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Today’s interview is with Brad Daberko of Pickled Productions.  Please visit their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Hi Brad, thank you for participating our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I am a writer, woodworker, golfer, juggler, gardener and single father to a handful of a third grader named Emma. I have been known to chase a dream as well as a wild hare or two.

How did the idea for your app come about?

When Emma was still in the womb, her mother and I ran into some difficulties, and a fairly nasty custody battle ensued. During that tumultuous time, I burned some nervous energy by writing Emma Dill & The HICCUP Pickle (her mother had decided her name would be Emma – and Emma Dill is Dil-Emma transposed). The idea was that our heroine would be finding herself in a pickle, and because she was raised right, she works her way out. Well, the custody battle ended with a landmark court decision that granted me 50-50 custody, and we have never looked back! (Well, until this paragraph!)

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

Emma is now 8.5 years old, so that’s how long it took to launch the app/storybook. We encountered a big hurdle about a year ago when we discovered a series of teen books centered around a character named Emma Dilemma… and felt that was too close, so we had to change our name to Dabby (Emma was consoled by our giving Dabby’s best friend’s the name Emma).

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?

This app is truly a team effort! After going through two illustrators who couldn’t devote the time needed, we found a team of illustrators that go by the name Choppic in Indonesia. Their style was perfect. They were professional, timely, and aligned with the vision of Dabby Dill. With illustrations taken care of, we hired a company in Indianapolis, IN called Bennett Innovations to program the app and build the initial web site.

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

The biggest obstacle also produced the most substantial benefit to the process. Since hiring illustrators and developers is not cheap, financing the development was the biggest obstacle. Enter editor/former teacher and mother of three Janet Lashar. Not only was she eager to invest time and expertise, but also capital to launch the development.

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

We have had TONS of support – from all kinds of family and friends and production professionals. Including the narrator (veteran VO professional Kristin Lennox) who provided unparalleled VO and singing at a fraction of what she’s worth!

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

We are currently finishing the manuscript for the second in the series – Dabby Dill & The MUD Pickle. This app will feature Dabby and her good friend Nate – as they find themselves in a pickle after a big rain. Definitely a story that will appeal more to the boys in our audience! The MUD Pickle will contain all the same secrets and extras that the first app had – songs, games, recipes, and WHO KNOWS what else!

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

We’ve been getting great reviews from parents, educators and especially kids… from ages 3-8 (and even a few older kids who love touching all the items on the screen)! I think the app is resonating with a wide audience because it is fun and entertaining, it’s educational, and most importantly… it doesn’t dumb anything down for kids. We want kids to be challenged! (One of the best reviews we’ve received was from a mom whose 3 year old used the vocabulary word SCURRY during a normal conversation IN CONTEXT. When Mom asked her how she knew the word, she replied – Dabby Dill, Mom!) Awesome.

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

If you have something for which you have a passion… CHASE IT! Start simple. Be ready for setbacks. And most of all, have fun!

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!  Watch for our upcoming review of this very cute app!

Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB


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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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