Each month the NW Innovation Resource Center writes about a Whatcom County resident who has invented products that solve everyday problems.
Developer: Jovan Johnson.
Product description: AdotME is a new way to compile a child’s accomplishments and milestones creating a résumé for the future.
How to buy: Go to iTunes or to the Google Play store to download the AdotME app to your smartphone.
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Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.adotme.com
AdotME is a portfolio of your child’s greatest hits. From batting averages to piano recitals, AdotME helps you build a record of accomplishments for a child. The AdotME app incorporates an exclusive “vouching” feature that allows you or others to verify every one of a child’s accomplishments. You can easily capture comments and verified approval from teachers, coaches and other leaders in your child’s life. This gives the child a competitive advantage as he or she begins building their résumé, personal sports or academic records, and college applications.
1. What was the problem you were trying to solve and how did you come up with the solution?
Parents want their kids to be happy, successful and to find purpose in their lives and fulfill their dreams. It was with the goal of fulfilling those dreams that AdotME was created. This app was designed to help kids achieve their big-time goals, showcase their skills and share their stories in a compelling way as they transition into the next step of their growth. For kids to make the most of their future opportunities, they often need to explain why they deserve them. There will always be someone, an interviewer or an admissions officer, who has the power to decide whether to grant an opportunity. AdotME helps kids present their achievements in a format that is progressively verified and designed to impress. So when it comes time to make a decision about whether to admit, hire, reward or promote, there will be plenty of convincing evidence to explain why a child has earned it.
2. What has it taken in terms of time, effort or expense to get the business up and running?
It has taken a lot of time, investment and learning – from the conceptualization process to figuring out how to bring an app to life. Wire-framing, beta testing, submitting versions to iTunes and Google Play, and countless other steps along the way, have all taught me a lot of the process. Overall, working on this and my other projects it has taken about two years of work in developing and launching the app.
3. What have been the biggest challenges you faced in the process?
Since I do not have a background in technology, I had to figure it out and learn a lot of new information. Another challenge is marketing; I know it is important to explain the value of AdotME effectively. So I have been working on generating a clear message that this app is something every parent needs.
4. How does bringing this product to market differ from other entrepreneurial endeavors you have done?
AdotME is technology, so it feels intangible compared with other consumer products and projects I have been involved with. As a land developer I worked hands-on in houses – building them and prepping for sale. I have also done food products that sit on the shelf for someone to buy. So moving to a technology-based product has been a unique experience because unlike land or a store, in this case the shelf is the internet. That can be hard to wrap your mind around.
5. What is the one piece of advice you would give to aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs?
First, let passion drive great ideas. Keep the good you hope to accomplish at the forefront of your vision. Second, answer these questions for your potential customer as honestly as you can and see if people engage with your answers: What is the big idea? How does it work, the nut and bolts? Why does it matter and give hope? Why is it worth attention? How does it entertain or surprise? Third, remember that nothing ever happens doing nothing. Surround yourself with great mentors and go for it.
Lara Merriam-Smith is the program manager for NW Innovation Resource Center, a Bellingham-based nonprofit that helps inventors and entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. For more information call 360-255-7870 or go online to nwirc.com.
Learn more about how to get your technology idea or product to market at the Inventor Insights event from noon to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov.2, at 2211 Rimland Drive, Room 106. The event is free, but register in advance at nwirc.com/events, or call 360-255-7870.