My Way: 15 Things That Inspire Me

UPDATED: April 16, 2016
PUBLISHED: April 16, 2016


Maci Peterson, co-founder and CEO of On Second Thought


San Francisco


On Second Thought is a messaging app that lets users take back text messages before they get to the other person’s phone. Peterson won first place for the idea of her app in March 2014 at #StartupOasis, UP Global and the Kauffman Foundation’s annual pitch competition at South by Southwest Interactive. On Second Thought was also the first-place winner of the national Women Who Tech Startup Challenge sponsored by Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, and New York investors Fred and Joanne Wilson.

What do you never leave the house without and why?

iPhone and Android (obviously), my Bible and Vaseline (I use it as my lip balm).

What’s the last book you’ve read that inspired you, and what made it special?

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. It’s about tactical leadership in the midst of difficult times.

What’s the last gadget you bought that changed how you do things, and why do you love it?

Google Chromecast. It makes Netflix and chill a lot easier.

What’s your favorite quote?

“If both of us agree on everything, one of us is unnecessary.” —Henry Frank Elmore, my great-grandfather

What’s your favorite feel-good movie and why?

The Sandlot. How can you not be inspired by a group of kids overcoming The Beast?

Who are your three must-follow Twitter accounts?

Marc Andreessen (@pmarca), Trevor Noah (@TrevorNoah) and Tracy Clayton (@BrokeyMcPoverty)

What’s your secret weapon?

I pray a ton.

How do you handle disappointments?

I keep praying through them.

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by my oldest brother. He has faced countless obstacles throughout his life and has pushed through them with humility and excellence. He is the kindest person I know and constantly inspires me to become a better person.

What do you do to relax?

When I need to relax, I enjoy hiking and  exploring.

What’s your morning ritual?

Every morning is different. However, the constants are praying, checking my calendar and getting ready for the day.

Growing up, who was your role model? Who is your role model today? Why?

My mother has been my role model throughout my life. I learned about entrepreneurship and the importance of faith and solid values from her. Professionally, my role model is my mentor and adviser, Mary Bush. She is an incredible woman who has established her successful career on integrity.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

It’s OK not to know everything. What’s most important is to know who to ask when I don’t know something.

Which characteristic do you value the most and why?

I value integrity most. When the stakes are high, it’s important to know that those involved are honest and straightforward.

Who is your favorite musician or band and why?

Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana are my favorite bands. Their music makes up the sound track of my childhood. I believe most of the best music was made before 1997.

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