Monthly Archives: May 2014

Look Birdy: How an app that solved a little everyday problem took off.

They say you should never work with children or animals, good thing my little iPhone app works with both.

LookBirdy_kidsanimals

In a couple of weeks, and with zero investment in advertising, Look Birdy, my little app that helps parents take better photos of their kids has been downloaded thousands of times in over 32 countries and counting – I for one am flummoxed by this reaction, but am certainly enjoying the ride.

Apart from  parents and pet owners posting photographic proof that the app works from, here are some of the highlights so far…

Being featured on the site that taught me how to take a t-shirt off with one hand and chill a beer using a wet paper towel.

Making uber-awesome New York designer, blogger, Creative Mornings instigator Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka Swiss Miss) smile.

Getting an Anchor-Woman in Atlanta Georgia spreading the word.

Getting a nod from the great Digital Buzz Blog.

Having the company who invented the light-bulb acknowledge this slightly less crucial innovation.

Being endorsed by a Malaysian pop-star.

And requests and suggestions for more sounds, an Android version of the app, and an app dedicated to dogs.

It’s been a weird and wonderful few weeks, and if it all ended here I’d be pretty happy, but it seems that things aren’t slowing down just yet.

 

My creative dad trilogy – an attempt to do creative work that wasn’t work.

Last year, I started making stuff that related to my kids, this turned into my Creative Dad Trilogy. Part tribute to my daughters and the new things they teach me everyday and part challenge to myself to stop mindlessly watching TV at night and actually finish some personal creative projects.

Project one: The Bin Man.

Every Monday morning my daughters were woken by the noisy rubbish truck. Rather than being annoyed by it, they thought it was magical.  This inspired a bedtime story that would be requested every other night. With the help of the awesomely talented Dan Jones, who just became a new Dad this week, we turned it into a book. Printed in a limited edition of two, one for each them.

  700BinMan-cover

Project two: Look Birdy App

Look Birdy came from an idea I had from looking at the photos in my phone where I was failing to get my daughters attention. I am writing this post a week after launching it and the response has been amazing. And yes, I do lay awake a night hoping Look Birdy turns into this phenomenon that allows me to pursue creative Dad projects for a living. It got endorsed by a Malaysian Pop-Star last night, so you never know.

Project three: ???

There are two ideas duking it out for number three.

One was inspired by my desire to be like Peter Falk in the Princess Bride. This idea is about creating a process that helps Dads ( and Mums!) make up awesome bedtime stories using classic plot structures as a guide. I imagine this to be a creative framework that familiarises you with the beats of a story so you can make up endless variety of bedtime stories.

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The other idea is something my eldest daughter suggested when she was four. She woke up one morning and said “Dad, I have an idea for an iPad app”. Mind you, a few days earlier she had announced that she wanted to be a banana when she grew up so I knew this could go anywhere. Then she told me her idea: “You should do an iPad app that teaches kids what to do in a emergency” – so simple, and necessary in a world where we don’t use home phones anymore.

So I’ve decided I’m going to do a survey, post below and let me know which one the world is ready for, or  follow me on Twitter and ping me your opinion that way.

Cheers

Ben