Is Today My Birthday?

The ongoing autobiography of 123apps4Me


After reading Is Today My Birthday? you will have an insider's view on how the 123apps4Me business venture started and how it continues to evolve. You will feel like a front seat passenger on the same roller coaster ride that we've been on since this start-up was conceived.


Enough. Start with my conception in the spring of 2011. Or, if you'd rather begin with the most recent entries... scroll like crazy all the way to the bottom.


Big Bang Conception

2011- Early Spring: Do any of us know the exact day we were conceived? Well, the same is true for Me. I may not know the exact “when” of my conception, but I do know why. It had nothing to do with love. Nope, it was frustration. Frustration with the wasted time and expense of token boards. And other necessary, but inefficient, classroom tasks. An exasperated Summer reached her boiling point one spring afternoon. She complained to Kathy, There has to be a better way. Let's invent something better. And, BANG! Just like that- conception.



2011- Early & Mid Spring: I listen intently to Kathy and Summer conversations: What about an iPad app? How about several? We could also use an app for this. And to measure this. You know, we are on to something. This could be quite an adventure. An adventure? Count Me in!



Denver airport

2011- Mid & Late Spring: Their conversations continue: If only these apps were already invented... Do you think we can really do this? How about some investigating at the ABAI convention in Denver? Whoa, Denver? Isn't that in another state? Guess what? Summer let it slip that I get to go along, since I can fly for free in carry on baggage. I just have to promise to keep quiet for the whole flight. No problem.





US Map- CA & CO

2011- May: Colorado! Two states down and forty-eight to go. From what I am able to overhear, the convention magnified their plans for Me. Yeah!








2011- June: Come on already. Quit your darn talking about how big and strong I am going to be when I grow up. I know you are both working full time at school, but what about Me? Commit. ready for that adventure.








2011- Right before Summer Vacation: Not that I feel ignored, but... Months have gone by. And still nothing on paper. Not even a computer entry. But guess what? I may still be just an idea, but an ultrasound would show that I'm not only bigger since conception, but I have multiplied. In fact, I am such a muddle of exploding, evolving and disparate ideas that I am about to be


2011- Summer Vacation: about to be committed to paper! Yes! Finally! It's about time, but I'm not complaining. Actually, I am complaining, because I am Ugly with a capital U. Doodles, cross-outs, and arrows pointing every which way. I'm a mess. It probably doesn't help that my paper is a happy hour placemat from the Blue Beet Bar. A bar? Is that guacamole on my mission statement? For crying out loud, today better not be my birthday.


Brain Freeze

2011- Early July: Lots of research. In fact, I have an app brain freeze. With over 400,000 apps available there must be apps already out in cyberspace that do what is envisioned for Me, right? Wrong. Good news for my future, but it sure puts the pressure on Summer & Kathy. Can you say, Big leap of faith?








2011- Early July: A funny aside to the aforementioned research: Kathy thought she was simply looking at a $189 app when she was actually downloading it to her iPad. Whoops. A $189 app?? And I thought that I was the one with a brain freeze. The good news? If anyone takes umbrage at my eventual app price I will have this story to tell.



Apple store-Fashion Island

2011- Early July: Apple Store. Computers, phones and a massive dose of cool. Love this place. Introduced myself to Chris, the business manager. Explained my vision, and he said that Apple understands just how valuable the iPad can be to the autism and special needs community. Chris said the iCloud is coming out soon, and that makes my timing perfect. He gave Kathy and Summer names of app developers that would understand Me.








7/13: Summer & Kathy are Skyping right now with Gary James of a4cwsn. Gary who? Gary James, the guru behind reviewing apps for children with special needs. Guess what they are talking about? Me! Man, he giving them great ideas. I hope they are listening. Facebook. Twitter. My own website. He is saying these are a must to build awareness. Go Gary. Remember Me- someday I will be big enough for my own review.







7/14: My first meeting with an app developer. My first business meal. The app developer has the job of writing the computer code that will transform Me from iDea to iPad. A vital job, because I want to look great. Make people's jobs easier. Provide help. Spread happiness. Change the world. Whoops- got carried away.


7/15: What was that developers name we met yesterday? Was it John? Joe? Jonah? I was so into what he had to say, I forgot his name. I liked him. And speaking of names, he may have named Me. He thought it would be clever to elongate Summers name to get Summerize. Summerize would imply both summer fun and data gathering. I like the idea of my apps being not only useful, but also having a touch of fun. Summerize? Hmmm?


123SummerizeMe_Final Logo

7/16: How about 123SummerizeMe? This addition introduces a rhyme and helps me alphabetically. Plus, it implies that I will make the user of my apps smile when they use Me. Why? Because they’ll be Summerized. Maybe some kind of a sun for my logo would help strengthen this connection?





Twitter for Dummies and Kathy & Summer

7/17: Facebook? Twitter? What was I thinking? I mean, Kathy and Summer are great, but social media? Let get real. I'm less than six months old and I know more about social media than they do.













7/18- 8/10: Question- How do I evolve from idea to initial app layout? Answer- Start with many hours a day and add: Design. Think. Discuss. Describe. Tweak. Panic. Design. Attach Email. Meet. Argue. Pout. Change. Call. Design. Ponder. Print. Start. Over. Text. Envision. Design. Question. Erase. Keep Going. Design. Elaborate. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat



7/24: My very first URL was purchased today: I'm pumped. In fact, better than that, I'm summerized! Is today my birthday?



The Thinker Statue

8/9: The Big Think. From the get-go, here is the vision for my website: A resource for the autism and special needs community. A site for take-away ideas that will make a positive difference in families, classrooms and professions. A place to share tender moments from family life or from work that others can relate to with a laugh or tears. Or both. Pretty cool, huh?







8/10: My first official meeting with my website design team. They are impressive. We set an ambitious date of early September for launch. They asked, Shouldn't we emphasize your apps? A flattering question, but I answered by explaining The Big Think. They got it. The website is first and foremost a community info resource. Yes, the apps, when available, will be emphasized, but there always needs to be the resource aspect. Hopefully the apps will eventually play a large role.



A sudden change of gears

8/11: Grrriinndd. Whoops, I hope I didn't switch gears too quickly. Remember the 7/18- 8/10 app design process? Guess what? Same process, but new objective- the website design. Love it- better busy than bored! Gotta go Design. Think. Collaborate. Plan. Discuss. Repeat












Visa Logo

8/15: Uh-oh. I'm in hiding. I just overheard a phone call from Visa. It wasn't pretty. Something about confirming a big charge earlier today. Muttered comments about how expensive I am becoming. Thank goodness I heard nothing about Me not being worth the cost.







8/16: Big news in the mail today. Snail mail, believe-it-or-not. A letter arrived from the California Secretary of State that my application to reserve the name 123SummerizeMe LLC was approved. I had been holding my breath, so the exhale felt really good.








BF Skinner

8/26: Kathy just signed up for her 3rd behavior analysis class. By this time next year she will be finishing up her last class and studying for her BCBA final. I worry that she won't have enough time for Me, but she assures Me this isn't so. Plus, she says, her new designation will give Me big street cred. Behavior analysis strategies are evidently superstars in the autism and special needs field. It traces its roots directly to B.F. Skinner. Does that make B.F. and Me relatives? If not relatives, maybe BFF's?








Kathy's first tweet

9/12: Holy you know what. Kathy just Tweeted. From a Dimtwit to a Tweeter. The July 17th doubter is a September 12th believer. Kathy you rock! Especially because your first tweet was about Me.



9/16: An exciting day. My website started to be loaded with content. My first registered user was Surfmama. Is that a perfect name to start with, or what? The 5th user? Mrs.V. The 10th? Masao. The 20th? Bear7722. This is fun. I'm on a roll.



Autism conference at Chapman

9/17: Two exciting days in a row. I went to college! Summer and Kathy attended a conference on autism at Chapman University sponsored by KIDA and brought Me along. Almost everything was over my head, but they soaked it up. They should have dropped Me off at the Chapman Computer Class Daycare instead.









9/19: I officially launched this evening. Well, my website did. To be exact, my web developer team hit Submit at 6:17 PM.



The official launch of the 123SummerizeMe website

9/19- 6:18 PM: Hopefully you won’t think I’m vain, but I am beautiful. Handsome. Gorgeous. Too many adjectives? OK, how about one? Perfect. I cannot fathom a single change to my design. Is today my birthday?








9/20: Nervous. I woke up nervous. The world can see Me. What will the world think? Will I be liked? Does my header layout make Me look bloated? Should my search tab be moved? Am I user friendly? I need coffee.


9/21- 1:37 PM: I'm still not first in a Google search. A crush of visitors hasn't crashed GoDaddy, my web server, yet. What's wrong? I have been an active website for 43 hours. I know what to do: Hit Send on another email to my web developer. They'll appreciate hearing from Me for the 11th time today.



The 30 hour day app

9/23: I know, I know, but I can't help myself. I logged on late tonight to see if there were any new registered users. And, yes, this was the umpteenth time I checked this week. But this time, good news- the 30th user Thank you SLP Treen. How random. And speaking of random and thirty, I have a great idea for my next app. It would help not only the autism and special needs community, but everyone else also. Tah-dah. The 30 Hour Day App. I'm fairly certain that Kathy and Summer will be two of the first purchasers.







Focus group

9/24: I snuck a listen to a phone call. They are planning a focus group for my website. How I look. How I work. How I interact with users. A focus group? For Me? Sounds exciting, but does this mean when I grow up I'll have to be a politician?







Bike and baby seat

9/25: Weekends. Everyone seems to like them, and I'm starting to understand why. I tagged along on a bike ride today. And guess what I overheard? Two riders talking about computer coding. Loved every nanosecond. I even remember a joke they told: The neutrino learned a new fact and said, I'm going to tweet that yesterday. Is that a hoot, or what? It certainly made up for Me having to ride in a baby seat.





Time to learn how to swing9/27: J2Play- now that I've biked, will you teach Me to swing? Love my content. A huge thanks to all my contributors willing to post before my website was launched. You are family.













9/29: Kathy & Summer are now almost a month back into working full time in the classroom. Unlike before summer vacation, though, I am no longer worried about progress. Nope, I'm a boulder rolling down a big hill. I have got the Big Mo. Momentum.



My first focus group

10/2: That website nervousness from September 20th never left. In fact, it boiled up to the surface in today first focus group with OtterMom and WendyB. Thanks to both of you for your great suggestions. Don't get Me wrong- I like my look. The angst is about how I function and interact with visitors. I need to hang my head a little, since I pushed for fast.











Focus group with SF Mandy & TwinBrother

10/4: Had my second focus group. Thanks TwinBrother & SFMandy for your input, courtesy of Skype. I'm convinced a (Change) is needed. In other words, not just cosmetic website tweaks, but a major remodel. Maybe even a name change? I have heard that 123SummerizeMe is too long, is misspelled, and does not conjure up an image of an autism/special needs venture. But I like my name and the story of how I got it. I wish Summer & Kathy could see Me pout.










Steve Jobs

10/5: Steve Jobs died today. Found out from a TwinBrother Facebook post. Hits me hard, because if not for him there would be no Me. After all, as you know if you started reading my autobiography from the beginning, I was conceived as an iPad app. Think of the many, many that exist today because of Steve Jobs. The ripples from his jump into the pond of life will continue for generations. iRIP.






10/6: From 123SummerizeMe to 123LikeMe? 123JustMe? 123SupportMe? 123HugMe? 123RockMe? 123CelebrateMe? 123TapMe? 123SumMe? 123GrowMe? 123FriendMe? Here is a question- If my name changes, does Summer have to change hers also? That could be awkward.






Possible name changes

10/7: Had dinner with DonAndShirley. They sure are nice. From a list of choices Don chose 123HugMe and Shirley chose 123JustMe. Thank goodness neither chose 123TapMe. 123TapMe? Summer? Kathy? What are you thinking? That I'm a keg of beer?







Kathy & Summer discuss website changes

10/11: Listened in to Kathy & Summer at their ten minute lunch hour. They went through some proposed mock-ups of new website pages. About a dozen in all. There was also one printout of the existing website. Summer accidentally spilled her drink and it completely wiped out one page. Which one? The existing design. How that for a Freudian spill?











10/12- 12:01 AM: Today is a biggee. The much delayed meeting with the app developer is today at 4 PM. As of now, less than 16 hours to wait. This progress meeting is huge. Remember back in July when I explained the app developers job as turning iDea into iPad? By tonight we will know if this is happening. To say the entire venture hangs in the balance may be an overstatement, but not by much.


10/12- 9:37 PM: Two words- 1) Game 2) On. Pun intended.



Start up ventures need to change directions quickly

10/13: Is it true that one sign of a successful start-up venture is being willing to change directions quickly in the face of a new reality? If so, then I am successful. If not true? No time to answer that.




Happy Hour

10/14- Friday: Kathy and Summer let me join them for happy hour with several of their colleagues. Yikes- chatter overload. Of course there are problems and complaints about work, but this talk doesn't dominate. It always turns to the kids- the reason they love their jobs. They trade ideas, bounce around what-if questions, and share the successes and smiles. Maybe this is how the website should function- the feel of a TGIF happy hour? Or, is that just the half-price hors d'oeuvres talking?







Creativity plus simplicity equals marital bliss

10/15: How about more than two words on the 10/12 app developer meeting? It went great. My favorite part? The creativity. And the simplicity of use. If these two ingredients can be successfully married my app will be fun, easy to use and extremely helpful. The time frame is still undetermined, but that is OK. There is only one chance to make a first impression- something I learned with my website. Getting it right- massively important. Getting it on time- less so.



"Is today my birthday?" goes live

10/19- 2:31 AM: Summer and Kathy won't be happy, but I watched them log in last week. I swiped their admin password. I'm using it to download my autobiography to my website What's New tab. Hopefully they will never notice. Hang on just a sec. There it is. Posted. My story is now public. Is today my birthday?






10/26: A double header this evening. A meeting with the website team (Start over or big changes?) followed by a meeting with the app developer (Excited to see the latest progress on the first app. Ready to Beta test soon?) Will be a late night. Maybe I will be able to wrangle a business meal?


10/27: Two for two last night. Look for some exciting changes to my website over the next few weeks to magnify the user interaction experience. And my first app? Summer and Kathy are chomping at the bit to beta test it. Looks like the magic date will be mid-November. Two more items on the Thankful List for my first Thanksgiving.



iPad trick-or-treater

10/30:Speaking of holidays, my first Halloween beckons. Several informative ideas on my website about this holiday, as well as one great 123HugMe. As for Me, if a friendly trick-or-treater dressed up as an iPad knocks on your door tomorrow night, make sure you put carrots, nuts or raisins in my bag. I don't want SFMandy upset with either of us.








11/9:A ten day break. Due to a Halloween candy overdose? Nope. Kathy and Summer have been swamped with school and spare time preparation for the San Diego ASHA convention. (ASHA Convention website) The topic of their big November 18th presentation is Video Modeling. I am even more excited, though, about the secondary topics- classroom collaboration, increasing student progress, and having fun. Why? Because these topics define Me. Especially fun. I love fun.



App developer that breathes code instead of air

11/14: The app developer, Ozate, has been working around the clock. I sent an email expressing hope that he had a chance to come up for air this past weekend. His reply? "No worries- I breathe code." Gotta love it.







2011 Asha Convention

11/18- 9:30 AM: Whew!! The ASHA presentation just ended. It was over at 9 AM, but questions began twenty minutes before the start and kept going for half an hour afterwards. Wish that they could have discussed Me, but the app talk must wait until the first one is released. In the meantime, a big congrats to Kathy and Summer on a well received presentation. Hopefully the ideas shared will find their way into classrooms everywhere.




Atom with electrons

11/21: Lots of meetings with my app developer. His updates for app #1 are becoming quite regular. I am darn close to being beta tested. Excited? Does an atom have electrons? Of course I'm excited.










Give Thanks from SFMandy

11/24: My first Thanksgiving. SF Mandy posted this photo earlier today, and it made me think about what I am thankful for. Here goes: "I am thankful for Summer and Kathy. For their ideas, and, more importantly, for their follow through. For being willing to take a chance on Me. For the opportunity to grow up and help others. I am blessed. May the ride be long and continue to be fun. Thanks." Thanksgiving- this holiday may be my favorite. By the way, I also found out that I am thankful for turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Silly Me. I used to think pie was nothing more than 3.14159...


11/29: Another meeting with the app developer this evening. Exciting progress, but obvious that the first app won't be ready in November or December. Inhale slowly, exhale slowly and repeat: better right than fast. The plan to release it by the ABAI convention on Autism in Philadelphia in January, 2012 is not realistic. What is realistic? How about the annual ABAI convention in Seattle over Memorial Day weekend in 2012? Maybe app number two will be ready by then also. A one-two punch.



Lots of reading for Kathy

12/9: Yes, this is an actual stack of books on Kathy's desk. Wouldn't she have had to start reading in 2008 to tackle all these books? Either that or hire a ghost reader. Regardless, it is exciting to think that a lot of this information will work its way into my website and into my apps. Speaking of those apps, there was another app developer meeting last night. Really more of a brainstorming session. The tweaks, ideas, changes and creativity were flowing. The bar is being set very high. Should receive beta version 0.7.0 this weekend. Exciting.










12/13: Up to beta version 0.7.1 over the weekend and this evening was anther app development meeting. Kathy and Summer both left the meeting walking on air. The app is going to be better, far better, than ever envisioned. it is literally growing every single day. Plus, a lot of the "back end" work on this app will also apply to the second app. App two promises to be a real game changer in the autism and special needs community, so getting a head start on it is a real bonus.



"Knock, knock" Reality calling.

12/14: After last night, all is roses with Me, right? Not so fast. Remember that conversation with Gary James back in July? Of the many ideas he shared, this one was starred: "Marketing the app is key. And marketing the app is very hard." Knock, knock. Who's there? Reality. Yes, the "R" word. This is a real business. No matter how wonderful the app turns out to be, it will not sell itself. Design and development is fun. Creative back and forth is fun. Trying out the latest version is fun. Maybe this is the key- keep the fun going right on through the marketing and selling process. Hmmm?




12/20: 0.7.4



Happy holidays to all

12/25: My first Christmas. A day of much. Of family, of friends and of showing appreciation. My favorite present? The fact that my autobiography continues. It's a wonderful life. Merry Christmas everyone.












Summer's new toy

12/27: Summer debuted her new Christmas present- a fancy new camera. The best thing about it? It will be used to make Me look better. More accurately, it will be used for photographs that will be integral to my first app. Summer will soon be an expert on backdrops, shadows, photo imaging and all things camera. Smile and say, "123SummerizeMe."









12/28: Up to version 0.7.7 after last night's meeting. Certainly realizing how this process is not static. Rather, it is constantly changing. What is envisioned as "perfect" one day is deemed outdated almost immediately. Not surprising, since a cutting edge app is bound to evolve as soon as it is tested and new opportunities are perceived. The words "all finished" may never be uttered in regards to this app, even after its release.



Happy New Year to all from 123SummerizeMe12/31- 1/1: Late night, or early morning? As a matter of fact, it was both. At last night's party everyone seemed to think that 2011 was a blur. Not Me. Last year was one to remember. A year of first steps, new directions, changes and brand new thoughts. And, whoops, don't forget the mistakes. Time crawled as deadlines were missed, but every single pause turned into a learning opportunity. Maybe it is the naivety of being less than one year old, but Cheers to a 2012 filled with more of the same.






1/1/12: Since this is my first New Years Day, it means that this is my first chance to make a New Years Resolution. Here goes: "Fun." Is it legal to have a one word resolution? It must be, because if 2012 is fun, everything associated with 123SummerizeMe will fall into place.


ABA conference on Autism in Philadelphia, PA1/6: Kathy made reservations tonight to attend the ABAI conference on autism in Philadelphia the last weekend of this month. At one time it was thought that my first app would be released in time to make its debut at this convention. Instead, her attendance will involve the old fashioned reason: to continue learning the best practice, collaborative, and measurable methods for using behavioral analysis to help in the treatment of individuals with autism. Coincidentally, tomorrow is her final exam in class three of five towards her BCBA. (Board Certified Behavior Analyst)





My first app- Up to version 0.79

1/7: Moving fast. Big progress. Up to version 0.7.9. The first app release is on a horizon that can suddenly be seen. Great news, but... need to get back to website revamp, set marketing in motion, compose website posts, and make decisions galore. Oh, and continue the full time school work for Kathy and Summer. Probably should add one more item to the "to-do" list: avoid overload.


1/10: Tonight's meeting with the app developer was one of the best sessions yet. Developing an app must be somewhat similar to building a home. Hard to visualize and appreciate the completed product until the finishing touches start to appear. Exciting. Tonight's other big news was the decision to release a "lite" version of the first app simultaneously with the release of the full app. While having all of the fun and novel ideas built into it, it will simply have less options and set-up requirements. This should help a user ease into utilizing the app. Also, with a lower price point it will hopefully be able to reach even more individuals with autism and other special needs.


1/14: An all day meeting on the current big three: 1) Marketing, 2) Website, and 3) First app. Some great work on all three was accomplished. As for Me, though, there was no single idea generated today better than this one: Involve individuals with special needs with some of the final design work on the first app. How incredibly cool would that be? Really cool, and knowing Summer and Kathy, they will absolutely make it happen. As with most powerful ideas, this one owes its existence to chance. Summer was invited to dinner with a family that includes a budding artist with autism. One thing led to another. The end of the story? Not quite. Just like this Autobiography, it continues to be written.



The website is about to undergo a major overhaul

1/14: The major decision today? It involved the website. After almost three months of the website "being on hold" it was productive taking a fresh look at it. Give this photo a long, fond gaze, because it is going to change drastically. Kathy and Summer made the tough decision that the 123SummerizeMe website needs to emphasize the apps instead of the community blogs. With this 180° change in direction from the website's launch, it calls for a complete makeover. Makeover? Sounds exciting, but it also sounds expensive. Isn't "No pain, no gain" a famous saying? Let's hope that it applies to websites also.




1/18: Last night was another meeting with the app developer. It is starting to feel as if the heavy work is mostly done and lots of tweaking is all that is left. Of course, when it comes to computer coding, "tweaking the app" does not translate directly into simply "tweaking the code." Speaking of tweaking, did anyone catch the front page article about Dropbox that was in the Los Angeles Times on the 15th? Love this article. It puts into perspective computer coding, as well as what can happen with the right combination of good idea, hard work, focus and Hot Pockets. Hot Pockets? You will have to read the article for yourself to figure out the Hot Pockets/Dropbox connection.


1/19: A twoferone this evening. First, a quick business meeting. Main thrust? The videos that will help showcase the app need to move to the top of the "To Do" list. Kathy has someone in mind for the video process who would fit perfectly with the 1/14 idea. Exciting. And, speaking of the 1/14 idea, Kathy and Summer are moving fast. The second part of this evening was their initial get together with an individual with autism about being part of the app final design process. My opinion on what I overheard? It could not have gone any better. The best part? This individual is eight years old. So, yes, the meeting involved his parents also.



The color palette for the app

1/21: Another all day confab for Kathy & Summer. "Confab" sounds way more fun than "Meeting," doesn't it? Website redesign was the winner, closely followed by marketing, with app design work coming in a close third. Over thirty items were touched on, including the color palette for my app. Of course I'm biased, but I'm loving the colors they picked out for Me.











Kathy's new twitter address: @123itzMe

1/22: A new Twitter address for Kathy: 123itzMe Her first tweet: "Looking forward to lending support in Twitter autism community. Anyone else going to ABAI autism conference in Philly next weekend? CU there"For those of you that like to count, check it out- exactly 140 characters in her first Tweet. Pretty impressive.




Summer's new Twitter handle: 123HugMe

1/25: A new Twitter address for Summer: 123hugMe Summer plans on tweeting real content- thoughts, secrets and inspirations from a special-ed preschool classroom perspective. Her first tweet may or may not be exactly 140 characters, but it is sure to be helpful. Especially if it reflects the magic that goes on in her classroom.


1/27: Everyday there seems to be something new in the 123SummerizeMe universe. An exaggeration? It has been five days since my last autobiography entry, so there should be five new items: 1) New business card design. Just in time for Kathy's trip to the ABAI Autism conference in Philly. She leaves LAX tonight on a 10:10 PM redeye. Travel safe and learn lots. 2) New mission statement- "Autism & special needs support." Love it, because it says it all in just four words plus an ampersand. Pretty darn concise. 3) New version of first app- 0.8.0. This version incorporates several ideas that came out of this week's meeting with the app developer. 4) New individual lined up for the 1/14 idea. Woohoo. Watching this idea come to fruition gets every synapse firing. 5) New website design. The home page is finished and has been approved by both Summer and Kathy at a meeting last night. It will prominently feature links to two videos about the apps. There you go- five for five.



ABAI conference on Autism in Philadelphia

1/29: A Tweetalanche. Kathy is certainly fired up about being at the ABAI conference on Autism in Philadelphia. Collaboration. Peers. Communication. Ethics. Reinforce. Accountable. Support. Passion. Outcomes. These words that she and Summer inject into every aspect of their work are coming alive for her at the conference. Keep those Tweets coming. The excitement is contagious.


Best of all? Once again, she let Me attend. I am still small enough to hide in her luggage. Take that TSA.








1/31: The "everyday there is something new" thought from four days ago continues. Today's something new involves brainstorming ideas for the videos that will be needed for the newly redesigned website. These videos will help launch the apps as well as to explain how they can best be utilized. Since one of the 123SummerizeMe premises is "fun" they will need to be entertaining in addition to simply informative. All this in no more than sixty seconds. That's right... helpful, happy and quick.


2/1: Today is February. Seriously?


2/10: All of a sudden it is not only February, but it is ten days in. The app is close. In fact, it is going out in the field to be tested this weekend by several caregivers in the autism and special needs field. The website re-design is close. In fact, after the "last chance to make changes" meeting this evening it will be off to the web designer. The marketing is close. In fact, it is being worked on as I write by the newest member of the 123SummerizeMe team- Nicola. Welcome aboard. Your entry into my autobiography makes you official.



Summer and the first artist- Maxim

2/13: A jam packed 123Weekend. A) Up to version 0.8.5. Oh, so close. B) The first artist, Maxim, is officially on board as of yesterday. Yesterday happens to be just under one month from when the idea was conceived, so great follow through, Summer and Kathy. A big welcome to not only Maxim, but to his whole family. Maxim is quite the young entrepreneur already (See his website, Maxim's Art), and hopefully this venture will help him to spread his talents even farther. C) Lots of brainstorming on finalizing the website design. D) A consternation from October resurfaced. Second thoughts (Or, are they third thoughts?) about the most basic aspect of Me: My name. Is 123SummerizeMe the best possible name? If the decision is "Yes," than full steam ahead. If "No," yikes. Will need to do some major re-tooling quickly.








Happy Valentine;s Day

2/14: Happy Valentine's Day to all. Saint Valentine's name continues to conjure of visions of romance centuries after his death. This observation is significant, since it appears that the "yikes" from yesterday is gaining traction. A new business name? Wow. Ironically, a friend visiting Kathy this past weekend provided a clever twist on a name being considered. The twist gives four distinct levels of meaning to this potential name. That's deep. But is is lasting? Will visions of autism & special needs support be associated with Me in seven centuries?





Work on vacation

2/18: Overheard Summer & Kathy talking about how excited they are about having next week off from school. A vacation! How disappointed do you think they will be when they figure out that they have well over a week's worth of 123Me work to catch up on?







2/22: Three 123Me meetings for Summer & Kathy yesterday, one today and two tomorrow. And the most important of all on Friday, with someone from Apple. Vacation? Not quite. As long as Learning = Fun, though, this week of working on Me will end up being a much more memorable vacation than a simple getaway.

Speaking of learning, both Kathy's and Summer's vocabulary was expanded this week. The name being strongly considered for the new business name back on 2/14 was 123TappMe. It was a prime contender partly because it had four different levels of meaning. Unfortunately, it had to be nixed when a fifth level of meaning was pointed out by several people more up to date on street slang than Summer & Kathy. See this entry for "Tap" from the Urban Dictionary. Warning: Definition is very X-rated. Isn't it a shame that a great word like tap (Tap your potential/Tap your iPad/Tap your shoulder) gets co-opted by rap music? Back to the 123 Drawing Board.


2/24- 2:11 PM: Summer and Kathy are hopefully eleven minutes into a very productive meeting about App #1 with Apple. If a business had fingers, mine would be crossed right now. If the meeting goes well, a huge reason is Joe, the app developer. He got us up to version 0.8.6. Do you remember what he said back in mid-November about not needing sleep or air since he lived on coding? He certainly put his statement to the test this week, including an all nighter last night. Thanks Joe, and good luck Kathy and Summer!



Swish- Nothing but net

2/24- 4:31 PM: A two word text message was just received about the meeting: "It ROCKED." No kidding. It was expected to last just 45 minutes and ended up at over three times that long. This was app #1's first foray out of a very small circle of people, so nerves were definitely on edge. In basketball terms it was a three point shot that hit nothing but net. Motivation was already high. But now? The Apple app store better get ready... Summer and Kathy will be "Rocking" on their door very soon. ROCK on! Is today my birthday?






2/26: Kathy and Summer's "vacation" ended up with more meetings, several in depth beta testers for app #1, and a "90% sure" on a new name. Quite the whirlwind week.



Treasure box for first app

2/28: No one would ever believe how much thought, work and worry has gone into the object highlighted in the above photo. I know what you're thinking: "Huh? What does a chest have to do with anything?" The answer will become apparent with the release of app #1. Is that what they call a "teaser" in Marketing 101?












123apps4Me is officially the new name for the company

2/29: A Leap Day to remember. As of earlier today, 123apps4Me officially became my new name. Does this make today my birthday? If it does, my next birthday won't be until 2016. Forever young- hard to beat that.

My logo is still being fiddled with, but I am especially proud of the additional words: Collaborate and Elevate. These were added in response to a suggestion made at last Friday's meeting with Apple. May also try to sneak Create or Innovate into the logo. With all these changes, though, note that the core mission stays the same: "Supporting autism & special needs." Hard to improve on that, isn't it?




Apple Trivia

3/1: March has 31 days doesn't it? Darn it, I wish it was like February and had less days. Why? Because tonight's meeting with Joe produced a date for submitting app #1 to Apple for approval. The date? April 1st. I can hardly wait. Here's a little bit of trivia that makes Me feel great about April 1st being our day of submittal- Apple Computer was established on April 1, 1976 in Cupertino, California. Leave it to Joe, an Apple guy to the core, to know that fact.







"Knock, knock." It's Reality again.

3/3: Now that my name change is official, reality once again comes knocking. What does Reality have to say this time around? "Changing the name is the easy part. Changing every item affected by the name change? Not so easy." No kidding. Much of today was spent working on my new Facebook page. Want to be my friend?





Name change leads to lots of changes

3/3: Another example of the name change domino affect: My Twitter feed had to change. My tweets are now @123apps4Me My tweets are about Me, and how I am evolving as a business and about the apps we are developing. Kathy tweets @123itzMe about classroom collaboration and the daily life of a speech language pathologist that follows a push in model in a school setting. Summer tweets @123hugMe from a pre-school special education perspective. She shares her unique thoughts, secrets and tips form an insider's perspective.



Grocery shopping

3/5: Another first for Me: Grocery shopping. Who would have guessed that we'd need to do this for the first app? Food will help one of our artists, and the reason will become clear after the release of my first app.












Snail mail

3/9: Two things on the checklist after last night's meeting. 1) Get a specific piece of artist #4's artwork to Joe. 2) Take care of a change to our LLC with the California Sec'y of State. Both were accomplished, but here is what is interesting. The only option for Number 2 was to use snail mail and a check. Number 1 was accomplished, of course, through a scanner and email. Hmmm? Even someone born just a few yesterdays ago can see the difference.






Summer is up to 325 Twitter followersKathy is in second place with 318 followers

3/9: A mention has to be made of the ongoing Twitter Battle (Would that be a Twittle?) between Kathy (@123itzme) and Summer (@123hugMe). They have been going back and forth in their number of followers, but as of now Summer has a slight lead- 325 followers to 318. Since it is Summer's birthday today, maybe Kathy will take it easy and hold off until midnight.



Another attempt at a 123apps4Me logo

3/12: Have literally gone through dozens and dozens of different logo renditions. Here is the current favorite, but it is still not there.





Happy 3.14159 Day

3/14- 1:59:26 AM: Happy Pi Day!














Steve Jobs biography

3/14: Since today is a holiday (Pi Day), I should mention how much I am enjoying the book I received for another holiday- Christmas. The new Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. It is a great read, and lets me dream that I am tech savvy. On the cutting edge of being an early adapter. At least until I came across this comic...










Kathy and Summer discuss code (Or, do they?)

3/15: Question: Does this photo from the most recent app meeting show: A) Summer & Kathy discussing the technical aspects of the code being used to build the first app?, or B) Summer & Kathy doing a good job of pretending to understand the technical aspects of the code being used to build the first app? Note: I know the answer, but in the interest of keeping this autobiography going I choose not to reveal it.










Happy St. Patrick's Day

3/17: Happy St. Patrick's Day. My first. Shocked that both Kathy and Summer would choose this weekend to leave town. Kathy for ASHA work in Washington, DC and Summer for a seminar in Los Angeles. They must have a lot of faith that their new business isn't going to celebrate like there is no tomorrow.Â












You're kidding aren't you? Another logo?

3/19: My lips (and autobiography) are sealed on the St. Patrick's celebrating, but since there was a yesterday everything must have ended well. Newest logo rendition is shown above. Getting close to being finalized? Let's hope so.




CSHA Magazine cover- Collaboration3/21: This is a great article in the California Association of Speech Language Magazine. It is written by a SLP about the value of collaboration in a school system. When the team works together, Kids win. Here is a link to the article. Who is the SLP that wrote the article? Great question. It just so happens to be our own Kathy Murphy. Congrats on the publication of an article about a subject so near and dear to your heart.











Kathy & Summer at Apple store- Kaching3/23: Question: Can you name one ironclad rule for a startup business? Answer: Spending money is never ending. And fast. At least it was yesterday evening at the Apple store. Kathy and Summer purchased iPads to be used by beta testers for the app. Smile, and say... "Kaching."









123apps4Me logo3/31: Another day, another logo. We're either frenetically picky, creative or indecisive. All three? Happy weekend.






Goodbye4/1: Since the first app was not ready to be submitted to Apple for review today, Summer and Kathy told Me that they decided to shut down the business. 123apps4Me is no longer. To say this comes as a shock to Me is an understatement. I guess this will be my last autobiographical entry. I'm finished before ever figuring out my birthday. Farewell.





April Fools Day4/2: Ha-ha-ha. Very funny, Kathy and Summer. April Fools Day? I had no idea. Well, I do now, and the two of you better watch out next year. Unfortunately, the part of yesterday's post about not getting the first app submitted to Apple was not an April Fool's joke. Frustrating- yes. But need to remember that what is important, is getting it "right." Since it now looks like App # 1 will not be submitted for at least another month, this app is going to be very, very "right."







Tyler zooms in on the perfect shot4/9: Kathy spent most of today with one of the featured artists for the first app, Tyler. His speciality is film and photography. For the app Tyler is using his photography skills, and he is excited to share his work when the app is released. He has a great eye, and an amazing ability to get just the right shot on his first attempt. As for Kathy, wasn't today supposed to be the first day of her spring vacation? Sorry, this is a start-up venture- no rest for the weary.











Rainy day in Southern California4/13: Rainy day in Southern CA. A good excuse to stay glued to computer and work on the 123 To-Do list. Only problem? The list never gets shorter.









The new website4/17: The new website is well under way. Unlike the September, 2011 release of our 123SummerizeMe website, however, this time around is very low key. A positive side affect of the delay in App #1's release is extra time to massage the Website, Take Two. It is being refocused to promote and explain the apps, in addition to providing the same collaborative forum for the autism and special needs community as the Website, Take One. With all of the added videos, new categories and numerous updates, it is easy to see that additional time is a blessing. And, as I learned at Thanksgiving, blessings are good.


FAQ's4/19: FAQs. FAQs. FAQs. If this wasn't a family site I am quite certain that I could come up with better words for FAQs than Frequently Asked Questions. Over ten hours today of FAQs and still not done. And... how about this thought? How do you answer FAQs before anyone has even asked a question? Oh no. Another question. I am about to go Frequently Crazy, if you catch my drift. If I dream about FAQs tonight, it is going to get ugly.



Frustration4/20: Is there a four letter word for frustration? The application to change my name has been sitting at the California Secretary of State office for 41 days. (But, who's counting?) On the other hand, the $800 check to pay for my annual California LLC renewal fee was cashed in two days. Oh well, we should feel good that we are keeping California solvent for a few extra seconds.





Andy's music set-up4/21: Kathy went to visit the newest 123apps4Me artist north of Los Angeles yesterday. Fun story- artist (Andy) was introduced to her (Kathy) through a friend (Rick) of a Facebook friend (Julie) of a Facebook friend (Sarah) of Kathy's. Got it? The degrees of separation have sure diminished with social media, haven't they? Thank goodness, because Andy is quite the artist. Not only in photography and film, but also in music. Welcome aboard!







Kathy at LA Times Festival of Books4/21: On the way home- a visit to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books held at the USC campus. Other than a truly colossal LA traffic jam getting to the Festival, it was a fun time. Read on! (You Trojan fans will get it.)



Summer and Karoline4/22: Summer spent the afternoon with one of our first artists- Karoline. Welcome aboard. Your artwork makes Me want to go outside and start gardening. It is sure to gather quite a following.









Twitter follower update- 4-23-12

4/23: It has been well over a month since March 9th's update on the Twittle between Kathy and Summer. Back then, Summer was ahead in Twitter followers- 325 to 318. The momentum has shifted, though, with Kathy now ahead 450 to 434.

In sobering news for both of them, why should they have all the fun? Why shouldn't I get to see how many followers I can get on Twitter. As can be seen, all those initials after one's name must not mean as much as they think. My tweets must be the perfect combination of engaging and witty. Either that, or am I simply really good at manipulating photos? Hmm?








Dig Deep

4/25: Kathy just started her fifth, and final, grad class for her BCBA certification. Coincidentally, her supervisor just signed off last week on her required 1500 clinical field hours. Fifteen hundred hours? Yep. An amazing amount of work, time and study goes into this credential. Hard to believe that she has had any time whatsoever for 123Me during this process. With a start-up venture, though, it seems like everyone involved digs a little deeper. Hopefully all that digging will also unearth that app for a thirty hour day.





Kathy & Summer filming the setup video for app #14/30: Lights, camera, action. Or, how about: Lights, camera, laughter. Thank goodness tonight's shooting for app #1's setup video was simply Take One. Who would have guessed, when my venture started a year ago, that acting skills would be required? The photo proves it, though. Hollywood Boulevard will need to have two star spaces reserved for Kathy & Summer.











The little app that cried "Submit"

5/3: At the risk of sounding like The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf, there is a new date for submittal to Apple for app #1: mid-June. If you have been following my autobiography, though, you know that we first hoped to submit my first app back in September, 2011. If mid-June isn't met, you are perfectly justified in referring to Me as "The Little App that Cried Submit."














Summer the juggling entrepreneur

5/17: Who would have guessed what would be involved in starting this business? Do you think that Summer ever envisioned kneeling on a stool while attempting to photograph a combination of bread, jam, raisins and grapes with a lamp in one hand and a camera in another?









An easy change from "Learners" to "Students"? No!5/23: How could changing just one word cause so much consternation? App #1 is designed to assist teachers, parents & therapists in their work of improving and measuring behavior in their "Learners." For nine months the word "Learners" was used, because this is the term used in behavior analysis literature. However, there has never been 100% comfort with this term, because it is an unfamiliar word for most people.

Therefore, a decision to change "Learners" to "Students" was made. Easy, right? Wrong. It had to be changed in dozens of places, and in several different levels of coding, on the app. Also, in well over 100 places on the website. Will every single instance of "Learner" be discovered before the app is submitted to Apple for review? This Student certainly wouldn't bet on it.

Just one small example of why the final 10% of the app development process is so darned slow. And the only reason that the word "darned" is being used is that I want to keep my autobiography G rated..


Kathy's ABA Convention presentation

5/27: Kathy just finished putting the finishing touches on the presentation she will be giving tonight at the ABAI convention in Seattle. Since it won't be presented for another two hours we are getting a sneak preview, courtesy of a photo that she sent out to her 480 Twitter followers. "Facilitating Joint Attention & Early Communication Skills in Young Children: A Speech-Language Pathologist's Perspective." As for Me? It is going to take more attention and skill than my brain possesses to facilitate that title.






Four states down and forty six to go5/28: With all the focus on "Facilitating joint attention...", I forgot to mention that Washington is my fourth state. Fairly impressive travel resume for a one-year old.










The newest 123apps4Me logo in purple6/1: Is it possible that my logo is finalized? The 3/31/12 entry described us as either frenetically picky, creative or indecisive in all of the logo work. But... maybe it has paid off. Smiles all around on this latest rendition. A favorite aspect of this logo is the ability to tweak it by changing the color of the "e". The first instance of putting this to the test is right here on our website- note how the logo changes colors to match the background color of each page. If you don't think that's pretty cool, please keep that thought to yourself. It is hoped that at long last "Finalize logo" can be crossed off my "To-do" list.






The elevator pitch for 123apps4Me

6/7: Wikipedia: "An elevator pitch is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product. The name "elevator pitch" reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride."


So, what is my elevator pitch? How about: "Developer of apps that assist teachers, parents, and therapists in their work of improving and measuring behavior in their students, children, and clients. With a touch of fun."


Only riding from the lobby to the first floor? How about: "Apps for improving & measuring behavior."





User Guide6/19: My user guide- finished! It is ready to be inserted into the app tomorrow. A great feeling, but was all the work writing it really needed? In today's world of video domination over the written word, will any of my app users read the guide? Or, will the video tutorials be the method used for help and learning?

The app was designed to be extremely intuitive, so maybe both the user guide and the videos will be unnecessary. Wouldn't that be great?


Happy hour after Apple business meeting

7/6: A big day! Met with the entire business development team at the local Apple store. They've been instrumental in guiding the app since its inception a year ago. We wanted to meet one more time before submitting the app for approval.

How did it go? So well that: 1) One of the team members was so intrigued with the promise that the app has shown in classroom beta testing that she asked Summer if she could volunteer in a classroom to see it firsthand, and 2) There was a unanimous company decision after the Apple get together to immediately meet for some hard core work. Or, would that be happy hour work?





Kathy & Summer hit submit!

July 12th, 2012. Just before 9 PM.


The location? The office of Ozate, the app developer.


The event? Kathy and Summer hit the submit button, sending the binary coding of first app- 123TokenMe Pro- to Apple. Certainly not the final step in this year long journey, but a milestone, never-the-less.


The mood? Is there a single word that describes a perfect mixture of nervous, excited, upbeat, relief, and celebration?


The future? Sunny. With a touch of apps.


The question? Is today my birthday?



Beta tester extraordinaire

7/15: My 1st app, 123TokenMe, has gone through extensive beta testing. While most of the testers have been teachers, aides, therapists and SLPs, some of the best feedback is from the little users with the big smiles, like "LB".


Quite unexpectedly, this "teacher's app" has turned into a preferred choice for many students to play and interact with during breaks. Several times, in fact, two students have played together with the app. One student pretending to be the teacher works with the second to shape the exact same behavior that their "real" teacher is targeting. Can you imagine the power of positive feedback from a peer to influence a child's behavior?


From the onset, 123TokenMe was designed with "a touch of fun" in mind. We never guessed, however, that the fun would jump so readily from the teacher to the student. Unlike a lot of the surprises we have had during this journey, this is an example of a good surprise. Actually, a great surprise.


What a world- world map7/16: What a world. Am I excited about having visited three states in addition to my birth state, California? Of course. But guess what? I'm global. My app developer, my five guest artists, and my first website design team call six different California cities home. My graphic designer lives in Arizona. Nicola, working on marketing since February, lives in Jamaica. And a friend out of Los Angeles introduced us to Mohan, the leader of our second website design team, out of India.


What made Me think of this today? Because Kathy and Summer just had a meeting this morning with the newest member of the 123apps4Me team- Chris a computer illustrator out of Dana Point, our 7th California city. Welcome aboard.



GoDaddy logo

123SummerizeMe logo7/18: There have been very few sad days for Me in this venture, but today was one. Why? Because the kill button was pushed at GoDaddy that officially turned off the 123SummerizeMe website. Lots of thought, work, worry, and love went into that website. Fortunately, it leaves a progeny: The website you are on right now-




Apple review on 123TokenMe Pro has us in Limbo Land7/22: A confession: You'd think, after 11 days, that I'd be bummed that app #1's review with Apple is still in "limbo land." But, I'm not. I consider it to be free time for the team to fine tune as many other aspects of Me as possible- the website, the videos, the 123TokenMe version for just two individuals, the art work, the first upgrade to 123TokenMe Pro, and... need I go on?


We learned an important lesson with the premature launch of my 123SummerizeMe website last fall- one that we'd prefer not to repeat.




The official email from Apple approving 123Token Me Pro!7/26: The photo says it all. This email from Apple arrived today just before 10 AM. The 1st app, 123TokenMe Pro, was officially approved and will be available on the app store within 24 hours. Wowsza. Congrats to Summer & Kathy- it is not easy to turn an idea into reality. But you did! Is today my birthday?











123TokenMe Pro is officially available at the iTunes app store!7/27: Two birthdays in a row? Today 123TokenMe Pro officially went on sale in the iTunes app store. A Friday to remember, as a year of work comes to fruition. Here is the link to see it in iTunes for yourself.


Now the fun part- seeing it start to sell, and watching it spread by word of mouth. It truly is a game changing app for teachers, parents, and therapists involved with positive behavior change and learning. Today is a great day for Me, but the real celebration will be when 123TokenMe Pro starts to help classrooms and families.







Kathy performing one of her 59 takes for a video tutorial voiceover7/29: Kathy offered to perform the voiceovers for the two 123TokenMe video tutorials. After fifty-nine takes (That's right- 59) and seven script changes, perfection was achieved. Or, was it exhaustion that was achieved?


Either way, it was just in time, because 123TokenMe is being submitted to Apple for review tomorrow. This version of my first app works with one or two students, versus the unlimited number in the already approved Pro version.


Who knows? Maybe the Apple reviewers will forward the app to Pixar. Does a role for Kathy's voice in an upcoming film await?


You be the judge- listen for yourself at this link to the video on Vimeo:




Summer & Kathy- Joe's drawing

8/3: Kathy and Summer made a presentation to about a dozen app developers earlier this week. The purpose was to explain, from a client's perspective, the process of moving from an idea for an app to an actual app. It sounds simple, but as my autobiography shows, the process is a lot like a roller coaster. Numerous highs, lows, stops, and starts.


Having a chance to roll out their first app, 123TokenMe Pro, to such a well connected audience was informative for everyone. They also learned why their app developer, Joe of Ozate, does coding work versus art work. Yes, the Summer and Kathy portraits are his.



TokenMe for two students or children has been submitted to the app store8/7: Another big day. The screenshot proves that 123TokenMe was officially submitted to Apple for review today. The difference in this version of the app is its limit of working with two children or students versus the Pro version that works with unlimited students.


From a practical standpoint, 123TokenMe will be embraced primarily in home settings. Or, by teachers and other professionals wanting to try it out before moving on to the unlimited students that 123TokenMe Pro offers.


If our experience with the Pro version is a good indicator we can look forward to 123TokenMe being available in the App Store in about two weeks. Home market... get ready.





Thumbnail for add students and their photos video

8/9: Received the July, 2012Â CSHA magazine in the mail today. Kathy authored an article about marketing changes coming to CSHA in this edition. An excellent article and one that SLP's will find especially interesting. With all of the changes coming to this profession, marketing will play an important role.


In the meantime, I find it curious that the July issue wasn't received until the 9th of August. Hmmm? In today's instantaneous world, this may be something the marketing department might want to look into. Kathy?








Summer saves tourists lives at the Leaning Tower of Pisa8/13: Is it OK that Summer has abandoned her work at 123apps4Me for a few weeks while she visits Italy with her grandmother? Absolutely. Especially when you realize how many tourists now owe their lives to her quick thinking.












Kathy leading brainstorming about data gathering upgrade to 123TokenMe Pro8/14: Even in today's electronic world, the best way to communicate can still be through old fashioned pen and paper. Or, dry erase marker and white board.


Kathy utilized these last night in brain storming the first upgrade to 123TokenMe Pro: data gathering that will rock the special education field. Stay tuned.










Stuff + Time + Staff = Preschool photo shoot8/17: A carload of classroom + just enough time + talented staff = a wonderful preschool photo shoot. Lots of fun and gigabytes of photos. A huge thanks to our eleven participants, their parents, our classroom aides, Meggan & Tommie, and our talented photographer- April.


The idea was to take photos of 123TokenMe Pro being used in a classroom setting. Was it successful? Let's turn to our eleven participants for the answer: "When can I go again?" was the question several of them asked their parents right after the photo shoot was over. This mirrors the reaction that has been received by 123TokenMe Pro so far- it is a powerful tool for teachers and parents, yet it is fun and motivating for students and children. A big win-win, since it is much more effective to teach and improve behaviors when there is excited participation from all involved.


Smile and say 123TokenMe!



Apple most valuable company in history8/20: Apple became the most valuable company in history today with a stock market valuation of $624 billion. Is it mere coincidence that my 123TokenMe apps just went on sale in the Apple app store within this last month?


If the two are related, as I suspect, it sure puts the pressure on Kathy and Summer to keep 123apps4Me humming along. Apple employees, stockholders, and consumers all over the globe are counting on you!








Email from Apple outlining the July, 2012 transfer to the 123apps4Me bank account8/22: Just received an email from Apple outlining the amount they will be transferring to my business bank account for the first sales in July, 2012. That $624 billion valuation for Apple? This email from Apple confirms it- 123apps4Me is officially responsible for approximately 0.0000000000060097 percent of that valuation.


How cool is that? We get to start small, and grow the very best way- through early adopters spreading the word about what a powerful tool 123TokenMe is for teaching and improving behaviors. We've received excellent feedback so far, and are excited to start the marketing process. Since we are starting at 0.0000000000060097 percent, there is definitely only one way to go!






The first post about ways to use 123TokenMe8/26: 123TokenMe & Pro are not only available at the app store, but are being purchased.* So, the time has arrived to start posting on ways the app can be used. Who better to kick these posts off than the two individuals that have been beta testing the longest- Kathy and Summer.


This idea debuted with a post from Kathy describing how she has used the app to battle a very prevalent behavior- picky eating. The next entry will be from Summer and how she uses group tokening to encourage teamwork. As other users start to use these tools in classrooms and homes this will be another rich source of app uses. Like so many things in life, it saves time to learn from the discoveries of others. Sharing these ideas through my website, Facebook page, and Twitter feeds will help to accomplish spreading this word.


* Side note from the 123apps4Me accountant: Yeah! It is nice to catch a small glimpse of dollars flowing in a direction other than out.


Data gathering upgrades on first update to 123TokenMe Pro8/29: An important meeting last night with Ozate, regarding the fine-tuning of the first update for 123TokenMe and Pro. It is very close to being submitted to Apple for review. So, what will be included?


First, a small tweak to the notes function that changes the algorithm for which notes appear with students and teachers when emailing data.


Second, some fun additions- more token animation, a new super hero token, and some new pre-loaded rewards.


Third, is THE upgrade. It will be visible when tapping the data icon, since it involves major new data gathering capabilities. Always envisioned, it was decided to hold off until the first upgrade to allow for additional design and input. Summer and Kathy are excited beyond words (Or would that be excited beyond numbers?) to unveil this portion of the upgrade. I am excited, since its release will officially kick off my marketing campaign.



iPhone 5 announced 9-11-129/11: The main announcement in today's widely anticipated Apple event was the iPhone 5. Exciting. But, another statistic shared at this forum was what caught my attention. According to Apple there are now 250,000 iPad apps available in the iTunes store.


Why is this number important? Because it points directly to the importance of 123apps4Me. Without my two apps, Apple would have been forced to use the much more awkward number of 249,998 in their presentation.









Apple store- Fashion Island- Orange County, CA9/12: 123apps4Me was invited to participate in a business development meeting this morning at the Fashion Island Apple store. The purpose of this meeting was to introduce decision makers to the value of integrating apps into their business. Either apps used "off the shelf" from the iTunes store, or ones developed strictly for their unique business. Some of the app examples given were bind moggling. That's not a typo- my bind is still moggled.


We were invited as an example of a business that had taken an idea for an app (The easy part) to a successfully developed app (The not so easy part). Our story was shared as an inspiration to others.


While we attended primarily to present, we were never-the-less able to glean some advice:

1) Smartphones have become one of the most intimate parts of our life. Personal. Entertainment. Social. Business. Communication. All of this from an object that has gone increasingly from our pocket and purse to a permanent place in our hand. My takeaway? That we need to develop 123TokenMe versions for the iPhone sooner rather than later.

2) Apple's VPP- Volume Purchase Plan. This allows an entity to purchase multiple apps and dole them out individually to employees. This solves a myriad of ownership, upgrade, and logistical problems. My takeaway? VPP is a perfect method for a school district to provide 123TokenMe Pro to multiple teachers, therapists, and aides.

3) Apple does many things exceedingly well. One that is easy to overlook is their masterful marketing. Their products are undoubtably great, but Apple turns them into "absolutely can't live without" necessities. My takeaway? Marketing is a major reason for Apple's success, and, going forward, it needs to be a fun, creative, and large part of my business model.


Kathy- the new "student" at high school9/17: Who is that student? The one with the pink shirt hurrying to class? Actually it's not a student... it's Kathy. After over fifteen years of working as a SLP in early intervention, she is now working at the high school level.

Kathy is looking forward to an exciting year with lots of learning. A chance to shake things up at a different level. To make a positive impact with students in their transition from school to life. And a great opportunity to model safe behavior by properly using crosswalks.


As for Me? I am excited to see my apps used with an older age group. To learn first hand some of the nuances that high schoolers will introduce into future apps and their upgrades.





Kathy's stack of study materials for her BCBA test9/20: Yikes! Look at this pile of study materials for Kathy's BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) national test. It scares Me just to look at this photo. Fortunately, Kathy soaked it up during every spare minute she's had over the last several months.


And, when is the test? Today. As she said when she started this program eighteen months ago, it will benefit both her work at school as well as 123apps4Me. A two-for-one bonus from her fifteen hours a week of learning, studying, and practicing over this time period.


So, what's next? In a pattern similar to the app development process, it is a matter of waiting. Six long weeks until the test results are available. So, while today will be a relief for Kathy, the party will be in early November. Fortunately, the knowledge is already hers, and she's using it make a difference every day.



Summer's "Social Butterfly" that teaches social skills in her classroom9/27: Here's a comment that was submitted to my website the day that Summer posted her "Social Butterfly" social skills lesson:


I am so proud And impressed by this website, and all of the hard work and dedication you two have put into this dream becoming a reality. Have been reading and learning for about an hour all about your programs and all of the pieces to this amazing puzzle! So happy for you both, sending lots of love! Xo


Thank you, thank you. This makes it all worthwhile.






Behind the scenes at the secret 123apps4Me video studio9/29: During the past few weeks, videos have been a focal point (Haha). Is it true that many of us are too busy to read? That we'd prefer to watch, hear, learn, and be entertained all at once? Is the September 27th comment about reading the exception?


If so, I stand ready. My first video, a marketing presentation for 123TokenMe Pro, is being edited in the 123apps4Me recording and production studio at this very minute. Tentatively scheduled for an October release, the timing will mirror the first upgrade to 123TokenMe Pro. Coincidentally, a fall release date is the ideal time frame for Oscar consideration. Lights. Camera. Kathy. Summer. Action!







Increase in Autism Diagnosis from 1993- 200310/3: How about this article about an intriguing autism treatment from University of California at Irvine (UCI) in today's Daily Pilot? The study points to some promising (very early) possibilities. This researcher was inspired by a father that said he'd "walk through fire" to find a cure for his daughter's autism.


Likewise, both Kathy and Summer have heard similar sentiments many times. The graph points to an unsustainable situation. Let's hope this study, and many others around the world, can produce tangible results in both treatment and prevention.



123TokenMe: Teach skills. Improve behaviors. 10/9: Emotions at both ends of my spectrum today. At one end- frustration. My first 123TokenMe upgrade is getting hung up on data collection. More precisely, how to define the time period involved for a completed session. What events should stop this time period? Is it even possible to code the app to work like we want it to? Yet, it absolutely needs to be correct. It is data after all. And data drives decisions. Arrgghh.


Not enough frustration? Then there is this- my marketing video for 123TokenMe. The one that required days and days of work to produce? Yes, that one. It received two thumbs down and zero tokens. The new directive? One minute long, showcase the big picture in the first few seconds, and concentrate the balance on the three biggest game-changing aspects. Arrgghh.


Fortunately, there is the following on the opposite end of the spectrum:

Twenty-nine words from a SLP in an email that Kathy received late yesterday:

"Well I just want to say that your app is terrific! It has become my top used app at this point and I LOVE IT! So do the kids!"

One word in return: Thanks!



123TokenMe Pro- waiting for review123TokenMe- waiting for review10/17: Finally! Submitted the 1st updates to Apple for both 123TokenMe and 123TokenMe Pro. These updates carry a big responsibility. Upon approval, marketing starts. No more word of mouth only.


Videos, emails, press releases and more. Regardless of the type it will be able to tout these exciting upgrades:


- Animated award shows

- Detailed data from each token board session

- New rewards and a super hero token

- Numbered rewards for sequenced tasks

- User added sounds for token taps, timer expiration, and award shows



Summer wins our hand model audition: Hands down!10/19: Am I lucky, or what? Most businesses must go to a talent agency to hire a hand actress for their promotional videos. Big bucks and lots of time. Not Me, though. Our own Summer Conway won the audition. Hands down.












123TokenMe Pro 1.1- Developer rejected123TokenMe 1.1- Developer rejected10/20: An autobiography does not ring true if the setbacks are excluded. Remember that happiness from just three days ago? Gone. We pulled the binary code for both apps out of the Apple review process earlier today.


Why? Because it was the right thing to do. Version 1.1 includes powerful data collection- data that has never been collected before. And we plan to loudly proclaim this ability. So, the data better be 100% accurate, right? Well, ours did not include the time period for the first token to be awarded. Ouch.


This is a glitch that most users would not notice. But some would- especially those using 123TokenMe in research projects. Yes, the data collected is that powerful. Rather than release this version, and create a fix later, we decided to address it now. This small tweak will lead to major coding rework. Some visible, but mostly behind the scenes. It will also delay Version 1.1's release for an indeterminate amount of time.


Disappointing? Of course. But see paragraph two- the right thing to do.


Kathy's updated business card with her new BCBA-D designation11/1: Kathy was not supposed to learn whether-or-not she passed her BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) test until mid-November, but she found out last week. Well? Did she pass? Take a close look at her updated business card to find out.


Eighteen months of classwork, 100's of hours of supervised work, and 10- 15 hours per week of studying. The best part? All of that is now in the past.


Not only has her learning found its way into Kathy's work as an SLP, but it has imbedded itself deep into 123TokenMe. In fact, much of the first upgrade is a result of these new perspectives from behavior analysis. So, just like she promised Me when she started on this quest, it will make a huge, positive difference to all users of our apps.



A Google search for 123TokenMe11/8: A 123TokenMe user emailed us today about searching for us on Google. She was amazed at the result. Technically, the 4,110 results. While it may have taken Google only 0.38 seconds to perform this search, can you imagine how long it would take to click on all 4,110 links? If anyone wants to try, please let us know the answer. We promise to immortalize you with your own post: "The 123TokenMe Expert. Bar None."


In the meantime, we continue to work hard to create even more links in our quest to help teach skills and improve behaviors. Don't believe Me? Give Me a month and 123GoogleMe for yourself. Five thousand results, here we come.


Broken record- tomorrow will be the day for Version 1.1 of 123TokenMe to be resubmitted11/8: An update on the upgrade: It has been almost three weeks since we pulled the binary codes from Apple review for our Version 1.1 upgrade to 123TokenMe and 123TokenMe Pro. Almost every day since, we have thought that "tomorrow" would be the day that we were ready to resubmit the code. Well, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, tomorrow should be the day. The code is finished, as are all of the other dominoes affected- videos, user guide adjustments, marketing materials, and more.


One of the many virtues needed in a new business venture? Patience.








Broken record- tomorrow will be the day for Version 1.1 of 123TokenMe to be resubmittedBroken record- tomorrow will be the day for Version 1.1 of 123TokenMe to be resubmitted11/10: Guess what? Yesterday did not end up being the day. The code wasn't finished. At least not to the level required before submitting the Version 1.1 upgrade to Apple. Can the code be that difficult? Here is a fun fact that helps Me understand the answer to this question. How many lines of code are in 123TokenMe Pro? Take a guess. 3000? 10,000?


The actual answer? As of yesterday evening, there are 25,503 lines of code in 123TokenMe Pro. That helps to explain why getting it perfect is not an easy task. As for Me? I am going to sound like a broken record at least one more time- the upgrade will be submitted to Apple on Tuesday, November 13th.


123TokenMe Pro approved for develoer release by Apple11/19: No more broken records. The updated code was submitted on November 13th. Even better? As of earlier today Version 1.1 was approved by Apple. Full speed ahead on marketing. Watch out world, here we come.



Give Thanks from SFMandy11/22: Thanksgiving. My second one. Definitely my favorite holiday. I sure have a big family. Lots of people rooting for Me. So what am I thankful for this year? As a startup, I'm thankful for simply still being around. I'm thankful for getting very close to helping others make big differences in many lives. I'm thankful for all those that have been a part of this amazing journey. And, like last year, I'm thankful for pie. Yum yum. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!



YouTube's most watched video ever- Gangnam Style11/29: Marketing officially began today with a test email to friends and family. See what you think:


Dear Friends and Family,


As you may know, we are involved in a new venture 123apps4Me. Here is a one sentence summary: Apps to assist individuals who use positive behavior strategies to teach skills and improve behaviors. Whew!
Our first app, 123TokenMe, is now available in the App Store. 123TokenMe replaces token boards and sticker charts. These have been successfully used by teachers and therapists "forever", so this more powerful tool is truly a game changer. Especially in the autism and special needs fields, but with many uses in general education also.
Please check out this link to a 90 second YouTube video about 123TokenMe. While the subject may be unfamiliar, you might recognize one of our professional actresses, or our highly trained voice actor. Two requests:
One: After watching, please click on the "Like" button. We are hoping to surpass Gangnam Style as the most popular YouTube video ever. Your help is appreciated.
Two: If you know someone that might benefit from 123TokenMe, please forward this information.
A note from Me:Â YouTube's most watched video ever- Gangnam Style- was referenced in this email. As of now we have 14 views of our video and Gangnam Style has 849,389,574. Our friends and family better get viewing!
The 123apps4Me QR code12/5: My very own QR code. My first. Now anyone with a QR scanner on their phone can find out about Me. Contact Me. Text Me. Tweet Me. Like Me on Facebook, or watch videos starring Me on YouTube. Is today my birthday?
Even more good news. Speaking about videos starring Me on YouTube, my 123TokenMe video views are up to 165. Take that, Gangnam Style. No way did you increase your views by over a factor of ten in the past week. I'm on a roll.
MaximRyan12/10: Meeting 1.0 on Version 1.2 of 123TokenMe. This upgrade is especially exciting because it will showcase our guest artists. Users will be able to add token sets designed by our guest artists. The first three sets will be from Maxim, Karoline, and Ryan. Marvel at Maxim's animals, walk through Karoline's garden, and be transported by Ryan's vehicles. As you can see, these new tokens have already brought smiles to the artists. Just imagine the joy and fun they will bring to students. Look for Version 1.2 sometime early in 2013.
Happy New Year from 123apps4Me1/1/2013: Happy 2013. What a year it has been. Does doubt about the speed of progress ever creep into my thinking? Of course it does. But, look no further than last year's entries in this autobiography to appreciate how much has happened, and just how good the 123 life has been.
For starters, look at my entry for 1/1/2012- exactly one year ago. Goodness sakes, even my name has changed. Our first app was released, a new website was launched, new logos designed, videos were produced, a BCBA was earned, marketing was formulated, and presentations were made.
Probably the most satisfying progress, though, is measured in feedback. How our first app, 123TokenMe, is helping teachers, parents, and therapists make a positive difference in the lives of their students, children, and clients. May this continue throughout 2013. Happy New Year to all.
123TokenMe, Version 1.21/17: Already over two weeks into 2013, so Version 1.2 of 123TokenMe must be getting close, right? Not exactly. As with many aspects of this start-up venture, the projected completion date seems to get magically extended. In this case, though, the delay is for a good reason- Version 1.2 will add several amazingly rich and useful features. In other words, time consuming ones.
By highlighting our first three guest artists, a system is being put into place to be able to add future token sets more quickly and easily. This means more opportunity for artists to highlight their work on 123TokenMe, and more chances for users to find tokens that will provide maximum engagement and motivation.
Additionally, Level Three data is being added. 123TokenMe already gathers data that has never before been automatically captured. With this newest level of data, researchers will be able to use 123TokenMe to design projects measuring the effectiveness of a token economy system, modifying behavior with consistent rewards, and more. Â Wow- research possibilities. That's exciting.
Lastly, Version 1.2 will have custom backgrounds to go with the new token sets and several new animated award shows. Was time consuming mentioned? Therefore, look for 123TokenMe, Version 1.2 sometime "later" in 2013. How's that for evasiveness?
123TokenMe sales for 2013up, up, up1/23:With Apple stock plunging from over $700/share to under $500/share, it is time for 123apps4Me to do our part. We fully understand that Apple's stock rebound begins with us. Gone is our pre-release hope (Okay, our pre-release wishful thinking) that 123TokenMe would sell itself.
In its place is reality. 123TokenMe is a game changing app. A powerful tool assisting users to teach skills and improve behaviors. In gathering data to make more informed decisions. An app that is making positive differences in lives. And one that saves lots of time and money.
All this, though, does not translate into easy sales. After all, 123TokenMe is brand new, and lacks name recognition. Therefore, Apple, we pledge to make marketing a priority in 2013. You are counting on us. We won't disappoint.


A short walk that crossed worlds. From the LA Times1/26: Amazing how often insights come from unexpected sources. In this case it was Dianne Goddard writing in today's Los Angeles Times. This is a love story on many levels, and is one that uses the word autism in the very first sentence.


A wonderful combination of hope, realism, and love that everyone can learn from. Especially those involved with the special needs community. It certainly is a reminder for us how important it is to keep trying to make a difference.








Signing up for the CalABA conference in Garden Grove, CA1/28: Finally. A long overdue meeting with Kathy and Summer. With Summer now pursuing her BCBA certification (One class down and four to go), and the school year in its "half-way hectic" mode, time is precious.


But... can't forget about Me. Getting close to my second birthday and everyone knows what they say about the Terrible Twos. In other words, 123apps4Me needs some love. So, multiple marketing ideas were discussed. These two rose to the top for February's focus:


1) Signing up 123TokenMe for the CalABA conference in Garden Grove, California. An exhibition booth will be a good way to receive quick feedback and gauge interest from a large number of individuals familiar with token boards, behavior analysis, and positive behavior strategies. All attributes of 123TokenMe. And with over 1000 attendees, an excellent way to discover another 123TokenMe attribute. Introvert or extrovert?


2) Introducing 123TokenMe to a smaller, but more focused group of token board users. Therapists, special ed teachers, SLP's, and home program aides that will use the app intensely. Since this group of 50- 100 users will be provided with open ended instruction, they will be kept close to home geographically. Great opportunities to gather in-depth feedback and to start spreading 123TokenMe organically.


Now, that was a good meeting. All kinds of love for Me.


The 123TokenMe banner for CalABA convention2/12: Look what arrived- our 123TokenMe banner for the CalABA convention. Kathy and Summer decided to unfurl it early. This evening's beach and boardwalk visitors sure were fortunate. They enjoyed a beautiful sunset, and caught a glimpse of the 123TokenMe girls.











123TokenMe, Version 1.1.1 submitted to Apple- Unlimited individuals instead of a limit of two2/19: Only a week has passed since the last entry from Me, but what a week. Remember the angst of our name change from 123SummerizeMe to 123apps4Me? Multiply by two to understand this past week's consternation.


Because of the convergence of these items 1) Apple disallowing two apps to share in-app purchase files, 2) The confusion between having two apps with similar names- 123TokenMe and 123TokenMe Pro, and 3) The extra time and expense in all aspects of our business in maintaining both of these apps, the major decision was made to...


Drop the restriction to two students for 123TokenMe and drop 123TokenMePro from the app store. In other words 123TokenMe will now be our only token board app, and it will now be able to store an unlimited number of students, children, or clients. A lot of extra work in the short term, but lots less work and confusion in the long run.


Oh, and that's not all. A major price change. Instead of the $24.99 price associated with the Pro version, this new 123TokenMe will initially be available for just $9.99. The thinking behind this major reduction? From a marketing perspective we'd rather get more market penetration and let these users help spread 123TokenMe organically- by word of mouth.


The 123TokenMe freebies for the CalABA convention3/1: March already? February really needs more days. Conference number one for 123TokenMe is over, with numbers two and three coming up. The biggest thing learned during this initial conference? That standing on one's feet for twelve hours straight while talking is exhausting.












Kathy demonstrates 123TokenMe to an audience at CSHA.

3/14: Happy Pie Day. This most special of days is extra special this year, since it falls half way through Palindrome Week. Does it get any better than that?


What a busy couple of weeks for Me. The CalABA conference three weeks ago, the CSHA conference last weekend (Where this photo of Kathy demonstrating 123TokenMe was taken), and the APBA conference coming up the weekend after this one. As an aside, are there any conferences without initials?


Looming over these conferences is one of the biggest decisions to face this business yet. That price change to $9.99? That may not be all. How about a further reduction in price? How about all the way to free? Why? Because of the over saturation of apps in the app store. Right now there are over 800,000 and counting, and it is difficult to make any single app stand out. In addition, because of the preponderance of free apps, many users are simply not willing to pay for an app. Even if that app is 123TokenMe, a tool that helps users do a better job with their students, and saves them money and time.


As a result, we are strongly considering making 123TokenMe free. It will be exactly the same powerful app as it is currently, with two changes: 1) It will store just one student, and 2) It will come with five token choices versus thirteen. A simple in-app purchase will unlock unlimited students and the extra tokens. Additional in-app purchases will be added so that token sets from our guest artists can be downloaded. Many users, especially parents and one-on-one aides, may never need to upgrade. The free version will be all they'll ever need. How wonderful, because they'll have found something to help them with someone they live or work with. And who better to help organically spread the 123TokenMe word?


Guest Artist Announcement that 123TokenMe is FREE5/17: Yikes. Look how long since my last entry. Because nothing has been happening? Hardly. In fact, there has been so much to write about, that "writing about" did not happen.


Well, today the drought ends. Why? Because today just might be my birthday. Good momentum seems to be building on several different fronts:

Our website and Facebook posts were changed to reflect the perspective of Me visiting different classrooms and homes. My observations make up the bulk of the posts. The result? Our three most popular Facebook posts all took place over the last two weeks.

The four conferences we have attended are starting to get the 123TokenMe name recognized and even result in some sales. Not nearly enough to pay for the conferences, but the undercurrent can be felt. That's the reason we committed to our biggest conference yet- ABAI 2013 in Minneapolis over Memorial day weekend. Wish Me luck.

Kathy and Summer are realizing how many speaking opportunities they can generate. When they present Me to a group, good things happen. There is also a write up by the local Daily Pilot newspaper that is in the works.

Getting Me on the iPhone is going to happen. And soon. This will open up a much wider audience for users, and will allow existing users to use Me in more instances- on the playground, at a restaurant, etc. Thank you, Joe, for making this happen. And you thought that you didn't get much sleep before the last few weeks.

Version 1.2 was released last night at midnight EST. 123TokenMe is now officially free. Thank you again, Joe. This is why sleep was elusive before the last few weeks. Joe changed my code to make this version work with only one student. An in app purchase from the 123TokenMe store releases unlimited students. Yet, existing users will be able to download this version and still have unlimited students. Pretty nifty. Also new in my store are the first three token sets available for purchase: Maxim's animals, Karoline's garden, and Ryan's vehicles.

Is there more? Yes, but my "writing about" time has been used up for today.

Is Today My Birthday?

Today- This Exact Instant: As you read my autobiography, I continue to write it. By now you know Me. I am an optimist. I envision many more entries. The future is exciting. As for what day I was born, maybe every day is my birthday? Wouldn't that be a great life?