Slater, thank you for participating in our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a father of two living in Chicago. I have a background in software engineering, but I’ve always felt a desire to work in a more creative capacity.
An interesting fact about me is that in 2015, I ran a 50 mile ultra-marathon. My motivation was to show people that you can survive and thrive on a vegan diet.
How did the idea for your app come about?
After reading lots of kids books with my children, I realized something. Most children’s brands focus on a group of friends and the challenges they face together (e.g. Jake and the Pirates, My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, etc.). These brands have a lot to say about friendship, but shy away from the topic of family.
The term “Family Values” is a hot-button issue for many. My motivation with this series is not to be preachy or “get back” to a time when families looked a certain way.
I simply believe that if we want children to develop happy and healthy family relationships, then we should be showing them examples of happy and healthy families. The Roxy Books were born out of the desire to provide kids with an example of a contemporary and fun-loving family.
And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?
From concept to launch the process took three years. During that time, I was working full-time in the video game industry and raising two toddlers with my wife. Many many nights and weekends went into bringing the Roxy app to fruition. In the end, I’m very proud of the finished product.
Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?
I did all of the programming myself. I contracted out the illustrations, text translations, and voice acting.
What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?
The hardest part of development was the slow pace. After a full day of work and putting the kids to bed, I only had two hours each night to work on the Roxy app.
At my day job, it might take a day to finish a feature. That same feature might take a full week on the Roxy app because of the limited amount of hours I could devote to it.
Maintaining momentum over several years at such a slow pace was much more difficult than any marathon training I ever did.
Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?
My wife has always been very supportive of my career ambitions. She is very ambitious as well, having just earned the extremely difficult to obtain CFA certification. She supported me both in terms of sacrificing time together and in our decision to self-finance the app’s creation.
What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?
I am planning on starting the next entry in The Roxy Books series in the next couple months.
What sort of feedback has the app been receiving so far?
The reception of the app has been overwhelmingly positive. People seem to love the heartwarming story and that relatable yearning for that “it” toy.
We have been extremely honored and ecstatic to be featured by Apple in the “Kids Apps and Games We Love” section of the App Store.
And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?
Your app will take 10 times longer to develop than you think. It will also cost five times as much as you think. Once you put it out, you may not make any money on it. My advice would be to keep expenses as low as possible and put in as much sweat equity as possible.
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!
Read our review of Roxy and the Ballerina Robot here.
Roxy and the Ballerina Robot
by Jackrabbit Publishing LLC
Category: Books, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 117.63 MB