Careers at FiftyThree

Why work for us

FiftyThree, Inc. is an American privately held technology company that specializes in tools for mobile creation and visual thinking. They are the makers of Paper, Apple’s 2012 iPad App of the Year and Pencil, a digital stylus. FiftyThree has offices in New York City and Seattle. FiftyThree was co-founded in 2011 by Georg Petschnigg, Jonathan Harris, Julian Walker, and Andrew S. Allen. Former colleagues at Microsoft, the company aimed to build creativity tools that were less encumbered by the dense UI common to software used by creative professionals. Initially operating out of Petschnigg’s apartment, they began work on their first product, Paper, which launched in March 2012 and was chosen by Apple as the iPad App of the Year. Two additional products, Book by FiftyThree and Moleskine, and Pencil by FiftyThree, were released in 2013, followed by the 2014 releases of the FiftyThree SDK and Mix, and the release of Paper 3.0. According to a 2013 article on, the name “FiftyThree” references the physical space in which a person creates: “An average human’s arm’s reach is 53 centimeters... a sort of invisible sphere encompassing head, heart, and blank canvas." Since its inception, the company has maintained a nearly 1:1 ratio of designers to engineers. The team is composed of employees who have previously worked at Microsoft, Sonos, Google, Adobe, Apple, and Nike, among other companies. As of December 2014, the company employs 51 people. In June 2013, FiftyThree announced raising a $15 million Series A round of funding, led by Chris Dixon at Andreessen Horowitz. Other investors included SV Angel’s Ron Conway, Highline Ventures’ Shana Fisher, Thrive Capital’s Josh Kushner, and Twitter / Square founder Jack Dorsey. FiftyThree collaborated with Womens Wear Daily in February 2013 to live sketch Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City, and in July 2013 they partnered with Historic Royal Palaces in London to bring technology to the Fashion Rules exhibition at Kensington Palace. They have subsequently partnered with (RED) to raise awareness and funds for AIDS, GE to use art to visualize brain activity, and Skillshare to teach classes using Paper. Skillshare classes were taught by artist Shantell Martin and data visualization expert Catherine Madden. In 2014, FiftyThree moved their NYC headquarters to 60 Hudson, the original home of the Western Union Company and moved their Seattle offices to the historic Pioneer Square.