These days pop culture icons, entertainers, and athletes are eagerly jumping onboard the fast moving startup train. Everyone from Jessica Alba to Troy Carter to Ashton Kutcher to Carmelo Anthony have found roles as investors, entrepreneurs, and advisors in the startup world. It’s no surprise then to hear that B.J. Novak, commonly known as star, writer, and executive producer on the NBC hit The Office, has taken writing to next level using technology. In a move that would have certainly made his fictional character Ryan very proud, Novak co-created a new social networking and writing app called The List App with Dev Flaherty.
The List App available on iPhones allows users to create and share lists about anything and everything, showcasing their opinions, advice, observations, and experiences. Scrolling through, you’ll find over 100,000 lists that range from heartbreaking, hilarious, practical, and thought-provoking. You can read thoughts from B.J. Novak and plenty of other celebrities including Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Shonda Rhimes, and Anthony Bourdain. But the really neat part is that some of the app’s best writers don’t have their own TV shows (yet). These are the writers you should be following if you aren’t already:
Tom Batten / List App: tombatten
Anyone who likes absurdist comedy will love Tom’s lists. He’s the author of “Things People Being Attacked By Bees Are Tired of Hearing” and “I Put 6 Dogs And 13 Cats In A Bounce House Together And Don’t Want To Talk About What Happened Next.” Even lists with seemingly straight-forward titles—like “Dating Deal Breakers”—will leave you cackling. For those wondering about those deal breakers, Tom isn’t a fan of when “her ex-boyfriend’s ghost watches the two of you make love and shouts advice.”
April K. Quioh / List App: aprilkquioh
April writes about pop culture, family, race, and her life as a recent college grad. Her posts range from essays (“My First Generation Experience”) to silly lists (“Rudest Things My Sister’s Kids Have Had The Nerve To Say To Me”), but they’re always fresh and fun to read. She’s the kind of writer you want to high-five through the screen (now when is THAT update on iOS or Android?).
Dana Maria / List App: DanaDigsYou
Dana documents her dating life with brutal, hilarious honesty. Her body and sex positive lists include “Eating Pussy For Dummies” and “My Recovery Story.” If you’ve ever kicked yourself for not having a good comeback, you’ll find her take-downs of rude boys on Tinder especially satisfying to read.
Jenny Lee / List App: jennyjlee
In addition to light-hearted lists like the one above, Jenny also writes about current events (“The Light In The Midst Of The Paris Attacks” and “Please Turn Your Attention To Minneapolis Tonight”). Her funny, thoughtful style is best captured in “Texts From My Asian Mother.” Their exchanges will make you laugh out loud and Jenny ends the post by observing that though her mother’s texts are ridiculous and her English is not perfect, “a foreign accent is often a sound of bravery.” Funny and heart-warming? Yes, please.
Dennis Flynn / List App: dfly
This is micro-fiction at its funniest. Dennis exclusively writes lists that begin with “The Thoughts Of…”. They’re all entertaining vignettes, but that’s about all they have in common. He leaves no topic off-limits (or least we think so) . You’ll find the “The Thoughts Of A Barista Who Waited Too Long To Ask A Stranger What He Meant By ‘The Regular’”; “The Thoughts Of A Conservationist Who Is Really Excited To See A Herd Of Moose But Has A Date Tonight,” and “The Thoughts Of A Piece Of Paper As It Is Turned Into An Origami Frog” —along with many other witty selections.
Mary Williams is a writer, editor, and content strategist in New York. She graduated from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College and works in the publishing industry. You can learn more about her at marycwilliams.com.