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DoubleScoop is an application that was created to help children and grandparents build a richer relationship by enabling two-way communication with real-time back-and-forth conversation via drawings, photographs and voice recordings. The application can be used on PC and Mac computers, iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices. DoubleScoop is built on the belief that there is a special relationship between kids and grandparents that is worth growing and nurturing.
DoubleScoop currently supports four types of communication: text messages, drawing, voice messages and photo sharing – all in a very simple stream that creates a digital scrapbook where families can cherish their daily interactions. In the future, DoubleScoop will provide a platform for all kinds of engagement: games, storytelling, learning, family history – all curated to enhance the relationship between kids and grandparents.
MO: Can you elaborate on the idea behind DoubleScoop and how it was born while in an ice cream shop with your parents in Atlanta?
Steve: I lived in Atlanta for a number of years when my kids were young. Every week, my parents would come over and pick up my two boys for a trip to get ice cream. It became a little tradition for them to have time with just the boys. After we moved out to Colorado, those outings were something everyone missed – and the image of them sitting in the ice cream store stuck with me. Of course, they always got the kids double scoops…
MO: What insights did you gain as the founding COO of Einstein Bros Bagels that you were able to use when developing DoubleScoop?
Steve: A simple consumer proposition is best. Pick one thing and do it very well.
MO: Can you talk about taking the concept of DoubleScoop and turning it into a reality? What challenges did you encounter along the way and how did you overcome them?
Steve: Simplifying our consumer proposition and product was a real challenge. It’s always much harder to make something simple than to make it complicated – especially with computers, which my co-founder Tim Carlin calls “infinite complexity machines.” We are constantly having to say “no” to ideas and features, some of which might someday be great additions, to stay on track and actually be able to release a product on time and on budget.
MO: How does DoubleScoop work? What are some of your favorite features of the platform?
Steve: Right now, DoubleScoop is focused on the core component of a relationship: communication. DoubleScoop lets users send text messages, draw pictures, record their voice and share photos – all in a simple stream that creates a “digital scrapbook” of precious memories. My favorite communication mode is voice. We designed it so that when a grandparent is listening to a kid’s message, they see their face. Grandparents tell us they just love being able to listen to these little kids talking and singing over and over – it’s just so emotional.
MO: Where does your strong entrepreneurial spirit come from?
Steve: I guess I just keep coming up with ideas and I can’t seem to remember how hard startups can be. So I just dive in. And at this point, with the crazy career I’ve had (if you can call it a “career”) I can’t imagine ever getting a “real job.”
MO: Can you expand on how you’re adding more ways to interact on DoubleScoop as it evolves into a platform for all kinds of engagement?
Steve: We can see all kinds of ways to enhance DoubleScoop, all based on the idea of fostering great relationships. Kids and grandparents have an innate desire to connect, but sometime they need some help – something to do together. So we see DoubleScoop as a platform where we can provide appropriate activities, like games, storytelling, learning, family history – really anything that keeps a fun conversation going.
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