This interview was made possible by our friends at DomainNameSales.com:
The marketplace for domain names.
Nancy is a first time CEO at Fingerprint Digital. Her career includes some of the biggest brands in interactive – LeapFrog, Hasbro, LucasFilm, and Atari. Her last corporate gig was EVP of Product Innovation & Marketing at LeapFrog where she led the charge around connected learning with the launch of the Learning Path Online, Tag Reader and Leapster Gaming System. Obsessed with the possibilities presented by touch screen devices, she left in 2010 to seek her fortunes in Mobile. Before LeapFrog, Nancy was VP Global Sales and Marketing at LucasArts where she traveled the world marketing a lot of Star Wars games. Earlier, she was VP Marketing at Hasbro Interactive working on everything from Scrabble Online to the best-game-ever, Roller Coaster Tycoon. All told, Nancy has launched over 100 games, 11 #1 titles, and over $2 billion in revenue.
Fingerprint Digital is the first kids’ learning and entertainment platform, providing sharing and engagement opportunities between kids and their grown ups across mobile devices and the web. Its network of quality edutainment apps is made up of first-party apps, as well as apps “fingerprinted” by third-party developers.
MO: Did you have an ‘aha moment’ when deciding to create Fingerprint Digital? How did your extensive background in the educational and games industry shape the development and vision of the company?
Nancy: It was Christmas, 2008 at SFO. A long line of families were waiting to board a flight. I remember counting 10 little kids. 3 had Nintendo, 1 had a Leapster, 4 had iPhones, and 1 a box of Legos. I realized then that the iPhone was going to change everything – gaming would be available anytime, anywhere and that our whole notion of child “platform penetration” would change because every parent held a gaming system in their hands – the phone. Every job I’ve had has led up to Fingerprint. It’s a wonderful mix of consumer marketing, developing fun and engaging product, and making games with benefits that kids love and parents trust – I’ve been able to work on every generation of interactive content from CD Rom to Nintendo to Online to LeapFrog to Mobile – and this is the most exciting stage because the market is evolving so quickly.
MO: What was the inspiration for your revolutionary Mom-Comm system?
Nancy: Two things. Some parents are concerned about the amount of screen time for their kids. I thought that giving parents insight into what their kids were playing would be valuable – Mom-Comm helps do that. Secondly, I was playing Facebook games and realized that the social aspect – games made better by playing with friends was actually relevant for families – kids and parents, kids and grandparents for example and that bringing the parent into the game via Mom-Comm could achieve a unique social-mobile experience. And of course…. as we tested the Mom-Comm and saw the absolute delight on kids’ faces when the message light blinked in-App and said “you have a message,” I knew we were on to something.
MO: Fingerprint’s 5 debut apps saw a 150% increase in minutes of gameplay (from 2 million to 5 million), and in just two months. Did you anticipate such rapid growth just after launching your first apps in December?
Nancy: Love to say that I predicted this, but not really! I knew we’d built sticky apps that kids would want to play, but I wasn’t sure that we’d get the kind of repeat play we’ve seen. You never know how the consumer will respond!
MO: Why do you think that the combination of educational and entertaining apps for kids has been such a largely untapped market?
Nancy: There are actually a lot of great little companies making Apps for kids, but no one has actually created a branded mobile learning business, but that will come over time just like the last generation with leaders like Broderbund, Learning Company, and Knowledge Adventure.
MO: What would your advice be for someone interested in pursuing a career in the app development industry?
Nancy: Play a lot of apps and figure out what makes them magical. Once you understand that magic, figure out how to make it into a business or find a great company doing just that and join them.
MO: Before founding Fingerprint Digital, what was your favorite game you ever helped create?
Nancy: I’ve worked on so many amazing games, but my favorites are Roller Coaster Tycoon and Lego Star Wars – games for kids, but played and enjoyed by all ages. And of course, Big Kid Life Fire Fighter.
Find the right Domain Name for your business at Fabulous.com!