Jackson Fish Market

Invitastic!™ is our tiny website for inviting friends and family (and even enemies and strangers) to events. There are lots of things you can’t do here… create a social network, plan party activities, split the tab for the event, figure out carpool arrangements, find recipes for Mai Tais, and more. There are pretty much a limitless number of things that Invitastic doesn’t do. Hopefully however, when it comes to letting a bunch of people know that you’re having a party or gathering, and finding out if they’re coming or not we do our job exactly as you’d hope.

What people are saying about Invitastic

“Like all of the other Jackson Fish experiences, They’re Beautiful and Tafiti, this is a beautiful web application with plenty of subtle details like the different and unique styles for your ‘invitation card’.” — Long Zheng, I Started Something

“A lot of website companies should take notes from Jackson Fish Market. Most importantly, they should notice how much effort this small firm puts into making its websites aesthetically pleasing and usable. Internet users are a fickle bunch; don’t strain their eyes or require them to think more than five seconds to realize what they can do with your site.” — Mark Hendrickson, TechCrunch

“The folks at Jackson Fish Market, which introduced a virtual flower bouquet service called They’re Beautiful four months ago, are rolling out their second application today. It’s called Invitastic — and like They’re Beautiful — it is dead simple.” — John Cook, Seattle PI Venture Blog

A Jackson Fish Market Experience

Invitastic™ was created by Jackson Fish Market. It is the second in a series of Branded Software Experiences (whitepaper here, index of branded software experiences here) from Jackson Fish.


We’d like to thank Dry Soda for becoming the inaugural sponsor of Invitastic. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of Invitastic or in working with the team at Jackson Fish Market to build a new branded interactive consumer experience please check out our sponsorship page or contact: sponsor [at] jacksonfish [dot] com. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.


Many things went into the construction of Invitastic. Here are a few:

  • Invitastic is built using Ruby on Rails, MySQL, and nginx. As Walter points out, “Apache is so last month”. ;)
  • Our second project was going to be something else but Evite annoyed us one too many times so we decided to build something we preferred.
  • The site is hosted by the folks at SliceHost
  • Jenny named the Invitastic mascot Kondo. (There was debate as we also considered “Kondi” — which could still be his nickname — and the glamorous “Mr. Invitastic”.)
  • Jenny got a cool tablet to draw on but it came with a weird connector so she didn’t even really get to use it for most of the illustrations on the site. Pen and paper to the rescue! (Though Jenny points out that the balloon bubbles were done on the tablet.)
  • Invitastic was designed using Century Schoolbook and original hand lettering.
  • Our new favorite lunch place is Red Bowls. Mmmm… bowls of rice and vegetables topped with raw fish.
  • New music we listened to at JFM Headquarters during Invitastic development was largely decided by proxies be they technological or human including Pandora, Last.FM, and Rhapsody as well as Soma FM Groove Salad, KCRW, and KEXP.
  • We particularly enjoyed our indie rockers covering rap songs playlist including Ben Folds doing Dr. Dre’s Bitches Ain’t Shit, Jenny Owen Youngs doing Nelly’s Hot in Herre, Jonathan Coulton doing Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back, and Dynamite Hack doing NWA’s Boyz-N-The-Hood. Videos of all four here. There’s a more comprehensive list here, but most of these aren’t available on Rhapsody or Napster. :(
  • Jenny and Walter lifted a quote from Rick Ross’ “Hustlin'” to be Hillel’s new motto.
  • Music for Walter to program by included Thievery Corporation, DJ Food, M83, and Bill Frisell.
  • Hillel listened to an egregious amount of Jonathan Coulton‘s music. Jenny and Walter were too polite to complain.
  • The new captcha technology we’re using lets you become part of the hive mind in order to interpret scans of old books.
  • Lots of people gave us funny looks when we explained that we were doing an invitation service that did less than any of the competitors.
  • Luckily, our friends and family were polite enough not to express their doubts to our faces.
  • Over the course of development we were distracted by fantasies of expanding our office space, antique Japanese furniture sales, Boston sports teams’ hegemony, and Play This Thing!.