Do you know how disheartening it is to have people comment, “So I took a look at your site… but can’t really figure out what you do or what your product is.” Now, I’m not saying that this isn’t a justified statement, but it’s certainly something that we have taken to heart and in line with changing our overall business model in the next year, we’re also going to try to make it easier for people to figure out what we [will] do…
Broadening our offerings beyond stop-motion in 2014
One of the big lessons we’ve learned is that technology or a product alone is not enough in today’s noisy world of apps. In addition, crowd-sourced funding platforms such as Kickstarter have reduced barriers to launching a product, app, or website. However, from there, it’s truly a feat to build a business.
Much like we originally pulled the SAM Animation product into the market, we are looking to partner with other smaller, innovative products and early stage companies that engage kids in hands-on learning and creative thinking. Leveraging our experience with integrating SAM and myCreate into informal and formal education settings, we will bundle content with the new products, providing a full “experience” for kids to create.
Status of our stop-motion animation products:
Now that we have updated myCreate on the iPad and iPhone with a cleaner interface, and also released a “Lite” version (free up to 30-pics… think Vine, but you can do way more!), we’re letting the apps ride for a bit (aside from any bug fixes). We wanted to offer a free version originally, with an in-app purchase option, but realized that wasn’t great for schools, so have gone the route of two separate apps. Later in 2014 we may be adding more features, but for now we’re keeping the creating process simple.
SAM Animation continues to be integrated in schools, and also is showing up in white label packages (our UK distributor HUE Animation partnered with Moshi Monster for a kit this season). We will have distribution in Australia in early 2014, and continue to actively seek and work with channel partners around the world to resell / bundle SAM into their product offerings.
We’ll release our first Mac OS App Store product by the end of the year: myCreate-desktop. It has the same basic layout and functionality as our myCreate iOS app, and will be compatible on OSX 10.8 and 10.9 only. This lays the groundwork for the web-based version in later months (once HTML5 gets more stable).
Additional product bundles in the store:
One of the first additional products we’ll be offering is the BeeBot with activity guides that have been classroom tested. These are small floor robots designed to teach younger kids the basics of programming. We’re still working out arrangements with additional product lines similar in nature, and will be slowly releasing them through our store in 2014 as we finalize each one, and complete the content bundling and packaging.
In the meantime, enjoy creating through the holidays! We have a very fun Holiday Animation to share with the iCreate community tomorrow, we’re looking forward sharing it!