What I’ve Been Up To Lately: Top Right Corner

New Company, New Site

Screen shot: Top Right Corner website

Top Right Corner logoAfter all the fuss on this blog about interviewing programmers and giving them the FizzBuzz test, here’s the reason why: Top Right Corner, the enterprise mobile application startup that my old friend Jesse is bootstrapping and CEOing, and for which I’m CTOing, software designing, and cat herding. We have been, to use my friend Harley “H-Fizzle” Finkelstein’s favourite verb, hustling, in both the business and software development senses of the word over the  past few weeks, and it looks as though it’s starting to pay off.

Our first hire, Fayyaz (who passed the FizzBuzz test), has been nothing short of outstanding. He’s put in some long hours on XCode and Objective-C getting the iOS version of our product, SafeScan, into demo-able shape, and I’ve happily taken calls from him at midnight to confab with him about design decisions, matters of bug-fixing and the minutae of making iPhones and iPads do our bidding. Ewan has been working equally hard with Eclipse and Java on the Android version. Our other hire, Benedict (who also passed the FizzBuzz test) has his first day today — he’ll be our back-end developer, writing the server software behind the apps.

Being a startup, each of us has had to wear many hats, so it fell to me to put together a quick and dirty site for the company, which lives at It’ll give you the general idea of who we are and what we do, and you can always drop me a line if you’d like to know more.

Where the Name Came From

In case you were wondering: the name “Top Right Corner” is my fault. The name came to me back in March at the South by Southwest conference, when smartphone battery life was a major concern. Looking at all the people huddled around whatever wall outlet was handy, I quipped that everyone was obsessed with the top right corner of their phone screens, which is where the battery level icon lives:

The top right corners of iOS and Android screens

I’d forgotten about that observation until recently, when Jesse and I were trying to think up a better name for our startup. While was already taken by a video production company in L.A., — which was close enough — was available.

In order to sell Jesse on the name, I quickly came up with an additional, suit-friendly, enterprise-compliant, get-a-nod-of-approval-from-the-MBAs reference in the name. The top right quadrant is where you want to be in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant” graphs. Here’s an example:

Gartner Magic Quadrant for mobile data protection, September 2012

McAfee is the farthest along the “ability to execute” and “completeness of vision” axes.
If this were a Magic Quadrant where the axes were “High” and “Crazy”, McAfee’s founder would also be in the top right quadrant.

As with their predictions, I tend to take Gartner’s Magic Quadrant with a huge grain of salt, and it appears I’m not the only one:

Parody of the Magic Quadrant featuring a lot of Lord of the Rings characters

There’s also this little bit of verse:

Puff the Magic Quadrant
Puts vendors in the light
And everyone fights really hard
To be in the upper right

Anyway, it has a meaning for both mobile geeks and suits, it sounds reasonably clever and there was a domain name available. And thus we got a name.

7 replies on “What I’ve Been Up To Lately: Top Right Corner”

It kind of stands out that apparently Ewan didn’t pass the FizzBuzz test. But he’s doing Java anyway, so it doesn’t matter ;)

Sebastiaan: Unlike Fayyaz and Benedict, I’ve known Ewan for some time as we’re both members of HacklabTO. I’ve seen him code.

He has volunteered to give me a solution to post. I suggested that for an extra special challenge, he should use polymorphism instead of if statements.

I think it’s a good name and it seems well thought out, but the thing that keeps jumping out is that the text in the logo isn’t in the top right corner and its bugging me! ;)

Hey congrats! The new site looks good, and the name is catchy. Too bad the domain name without “the” is taken.
Anyway, break a leg! Cheers to the inaugural voyage of another start-up!
* champagne bottle smashes on side of building*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *