform for which to develop a native app. And the point must be made that each native app is only ever expected to have at most one (1) user. Perhaps this is commentary more on the industry than a single company—that web apps are increasingly less relevant and crowded out—but either way it is entirely too serious for this report.
- YAU (yearly active users) in 2019: 4
- New users in 2019: 2
- Ad impressions in 2019: hard zero
As part of GDPR compliance in 2018, the company no longer captures any personal information about active users, including their email addresses. Therefore, it is hard to say whether the two new users in 2019 were test accounts that the developer forgot to delete later, or real human beings. The prospect that actual people are discovering and signing up for the app is worrisome, and hoped not to continue.
The company pays approximately $12 each year to maintain its domain name registration, its only operating expense. However, the company has switched domain registrars much more frequently than is recommended, each time paying for an additional year beyond the current registration. This confounding bit of accounting makes it hard to keep track of in which year a particular year’s worth of registration is paid for. As a result, the company’s total expenses since inception are on the books as roughly $167, but likely to be a couple multiples of $12 higher.
Outside consulting firms have been retained to draw up an employee compensation plan, but said firms have not been compensated themselves and have understandingly been reluctant to share their proposals.
The company considered an elaborate scheme built on a flawed sequence of sociopolitical memes:
- The poor understanding of the Citizens United ruling that corporations are people
- That people rely on GoFundMe campaigns to cover outrageous healthcare costs
The idea was to set up a corporate GoFundMe to cover the bleeding out of expenses, quickly abandoned because the company is not even properly incorporated. Pastecard has never made any money, and it looks like it will continue that way forever.
PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL
The company has long thought about offering “Pastecard Pro” or “Pastecard+” accounts as a revenue stream. Proposed benefits include proprietary automatic URL shortening (so more links can be saved to a user’s card) and white-glove assistance with installing a native app to a user’s device. Obviously, the benefits of such an account should be commensurate with its cost. Pricing is anticipated to be $24.99/month.