Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Meet the Man Behind Mixel, an Instagram for … Collages? (Video)

More than a year ago, Khoi Vinh quit a Big Deal job as design director for the New York Times’ Web site. Last night, he took the wraps off his newest gig: Building a social art app called Mixel, along with co-founder Scott Ostler.

There’s a promo for the iPad app at the bottom of the post, but you can also watch Vinh describe and demo the app himself in this video I shot with him earlier in the week; even on the shakycam, you can get a good sense of what he’s trying to do here.

Will it work? Impossible to tell, of course. Not only because I haven’t played with the thing myself, but because almost no one has, and until actual, run-of-the-mill people start adopting a social app, there’s no way to tell if it will become … social.

And while Vinh says he was clearly influenced by the wildly popular photo app Instagram, that app took an activity that people were already doing — sharing their iPhone pictures — and put a twist on it. In order for Mixel to take off, it will require people to do something they likely haven’t engaged in since middle school: creating collages.

That said, it sure looks fun. And Vinh’s pedigree makes it worth watching.

Introducing Mixel for iPad from Mixel App on Vimeo.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik