How the Twapler Works

By: Charles W. Bryant

Why a Twapler?

A front-mounted camera reads the first 140 characters of the stapled document.
A front-mounted camera reads the first 140 characters of the stapled document.
Photo Courtesy Small Miracles, LLC

To understand the inspiration behind the Twapler, one need not look any further than the heritage of developers Fishel and Asrani. Fishel's father Herschel founded the Fishel Stapler Co. in Fresno, Calif., at the age of 22 after he emigrated from Israel with few prospects for work and a young wife in tow. The company took some time to get on stable ground, but by the mid 1970s, it was the largest supplier of staplers and staples to the central California. On the tech side, it was Asrani's father who provided the knowhow. Sanjeep Asrani was among the first civilian developers of the Internet, working as a student assistant alongside Leonard Kleinrock in the 1970s. Kleinrock was a UCLA professor who pioneered the concepts of packet switching and hierarchal routing, the basic technologies behind the Internet.

With these backgrounds ingrained in Fishel and Asrani, it's not a surprise that the Twapler was born one day after a frustrating experience in the copy room of Small Miracles. The story is that Fishel and Asrani were burning the midnight oil trying to finish up a presentation that was due the following morning. Between trips from the research lab to the copy room, the pair found themselves wasting too much time running back and forth to update the other about the status of the presentation booklets. Eventually, it occurred to Asrani that if he were able to somehow send a message indicating what he was stapling back to Fishel, they could save time and get the presentation ready in short order.


After the initial brainstorm, Asrani and Fishel decided that in an era in which so much is shared via social media, it made sense to integrate the Twapler into the information superhighway. They believed that it would saves users the time they would normally spend tweeting out what they were stapling the old-fashioned way, with a clunky cell phone keyboard and two meaty thumbs. Fishel explains it this way. "Instead of posting on Facebook or Twitter that you're stapling together your tax forms, you can just let the Twapler do the work for you." This is evidenced in the initial test tweet the Twapler team posted:

"FORM: 1040 EZ. Income Tax Return for Joint and Single Filers. 2009. All entries on this form shoul"

And with that simple message, the Twapler was born. Both Fishel and Asrani believe that the sky is the limit for this new and exciting technology. Whether it will have broad appeal remains to be seen. Beta models of the Twapler are due to go out to a random selection of office complexes in the spring of 2010. Based on the results of the Beta testing, Twapler 1.0 could make its way into your lives and hearts as soon as fall 2010.

For more information on stapling and Twitter, please visit the links on the following page.

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