Coming Soon: “3Up Video”

Super-simple new video app from the maker of SketchParty TV and TTL.

There’s a terrific business book by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson called “Rework”, which, through a series of short stories, relates a number of thoughtful concepts on counterintuitive practices like “underdo the competition” and controversial ones like “emulate drug dealers”. Rework has helped me focus various aspects of my apps business since the book went on sale in 2010.

One idea from Rework that I’ve taken to heart for my most recent app? “Sell your by-products”. It’s the principle that got the Ford Motor Company into the charcoal briquette business, taking the scrap wood material from making Model-Ts and turning it into something useful. The company spun off as a result is today known as Kingsford Charcoal.

With the launch of iOS 10, I released an app called “Truth Truth Lie”. It’s an iMessage game that lets users record three short video clips, two of them true, one of them a lie, and then send that video to friends to guess which clip is untrue. The core of the app is a video compositing engine I developed that creates triptych videos — three portrait-oriented video clips arranged side-by-side and combined to create a single landscape video.

While still in the planning stages of Truth Truth Lie, a game, I had a thought about such a system that makes three-in-a-row videos: that system could itself be turned into a lightweight app.

And thus, the idea for “3Up Video” was born.

About a month after releasing TTL for iMessage, which I’m proud to say was featured by Apple at the launch of iOS 10, I started working on 3Up in between other projects. I extracted the core logic for the clip management, video recording, and sharing functionality, and built a new app around just those features. Initially, users will be able to share their 3Up Videos with friends using a Share Sheet, or save them to their Photos library to upload to YouTube or other video sharing platforms. If the app looks like it’s getting traction, I’ll introduce more means of sharing, along with Snapchat/MSQRD style filters and add-ons.

How will you use 3Up Video?How will you use 3Up Video?

In my contracting work, I’ve developed all manner of business and consumer iOS apps, but on my own personal projects, I’ve really focused primarily on games — MASH, SketchParty TV, Truth Truth Lie, and others — and this will be the first non-game app I release.

How many people want to be able to create triptych videos? I’m not sure. When I built MASH in late 2008, I thought the market for it was about 300,000 people. It turned out to be many, many times that number.

What I do know: empowering people to create interesting videos seems like a good space to be in. And like Ford selling both cars and charcoal, I’ll be entering that space because I decided to sell my by-products.

I have some ideas for how 3Up Video can be used, but I’m more interested in seeing what you come up with. Instructional videos? Quizzes? Ludicrously short telenovelas? Use it to create something 😎, 🤔, or 😂.

3Up Video is currently in private beta. If you’d like to participate, please sign up with your email address via the form below and I’ll do my best to add you to the TestFlight.

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