The Maple Story

We didn’t set out to create Maple. It just kinda happened.

Frustrated and bored with our existing work, we were in the process of pivoting our consulting services to something new. We were headed in the direction of Purpose. Because it seemed this was something that often got blurred – at all levels. Exploring the idea through a series of brainstorming meetings, the question at hand was could this new focus sustain us? What could we offer?

Rapid fire ideas about services, toolkits and workshops flew followed by a drawn-out moment of silence as we stared at the flipchart. Then, almost unconsciously, “You know what I really want to help us do this?”

Without waiting for the response, out it poured. “I want something that…”

  • put everything in one place, so I don’t need to keep track of all those login IDs and passwords
  • sparks that Ah Ha! when its right there but I can’t see it
  • helps me weed through to find one specific quote or idea
  • shows me new directions to take my thoughts or build my interests
  • captures a half-baked idea and reminds me to finish cooking it
  • stores my responses for every online course, magazine quiz or seminar I have been to
  • shows my previous responses to the questions in the book I am re-reading

Frustration from struggling with these challenges for who knows how long kept it going. And it went on and on (and on and on). Finally, there was silence again. Slowly a nod of understanding followed simply by “I can build that.”

Another awkward pause as we gazed at a frantic new flipchart page, mostly covered in ‘wants’.

“Yea?”

“Yea.”

“Then this is what we need to do.”

Our purpose was to give our brains a boost. Either by organizing or nudging or creating a safe space or encouraging deeper thought or offloading nuisances that took up mental energy or just simplifying. It was a widely shared need, that we never thought to do something about. As we explained it to others we heard “Yes! Exactly!!” Thing is, they all solved it differently.

It made sense to embrace that and build Maple to be different. Everyone needed to use it their own way. It had to be flexible and feel like a natural extension of each person’s individual thinking style. We wanted users to be truly anonymous to us, so they felt safe in telling Maple their innermost thoughts. Obviously, it had to be secure too, but we didn’t want to add another password to the mix and we didn’t want to keep that sensitive info.

We had a clear vision and we wanted the freedom to create that without yielding to “the normal approach” for technology solutions. We knew normal and we didn’t like it. Instead we chose to be bold and forge our path our way. We build it with our values and principles in mind. For example, there is either a free option or no cost trial for just about everything in Maple. We hate to buy before we can try, so why should we make Maple users do that? And we hate paying for stuff we don’t want, even if the bundle is cheaper. Maplers can pick and choose exactly what they want at the level they need.

Yes, it took us longer to achieve. Sure we made mistakes and grimaced as we had to correct them. But our goal was to build a tool for thinking, something that was helpful to people, reliable to use and reasonably priced.

So go ahead and Meet Maple. There is a lot you can do already and we aren’t done yet!