Oren Jacob – ToyTalk

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Oren Jacob is the co-founder and CEO of ToyTalk, which creates conversation-driven entertainment for families.


For the past few months, I’ve spent time with families after school watching and talking to Winston, the host of our show. I believe the best way to understand your product is to spend time with people using it.


The most significant strategy shift we’ve made to date is building the story and character behind our show. In 2012, we developed break thru technology but we weren’t ready to launch until 2013 when we could immerse viewers into a world where they forgot the technology existed.


In our first week in market, the most significant factor for growth was our ranking in the App Store. We couldn’t be more grateful to Apple for selecting us as Editor’s Choice.


As a company working to make characters conversational, we try and prioritize conversation as a company value. We meet as a company frequently to connect and learn from one another.


Teams are the most productive when they are learning. Our culture thrives when challenged and so we try to make sure that’s always the case.


We made a pretty significant decision to redesign our product in early 2013 which delayed market availability by almost nine months. What we had created was amazing technology but it wasn’t entertaining. At the end of the day, we are successful if the technology disappears to create a believable character.


Your product needs a story. Beyond innovation and value, the best products inspire an emotional connection with a user.


Don’t underestimate the value of your learnings to partners, no matter what their size. We’ve developed some key partnerships at little to no cost based on a collective need to understand new technologies.


No matter how well things go in the office, we have a perpetual fruit fly issue. Its a constant reminder that there will always be some problems we can’t solve.

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