Alex Cornell doesn’t design apps. Not really. As the founder of the San Francisco-based creative studio Moonbase, Cornell designs app concepts that use mischief, subterfuge, and parody to critique the weird mobile age we live in.
Cornell’s latest faux app, Poof, is such a pitch-perfect lampoon of VC-backed Silicon Valley buffoonery that you almost wish it existed just so you could insult the hoodie-wearing idiot responsible for it direct to their stupid face.
What’s Poof? Like Snapchat, it’s an app based on ephemerality. But where as Snapchat is all about sending video messages that self-destruct after you play them once, Poof is the world’s first disappearing app, deleting itself from your iPhone after just 24 hours.
Why would anyone want a disappearing app? Poof’s beautiful, ambiguously ethnic spokesmodel drops all the right buzzwords and catchphrases: Design! Celebrity endorsements! A public API that lets you connect Poof to other apps! And a social component that lets you see where your friends are poofing. There’s even a Pro upgrade called ‘Relapse’ which causes the app to reappear at random intervals.
“Poof is the perfect companion for modern attention span,” Poof’s spokesmodel says in a delightful bit of word salad. But before you dismiss Poof as just a gag, keep in mind, Cornell’s gag apps have made the leap from joke to reality before.