*Now I Can Market All Over the World*
“As a certified professional dog trainer listening to the plights of many of my clients not having enough time to train their dogs, I wanted to create a product that would help them be able to teach their dogs good manners in a way that was fun and rewarding for all. I realize, living in a digital world, I would need to target a different kind of audience. Being part of that group I thought what better way to cover all bases than to take my game and make it into an App! Plus, I was also able to build in social media functions that the hard copy game doesn’t have.”
“This was over a year and a half ago, so finding developers was still limited for me. After researching over the internet, I finally decided to go with a company whose main office is here in the States, but who contracts to developers in other countries. Although I wanted to stick with my homeland, I felt the company I went with had great ideas, and that is what finally sold me. I am able to call my self and register as a “Developer” on Apple – which means I own it. But I don’t have the knowledge to build it myself. This also means I can hire any company I want to do upgrades or make changes.”
“I guess you can say it’s helped me grow my business in that I can market this service outside of my home town. Offering dog training services to local people is wonderful, but now I can market my training services all over the world.”
~Joan Hunter Mayer, CTC, CPDT-KA, Certified Professional Dog Trainer.
Visit http://www.inquisitivecanine.com/for more information and download the app here http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/out-box-dog-training-game/id340664554?mt=8
*An App Nearly Doubled Our Potential Customer Base*
“Pinpoint Pickup was founded with the idea that town car booking should be supremely convenient. Using smartphone applications was the cornerstone of differentiating from our competitors; building the app was woven into creating the company from day one. Our team has a deep technological background, so we designed and built the app and the web site in house. Because the booking process requires date/time functionality across time zones, interactive maps, and cross-platform communication to connect with drivers and customers, the app was a challenging and rewarding undertaking. We have been so impressed with our ability to reach out to additional customers through the App Store — nearly doubling our potential customer base compared to what we accomplish through the web site alone — that we are excitedly developing apps for BlackBerry and Android as well.”
~Desiree Phair, co-founder of Pinpoint Pickup.
Visit www.pinpointpickup.com for more information, and download the app here http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ride-in-style/id381855030?mt=8
*We’ve Extended Our Brand, Added a New Line of Services, and Built a New Revenue Stream*
“A company needs to reach people - a.k.a. customers – to whom it can sell products and services in order to survive and thrive. According to Juniper Research, mobile device downloads are expected to reach 25 billion in 2015. A website potentially reaches only 2 billion people on the Internet, a Facebook page a paltry 500 million, and a Twitter account a mere 100 million. 25 billion downloads? Of course a company needs a mobile app.”
“For us, our corporate mobile app needed to be 1) of value to the user, 2) mission-based. Our site’s mission is to extend the “it’s who you know” handshake of what begins business deals in person to the “it’s still who you know” Handshake 2.0 of what can begin deals online. We had the proverbial light bulb moment when we realized that our mobile app – used, of course, on a hand-held device – needed to feature the people on Handshake 2.0 to make them available for business-beginning handshakes!”
“Even in 2009, Forrester priced minimal corporate mobile apps at $20K, so we created our app in-house. This was my first experience with the software development process and I found it heart-poundingly exciting and mind-bogglingly complex. Our development efforts succeeded and multiple versions of our Handshake(TM) App are now part of those billions of mobile app downloads.”
“Business results for us? We extended our brand, added mobile app development as a new line of business since it fit our company’s strengths and vision, and added a new revenue stream. And learning any new technology increases the likelihood we can innovate again and again,” said Anne Giles Clelland, M.A., M.S., the President of Handshake Media, Incorporated and founder of Handshake 2.0.
*It Has Given Our Brand Image a Boost*
“Since we are currently the only company with comprehensive listings of events that take place each day on Twitter (such as Twitter parties), I realized that we could be the first app out there with daily Twitter party event listings. We get many people who visit our website (http://www.tweeparties.com) each day for event updates, so I thought an app would be a good fit for us and something our visitors could benefit from. I used the resources available at AppMakr.com to learn what I needed to do to get started (they will create apps for you for a fee). I am lucky that I have some knowledge of programming and design, so I was able to use the AppMakr interface to create my app for free and I also enrolled in the Apple Developer Program, which allowed me to test my app and submit it to Apple’s App Store on my own. My total expenses to create the app was $100 plus my time to figure it all out.”
“Having our iPhone/iPad app available for free download has given us some great publicity. In addition, it has given our brand image a boost and has helped us to attract more visitors to our site. I have had clients and prospects contact me specifically to talk about the app and many of our users have tweeted about how much they love our app. Also, since our app went live, we have landed on the first page of Google for industry-specific keywords–something that we did not do before,” said Erin Boudreau, President of TweeParties, Inc.
Visit http://www.tweeparties.com for more information, and download the app here http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tweeparties/id402759123?mt=8
*It’s Making Our Community that Much Stronger*
“When I saw the response I was getting at BadOnlineDates, I knew I had to create an app. The focus of the site is really to show people that they aren’t alone, and the BadOnlineDates app lets people report back from the “dating trenches” and interact with others all in real time. Since the website is already incredibly interactive, the app really grew organically from the site itself. It seemed like the natural next step for the site.”
“At first I tried outsourcing to India which was an absolute NIGHTMARE! We had tons of miscommunications and it took them weeks to even get back to me. Since then, I worked with two developers here in the US. I brought them in-house to work on the app, which was the right decision. It eliminated a lot of the tensions that happened the first time around. The app launched in early January 2011 on the iPhone.”
“It’s really helping to grow my business in a number of different ways. First of all, it’s making the BadOnlineDates community that much stronger, since users can report from the field. It’s also helping further the site’s goal of teaching people dating etiquette and skills that seem to be rapidly disappearing. It lets people connect with a supportive online community and turn negative experiences into positive ones. I think anyone who’s ever had a bad date can identify with the need for support and comic relief. Now you can take the whole community with you on-the-go,” said Jennifer Kelton, the founder and CEO of http://www.BadOnlineDates.com.
Visit http://www.BadOnlineDates.com for more information, and download the app here http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/baddates/id335369295?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D6
*Giving Me Increased Exposure and Reach for My Consulting Practice*
“I graduated from Columbia Business School and was an independent management consultant for non-profit organizations for many years before launching my parenting consulting business in the spring of 2008. I have four children and, having started my family at a much younger age than all my friends and colleagues, my peers naturally looked to me as a mentor. I was motivated to make my career change by the many parents who told me, “You should get paid for your expert parenting advice!” I thought, “why not?” I built on my passion about the importance of good parenting and my experience, having taught young children in music and dance for more than 20 years and having served as President of two school boards, and I acquired other elements, such as more training in child development, coaching, etc. Via website, e-mail newsletter and word-of-mouth, I marketed my individual counseling services and workshops under the name “Parenting Solutions.” I have grown a nice clientele in both realms. But, my scope has been limited; I mostly reach those with whom I connect with one-on-one, in small groups or through my moderate-sized mailing list. ”
“When I was approached by a former business colleague and his tech partner, who together had the idea for an app, to be their parenting expert providing all the content, I jumped at the chance to increase my reach and impact. We strategized collaboratively to create an app unusual in its ability to use all functions of the iphone, asking the question: “As a parent, what would I want this app to do?” (keep my kids’ schedules, record memories, offer me quick advice when I need it, recommend great books and toys, store medical records), and then we designed accordingly. It is the first app that features both on-the-go reminders of good parenting techniques (e.g. search “tantrum” and get my advice on how to handle it) and recommendations for books, games and other products and activities, as well as organizational tools that help parents manage their family’s busy life (calendar, contacts, photo storage, list generator). We invested time in getting the name (we ultimately decided on “ParentSmart”) and the ‘look’ of the product just right, keeping with the colors and feel of my brand/website. I wrote the content for the app by breaking down all my advice into various categories (e.g. “sleep,” “sibling rivalry,” “manners”) and hundreds of bite-size pieces that parents could access quickly (by looking in a category or “searching”) and implement immediately. The format is perfect for my consulting model in which I give my clients one or two skills to work on at a time, avoiding overwhelming them with too many things to change at once.”
“In addition to the sale of the app providing a new product for my business, the app will also will give me increased exposure and reach for my consulting practice; I will capitalize further on my ability to work with clients across the country, over the phone or through teleseminars and webinars,” said Meg Akabas, founder of Parenting Solutions.
Visit www.parenting-solutions.com for more information, and stay tuned for the release of the app in March 2011!
*Attracting Instantaneous Buyers from All Over the World*
“I think it was my love for my iPhone that first triggered my idea of developing my own iPhone app. I love apps and use them daily. As a Feng Shui consultant, I searched the existing Feng Shui apps and found that most of them were either in a different language or just too complicated. Right away, I saw a need. It needed to be simple, interactive, and attract a Western audience. I sketched out the screens and how the interactive features would work. Around that time I had heard of the website Elance. I went with a company with a great portfolio and feedback and a reasonable price. It was actually a very easy and smooth process and within about a month my app went live in the iTunes store.”
“With virtually no marketing, I was attracting instantaneous buyers from all over the world. It truly has been the smartest thing I have done for my business. As for my client base, I feel like it has really taken my branding to the next level. Not to mention my clients love having a virtual Bagua Map with them wherever they go! Prospective clients are impressed when they find out that I have an App. I suppose the same was true about 15-20 years ago with websites,” said Tisha Morris, creator of the Feng Shui Bagua Map.
Visit www.tishamorris.com for more information, and download the app here: http://itunes.apple.com/app/feng-shui-bagua-map/id356669397?mt=8
*You Could Say it Helped Get my Business Off the Ground*
“Pay Off Debt is an app for the iPhone and iPad. It’s designed to help people who are getting out of debt using the debt snowball method, which was made popular by Dave Ramsey. The idea is to motivate people by allowing them to track and see their progress as they eliminate one debt after another, right up to their very last payment. I got the idea for it while browsing the financial apps on my iPhone. I noticed that there weren’t any apps like it, and thought there might be a market for it. “Thinking there might be a market for it” meant that I would have loved an app like that back when I was paying off my student loan. Beyond that, the only other thing that made me believe people might want a debt snowball app were a few reviews on a couple of credit card apps.
So I got to work creating the software spec and the basic flow of the app. I outsourced the development itself, and focused on testing the app to make sure it worked the way it should. I spent around $1500 and many hours of time to create the very first version of the iPhone app based on a sample of about 4 people total. It was an idea that I wanted to give a shot, and it was a success. It taught me to move quickly on ideas, get expertise when needed instead of trying to handle everything myself, and to focus until a project is complete. The app is a major portion of my business right now, so you could say it helped get my business off the ground,” said Jackie Beck, creator of the Pay Off Dept App.
Visit http://www.payoffdebtapp.com/ for more information, and download the app here iPhone: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pay-off-debt/id308554006?mt=8 iPad: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pay-off-debt-for-ipad/id410825110?mt=8
*There Has to Be a 21st Century Answer*
“Knowing someone’s name, and using it while addressing them is quite powerful. After having tried using the well known ways to remember names like repeating the names in conversation or creating some mnemonic device, it became clear that there has to be a 21st century answer to this age old problem. ”
“As iPhone users, my business partner and I decided to create an iPhone app that would solve that problem. We had the name- NameCatcher, and the idea. We needed to find a company that would create the code for us. We did some research online and attended a couple of seminars. We found a few developers to talk and meet with, ones we thought would be able to help us. The company we hired, Zco Corporation, was creative, collaborative and patient with us as we schooled ourselves in the app world.”
“NameCatcher and its business version, NameCatcher Biz put us in business where we now have the opportunity to make great use of our own app, making good impressions and creating human connections,” said Lisa Gordon, co-founder of Catcher in the Sky, LLC.
Visit http://www.catcherinthesky.com/ for more information, and download the app here http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/namecatcher/id339167488?mt=8
*The Best Way to Really Understand It Is to Actually Do It*
“I partnered with Sutro Media, a company that publishes iPhone apps, for “Essential Long Island,” a travel guide to more than 125 Long Island museums, day trips and attractions. I wrote all the content, shot or selected more than 750 corresponding images and managed the marketing.”
“My company is an award-winning editorial agency that provides businesses with a wide range of content services such as articles, commercials, website copy, e-newsletters, etc. Because it is essential I stay current with technology, the best way to really understand it is to actually do it. Now my mobile app experience has become a point of distinction. Several of my clients have discussed the possibility of my developing an app for their businesses. In the bigger picture, however, my goal is to have clients (and prospects) consider me their go-to writer for all their content needs. My app demonstrates I can deliver compelling content and marketing across all platforms,” said Iyna Caruso, founder of Sweet Lime Ink.
*Technology Like This Keeps Business Fun and Exciting*
“In 2007, my business partner, Alissa Schoenfeld, had this idea that women should have a way to know how old their make-up is, since cosmetics do eventually expire and have to be replaced. Having been a make-up artist for over 20 years, I knew that if there was a way to make it fun and easy, we could educate the public about how long each cosmetic item lasts once you open it up and start using it. Back then I thought that mascara was good for up to six months. After doing our research, we found it is actually at levels of bacteria (33%) at 3 months. When we first got started, we created physical stickers consumers could adhere to each item, and write the date once opened. We found the best writable, waterproof materials, a factory (in the USA), and a great local artist, John Engerman. We chose the name Beauty Alert!, designed our logo, started the process to become a registered trademark (we are) and in the process we became a Washington State Certified all women owned business. We made our label package, which are waterproof, writable, color coded labels that help consumers be aware of the guidelines on when a product should be tossed out.”
“The end result was fantastic, but the hardest part was getting distribution, and getting the word out. Having such a low cost item meant that we could not afford to advertise, and would have to slowly build our brand and our concept. Last year, we had this idea we should take our concept for keeping track of cosmetics and make an app for iphone. Electronic labels! I felt lucky that I had lived in Seattle for so long that I knew many people at the top of the technology world. With the help of the technical founder of a large company here, Shel Kaphan, and project manager Ericka Lock, we story boarded the concept out. We used the same artist for the electronic labels as we did for the stickers sold it the pack, and he designed some new icons for us as well.”
“We tried different ways to alert the customer that the product had expired, and decided on an alarm. We also made the app able to keep track of each item, so women could know the color and brand they like, and when the alarm goes off, the customer can repurchase that same cosmetic online. The Beauty Alert! app makes us able to continually tinker with the concept, to make it better. With our actual stickers, we must pay re-tooling costs at the factory if we want to make even the tiniest change.”
“The app also helped our company with branding, and can reach people in other countries. I think technology like this keeps business fun and exciting, and has allowed us to collaborate with people we might not have crossed paths with in the beauty industry. We love seeing the evolution of Beauty Alert,” said Stacya Silverman of Beauty Alert.
Visit www.beautyalert.biz for more information, and download the app here http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/beauty-alert/id385957049?mt=8
*We Saw a Need*
“We launched on January 1, 2011. Development for our Android app started in September 2010 because we saw a need for parents to keep their children safe. How many times can you worry about where your teenage daughter really is before you are at your wit’s end? The app includes GPS tracking, recording of phone calls, text messages, and images. With a shake of their phone, they can alert you that they are in trouble and need help,” said Jennifer Cook, Co-Founder of Safety First. Visit www.safetyfirstapps.com for more information and to download the app.
*Developed New Clients*
“There are over a quarter million apps on the iTunes store so finding a niche is essential. From the beginning Live Oracle has done research to discover what would generate the best way to attract new customers. A business plan was developed and costs were estimated. Once initial specifications were determined, programmers were hired to write the programs. When the app was approved and went live providing more feedback to the developers was essential. As the app continues to expand, it is necessary to tailor the app to the future needs of the customers.”
“Live Oracle allows someone who has downloaded the app to ask one question and receive guidance. Since the original advice stimulates additional questions, repeat business for the consultant follows. As a result, the new client discovers the benefit of receiving guidance and support to improve their personal and professional life.”
“Growing my visionary consulting business, Angelight Productions, requires nurturing ongoing relationships with existing clients as well as attracting new ones. My partnership with Live Oracle is geared to the development of new clients. In addition, being a part of the app has advanced sales on my latest book, Angel First Aid, Remedies for Life, Love, and Prosperity. My connection with Live Oracle is a unique way to build relationships and generate sales all over the world!” said Sue Storm, the founder of the Angel Lady.
Visit http://www.theangellady.net/ for more information, and download the app here http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/live-oracle/id365746784?mt=8
*Wonderful Way to Promote Your Business and Yourself*
“I’m very proud of my app – “iGiftThanks” (www.igiftthanks.com). When I had the idea for it I knew I had to call my friend Ana Roca Castro of Premiere Social Media (www.premieresocialmedia.com) for assistance with the development. The two of us met at a social media conference, as co panelists. She’s the yin to my creative yang and full of all kinds of technical expertise. I love working with her and when she heard about the app she decided she wanted to partner.”
“As a social media strategist www.ciaranblumenfeld.com I always say I am only as good as my next great idea. I make my living coming up with creative solutions for everyday problems and helping brands get the word out about their products and services via technology. Creating my own app gives me street cred! It’s a notch in my belt that I’m proud to have earned. The same week we launched we were featured on national television and written up on over a dozen blogs. My face was out there and that has led to several new contracts for me. Our iGiftThanks customers have given us great feedback. App development is a little addictive. I can’t wait to come up with more apps. It’s a wonderful way to promote your business and yourself,” said Ciaran Blumefeld of iGiftThanks.
Visit www.igiftthanks.com for more information and to download the app.
*A Wealth of New Opportunities*
“When I had the idea for my app (and, thus, my new business), I knew a couple things with total assurance. First, I knew I had a winner of a concept that was worth pursuing. Second, I knew that I didn’t know what I didn’t know about making that concept come to life. Thankfully, my belief in my idea compelled me to learn quickly and go for it. I’ve never looked back!”
“Nearly in tandem with coming up with the business concept, I created the branding (logo, tag line, domain name) and wrote a business plan as well. As a marketing pro and copywriter, those aspects were the easy parts for me. Actually developing the technology? Therein lies that “I didn’t know what I didn’t know” thing!”
“Armed with a plan and a brand, I applied to a local microfund investment group to vie for start-up funding to get the idea off the ground. Ultimately, my pitch to that group led to real interest from some cream-of-the-crop investors. However, as I was in initial talks with those fellows, I landed my first paying customer. With a real client signed and sealed, I could deliver the technology without help from investors. It was quite liberating to very politely say thanks but no thanks as I set out to bootstrap my venture—totally on my own.”
“Through local networking, I found a small assembly of capable developers to build the technology. I’m their direct customer, which puts me right in line to guide the process and gain knowledge at the same time. I handle as much as I can myself (setting up accounts, creating wireframes, writing technical specifications, etc). I feel as if I’ve been to graduate school in the process.”
“My app is at the core of an entirely new venture for me. I truly feel that, in building this technology, I’m building my knowledge and professional experience, as well as a wealth of new opportunities. As I look ahead at where my career and business are heading, I’m very thankful for my new “app”titude!” said Irene Williams, Digital Marketing Pro, Freelance Writer & Founder-CEO of QRHere, LLC.
Visit http://www.qrhere.biz/ for more information, and download the app here http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/crossville-q2r/id415133710?mt=8
*A Small Start Leads to Bigger Business*
“Opportunity sometimes arrives in ways you just don’t expect. It happened that way for Suzanne Rodriguez and Laurie McAndish King as they built their business around an iPhone application. The app, The San Francisco Waterfront, is a comprehensive directory of things to see and do along San Francisco’s vibrant waterfront. The two travel writers developed the mobile application as a simple experiment with new media, but soon realized they had more than a new product — they had the beginning of a new business. The application’s content — lively, original writing about a fascinating and ever-changing destination, illustrated with thousands of beautiful photos —lent itself to other formats.”
“So the two got to work. After completing the five-star-rated mobile app, they: Built a companion website, and set up affiliate marketing agreements with several companies whose products were likely to appeal to their audience. They made their first affiliate sale within days. Re-purposed some of the content into a book, and are in the process of talking with potential publishers. Were approached by a multinational company that wants to private-label their app and distribute it to trade show attendees as part of a marketing effort. Of course, they’re going to make that happen. Developed a one-day class, called Get “App Happy,” detailing the essentials of writing and marketing a mobile app. An e-book will follow. ”
Laurie, a former marketing executive, is enthusiastic about using mobile applications for business. “Private-label apps have the potential to deliver marketing messages over an extended period of time,” she says. “Users keep their apps — with the private-label branding — on their smartphones indefinitely, and view the logo many times each day. Because the content is good, users return to it, use it, and recommend the app to others, extending marketing reach in the most personal, effective, colleague-to-colleague way possible.”
“A former computer magazine editor, Suzanne sought to work with problem-free technology during the development process. We both wanted to focus on what we do best — travel writing — and leave the technical part to the experts. So we did some research and decided to work with Sutro Media, a proven developer with nearly 200 apps in the iTunes Store. Sutro Media offers an easy-to-use interface, provides clear instruction for writers, and is an effective liaison with the reviewers at Apple. They’ve been a pleasure to work with. An even greater pleasure, say both women, is the business opportunity that came through doing something they love,” said Suzanne Rodriguez and Laurie McAndish King the creators of The San Francisco Waterfront.
*I Founded My Company Because of an App*
“I founded a company; SmartyShortz LLC because of an App! There was a need for educational Apps in the Apple Store- a couple years ago my kids were wanting to play on my husbands and my iPhone in restaurants and the Apps available were coloring and mind numbing games. If only there was a series of Apps that were fun and educational so my kids would be learning and playing at the same time?”
“My background is design, I designed my own line of high end children’s clothing called Tiny Tomatoes for 7 years and recently closed it down when the economy took a down turn. My husband’s background is Computer Science and he has traveled to Singapore for years so I used him (he loves this term BTW) as my resource and hired 2 developers in China (now we have 7) to make my designs (and kids- some screens in our games are actually drawn by children!) come to life! My best girlfriend consults on the curriculum (she is a resource teacher) and my sister helps with graphics (she is a graphic designer), together we make Smarty as an App and a company come to life!”
“SmartyShortz screens are clear, clean, eye catching, and filled with bright colors. The quick lessons are created to keep a child’s interest then reward them positively with a reinforcing game linked to the lesson they just learned. SMARTY SHORTZ is the first educational App to offer 6 core subjects (Math, Reading, Spelling, Science, History and Geography) 48 total activities, among the vast plethora of Apps available through iTunes. We currently have 9 employees, 2 Smarty Apps in the App Store (Smarty Shortz 1st and Smarty Shortz K) 2 more in their final stages of development and have produced Apps for other companies as well!” said Jill Mikols Etesse of Smarty Shortz.
Visit www.smartyshortz.com for more information, and download the apps here:
Smarty 1st – http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smarty-shortz-1st-grade/id381010608?mt=8
Smarty 1st HD for iPad – http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smarty-shortz-1st-grade-hd/id381016340?mt=8
Smarty K – http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smarty-k/id396345057?mt=8
Smarty K HD for iPad – http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smarty-k-hd/id396345297?mt=8
*The Perfect Complement*
“An iPhone app will bring value to my business. I like to jot information down on an actual piece of paper but I also enjoy the benefits of a smart phone. Working women handwrite and use apps as well. Offering an app along with the Pink Ladders Task Manager, a physical planner/organizer, is providing another tool to assist women in climbing their Pink Ladder.”
‘The Task Manager is a comprehensive life tool. Affirmations are included, there is way to track goals, tasks and projects which are written to bring those affirmations to life. The Task Manager uniquely integrates personal and business aspirations into a comprehensive tool for planning and managing life and career. An iPhone app is a clear alternative or complement to the Task Manager.”
“A year after designing and selling the leather bound Task Manager specifically tailored for women, a physician friend of mine contacted me after perusing the Pink Ladders website. He develops iPhone apps as a hobby and suggested an app for the Pink Ladders Task Manager. The timing was ideal. Using an iPhone myself, I am well aware of the value of an app. My friend said he was willing to partner with me to develop an app for Pink Ladders.”
“So, I jumped on the opportunity. The app is designed to have a very similar look and feel to the Pink Ladders Task Manager. For a bit of inspiration throughout the day, quotes from the monthly featured Woman of Focus will appear. (Each month, we feature a woman who shares her own story about challenges and successes in finding life/career balance.) We will begin the beta testing followed by the launch around Mother’s Day,” said Angela Newman of Pink Ladders.
Visit www.pinkladders.com for more information.
*Apps Take Business From Local to Global Market*
When author, Karen Robertson, saw the iPad for the first time in June 2010, she saw the opportunity to use apps to take her business to a whole new level in two ways – product and market. A few years before, Karen was struggling to get her sons (6 and 9 years old) to read for fun. She invented a new book format that combined the magic of stories with the fun of little toys to give kids a new, tactile way to engage with a book.
She then patented the format and wrote and published her first, award-winning book, Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island. Treasure Kai puts a twist on the choose-your-adventure format, using a hunt for gold to motivate kids to finish the book. Whilst Karen is Texan, she lives in Sydney, Australia so her primary market for the book was local, where the book sold quite well.
When Karen saw a book app on an iPad last year, she immediately saw that by using this new device, she could deliver an even more tactile and interactive reading experience for kids. Not only that, but she could also deliver three or four stories a year rather than one book every two years, because production costs and turnaround times were reduced.
This would help her achieve her vision of delivering a series of stories that take kids on fictional treasure hunt adventures through history supported, by Fun Fact Videos and more edutainment content online. Another benefit was that by developing an app, she could reach a global market without the challenges of inventory, distribution or expensive shipping costs.
Karen started working with a producer friend of hers and they sourced a local developer to develop a book app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The first Treasure Kai app will launch in late February 2010. The team have found that the process has taken longer than they’d originally expected because although they started with a tight brief, they’ve seen opportunities to improve on the interactivity of the app along the way and have had to find a way to balance the reading experience of a book with the dynamic format that an app provides. Apps have given Karen a way to see her creative vision reach a global market, cost effectively.
Visit www.treasurekai.com for more information, and download the app here iPhone: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/treasure-kai-lost-gold-shark/id418289114?mt=8 and iPad: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/treasure-kai-lost-gold-shark/id418289114?mt=8.
*I Loved Every Minute of It*
“I came up with the idea of Swayable back in May 2010. The primary concept revolves around getting opinions from friends and family while out and about. Think of how many times you just want to get a quick opinion on something your buying. With Swayable, you can take pictures of two items, send a Swayable to your social network or via email and get feedbackreal time on what they think. This equates to a mobile application. The website alone would cover any web URL’s uploaded pictures or users can search Google images, but this is not “sticky” enough for my business. I have to have a mobile application to make this a success.”
“As a sole founder with a non-programming background, I knew getting an application created was going to be a bit of a challenge. Not only did I need to find someone to develop the application, I now had to really think through features and functionality myself as I did not have the budget to hire usability experts etc. I created a project scope down to every detail with my own sketched images and then I found a company called Beyondsoft and outsourced the development work to China. It’s been a huge learning experience but I’ve loved every minute of it,” said Lindsey Harper, the creator of Swayable.
*We Launched an App Division*
“In 2000, along with a team of experts, I founded MomsTeam.com devoted to youth sports parents. Nearly eleven years later, the site has become a comprehensive and trusted source for timeless and timely youth sports information. It is now generally recognized as the number one youth sport information website. MomsTeam is also often recognized as the “pioneer in youth sports concussion education and information.” Over the past decade, the MomsTeam health and safety channel has become the go-to place for all parents raising athletic children. One of the more comprehensive “topic centers” in the health and safety channel is the “Hydration Center,” which contains over 300 pages of information that coaches routinely encourage parents to visit for objective and well-researched information on how to keep kids hydrated and prevent dehydration and other, more serious forms of heat illness.”
“With the explosion of the mobile web, the same team I lead at MomsTeam.com launched an app division, Mobile Sports, Inc., to put into the hands of today’s on-the-go youth sports parents, coaches, athletic trainers and other sports medicine professionals applications designed to make the sports experience safer and to solve real life problems their athletes encounter. The first app I developed was iHydrate®, which provides a solution to the problem of athletic kids (and adults) becoming dehydrated while participating in sports. One of the biggest challenges athletes face, especially in hot, humid weather, is consuming enough fluids before, during and after sports, and knowing the risk of heat illness. Dehydration is the most preventable of all sports injuries yet coaches and parents don’t know how to hydrate or rehydrate appropriately. There are four states that have mandated that football players weights need to be logged before participation and then again after. The amount of fluid needs to be calculated and rehydration needs to happen on a regular schedule. iHydrate provides an easy solution to this task.”
“iHydrate® is an innovative application that gives athletes, parents of athletes, and coaches the tools and information they need to avoid dehydration and other, more serious heat-related illnesses. It provides the apparent temperature on the basis of the current temperature and relative humidity at the user’s current location, display the level of heat-illness risk under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) heat index, allows parents, coaches and athletic trainers to schedule hydration reminders for before, during and after sports and receive “push” notifications; and help facilitate the replacement of fluids lost during sports based on urine color and/or amount of weight lost.”
~ Brooke de Lench, Publisher of MomsTeam.com
Visit http://www.MomsTeam.com for more information, and download the app here http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ihydrate/id325306090?mt=8