Creating Character in Kids by Character Counts, LLC   Review

Today’s interview is with Todd Duplain of Character Counts LLC.  Please visit his website and Twitter page and read our review for a chance to win a copy of his app!

Thank you for participating our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I am a father of 4 boys ages 14, 12, 10 and 8. I have been married for 15 years to my best friend Suzanne. My daytime profession is a commercial real estate developer. That being said, my passion is to the best of my ability, help teach and instill good behavior, responsibility, discipline and morals in children and young adults.

How did the idea for your app come about?

The app was created out of necessity for my own family. After several years of the typical family chaos in our home, my wife and I decided we needed to create a more peaceful environment where our children understood our expectations and started to reflect our value system. So after much trial and error we created a tool that would very clearly and concisely define daily responsibilities & behavioral expectations and measure progress toward those goals. This tool became Creating Character “in Kids” which has significantly improved our children, our home and our own lives.

And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?

3 years. I had been using a modified old school “star chart” for some time but it was just too challenging to manage and did not reflect the values my wife and I wanted to teach our children. Additionally, I wanted something high tech that made the whole process both easy and fun. So I started scribbling down my ideas and after about 6 months had a vision for the unique app I wanted to create. After I had the vision that was in my head, on paper, I needed to find a developer that could bring my vision to reality. That turned out to be a challenge.

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?

Since I did not know anything about coding or app development, I took my ideas and some scribbled out notes and wireframes to several development companies. Candidly, the development process was very difficult and troublesome. The first several app developers that I hired did not work out. Finally, I selected a group out of Columbus, Ohio that did an outstanding job.

What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?

Without question it was finding the right developer to bring my vision to life. I spent a considerable amount of time and money before the Columbus based development group brought this idea to life.

Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?

Absolutely. First and foremost, my wife was always very supportive of this effort. She was always encouraging me to keep going even when I was about ready to throw in the towel. Secondly, my kids were great as they keep evaluating and giving me ideas on how to make the app more fun, easier and just simply better.

What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?

Yes. Coming soon there will be a Creating Character “in Tweens” which will focus on 10-14 year olds and a Creating Character “in Toddlers” focused on children 5 and under. Both of these apps will function the same as Creating Character “in Kids” but they are designed for different age groups. You see, all of these apps provide very targeted ideas on what are age appropriate Goals, Reward and Consequences. These next two apps just simply round out the Creating Character series which once completed will cover children from Toddler to Tween and everything in between

What sort of feedback has your app been receiving so far?

Great thus far. Everyone that uses it for a week or two loves the app and loves what it does for their kids. It is definitely one of those apps that if you just use it for a day or two it probably won’t do much. But for those parents that want to be intentional parents, that want to instill good morals, values and principles in their kids, and that stick with it, this app works. I have heard and the Setup function is a little too difficult and confusing so we will soon have a second version out of Creating Character “in Kids” that has a better User Interface, particularly with the Setup function.

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?

For me I would recommend the following:
1) Create and app that your passionate about. No amount of marketing will make up for a bad app.
2) Find a developer that you trust and you are confident can execute on your vision
3) The discoverability process in the iTunes store is a huge challenge, so treat the marketing process as a marathon and not a sprint. It takes constant work.

Thank you so much for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your company.  We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!


 

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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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