When I started Brain Parade I had a few simple goals in mind. During my career I’ve worked at large, multi-national companies like GE and Accenture, and at small software companies with less than 40 employees. The companies that I worked for built products ranging from nuclear power plants to financial planning software and provided services from disaster planning to strategic technology consulting. So my experience was pretty broad in terms of company size, culture, industry, and products/services offered. There was a lot I liked and a lot I could do without.
The goals I had with Brain Parade were:
I wanted to enjoy what I was doing, not struggle to get out of bed in the morning to schlep to an office and a job that didn’t inspire and excite me.
I wanted to offer a product or a service that did something good – something that let me go to sleep at night with a smile on my face.
I wanted to recapture the excitement I had felt in a startup software organization – the excitement of building something from scratch and watching it grow and blossom
Ten months ago Brain Parade was formed and has exceeded all those goals thus far. I’ve been amazed at the incredible response that See.Touch.Learn.™ has generated in the special needs community and I’ve been fortunate to meet some really amazing people. One of those amazing people is Gary James of Apps 4 Children With Special Needs.
Gary James and A4CWSN
I first “met” Gary online on March 10th when I contacted him to introduce myself and Brain Parade. I had seen some video reviews that he had done and I asked him to review my app, See.Touch.Learn.™ which had been launched two days earlier. At that point Gary had just started doing reviews and had posted a few dozen videos on his website – now there are hundreds! Gary responded to my email six minutes after I sent it saying he would love to do a video review. That was my first clue that Gary was passionate about what he did. The second clue came 24 hours later when the video review was posted on his website and he really took the time to understand and show all of the important features of See.Touch.Learn. I was impressed. I should have waited – Gary was just getting started.
Gary contacted me about an “App Party” that he was planning on his Facebook page. I really didn’t understand what it was he had in mind. He explained that he would be giving away free apps on Facebook. It took a little more explaining before the “aha” light bulb lit up in my head. I got it. What Gary had created was a real win-win-win situation. The developers like me win because we get some really great exposure for our apps. Gary and A4CWSN win because they get more developers to give him products, donations, and visibility so he can do even more good. And most importantly, the special needs families win because they get an opportunity to learn about special needs apps, have an opportunity to speak directly with the developers, and receive free or discounted apps from the developers.
I don’t know if Gary expected the phenomenal buzz that the first and then the second App Party generated, but I sure didn’t. As a developer participating in the second App Party, I saw hundreds of new fans on my Facebook page and the highest number of libraries purchased in a single day since we launched See.Touch.Learn.™!
In just a short time Gary has created a huge following on Facebook, on his website and in the media. He has established A4CWSN as an unbiased, passionate community of people with a connection to special needs. For me as an app developer, Gary and A4CWSN have helped me to get the word out to my prospective customers and develop a two-way communication link with them – they tell me what they like and want, I tell them what we’ve got going on. What Gary asks in return is that I give something back to his audience – free apps, discounts, or donations to support iPad giveaways. Gary is always dreaming up new ideas and most of them are truly one of a kind. He’s a hard guy to keep up with – I don’t think he sleeps much at all.
I have great admiration for Gary, both as an app developer, and as a human being. I am grateful for what he has done to bring visibility to my business, I am inspired by the great impact he has made on special needs families, and I am amazed at how quickly and effectively he has organized thousands of people and companies around a single, worthy cause – helping others.
-Jim McClafferty, Brain Parade Founder
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