Episode #452: From novelty apps to the cusp of a new trend – the evolution of Twist’s Edward Marks

Episode #452

Edward Marks and I connected just about 3 years ago when he and his partner James Anthony were hitting their stride with their first mobile startup Inedible Software. The company developed a number of very popular “novelty” mobile applications including a shotgun app that has been downloaded more than 10 million times.

Flash forward to now and Edward has sold Inedible, co-founded his latest venture, Twist, with a group of seasoned entrepreneurs and tapped into a problem each and every one of us are guilty of…being late.

So much has happened in the mobile industry since we first sat down and it is quite evident in our conversation that Edward gets this wholesale transition we’ve witnessed over the years. Mobile was originally the home of novelty acts (something he readily admits they were doing with Inedible) but is now maturing into an industry focused on nuanced, smart services that enhance our lives through the device. Gone are the days of apps as a focus and here are the days of apps as a conduit – somewhere that Edward and his co-founders sit squarely in the middle.

This episode takes us back to the end of Inedible Software and the start of Twist, the venture funding process, the 18 months it took to build a business while building a team, the marketing tactics, the importance of partnering properly, the power of contacts and the super power known as context.

I love love love when I get to spend time with an entrepreneur doing it for a second time but something tells me it won’t be the last time we see Edward.


Here is a quick reference of what we covered in the show. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip

1. What happened to Inedible Software? 2:20
2. How did you sell the company? 7:20
3. Why sell instead of just collect the revenue? 13:00
4. What were the biggest days (downloads/revenue) like with Inedible Software? 16:00
5. Why didn’t you just go get a job instead of start a new company? 18:30
6. How did you get involved with Twist? 21:40
7. How did you enter this existing partnership? 26:50
8. What is Twist? 29:35
9. How is the current version different from the original vision? 31:05
10. How did you close funding for Twist? 32:10
11. Some of the use cases for Twist – my experience 35:00
12. How important was the team to closing your funding? 37:15
13. Why did it take 18 months from funding to launch? 40:15
14. How important is getting your infrastructure built properly? 45:00
15. What lessons did you learn from Inedible that you won’t do with Twist? 49:40
16. The future of Twist – the predictive intelligence layer 53:00
17. How do you describe the trend Twist is capitalizing on? 55:40
18. How do you market Twist? 60:00
19. The REAL reason Edward started Twist 65:00

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About Edward Marks
Edward Marks TwistEdward Marks is a co-founder of Twist and Shout Inc, a San Francisco based, venture-backed startup that helps people stay in touch as they travel from place to place. While a senior at Stanford University, Edward co-founded Inedible Software, a company that designed, developed and self-published 10 iPhone applications with over 13.5 million downloads between them. Inedible was acquired by MEDL Mobile in early 2012. He lives and works in San Francisco.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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