Sarina Simon: Influences and Influencers | Mobile App Development
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Mobile App Development

Augmented Reality to Increase User Engagement

24 Oct 2016, Posted by Sarina Simon in Children's Media, Distance Learning, Edtech, electronic books, English as a Second Language, instructional design, kids' media, Learning Science, Mobile App Development, Uncategorized

For some time now my colleagues, most of whom are younger and hipper than me, have been extolling the virtues of Augmented Reality.  And they are not alone.  Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, recently stated that he felt AR would be bigger than VR. And most market analysts agree that AR is going to become a huge market opportunity, topping $120 B by 2020. The recent success of Pokemon Go with 100MM downloads worldwide, has made consumers more aware of AR but some would argue that Pokemon Go does not really use AR technology.  That’s an argument that I can’t…

Tolaca Rocks, Won’t You?

13 Apr 2016, Posted by Sarina Simon in casual games, CD-i, Game Design, kids' media, Mobile App Development, Philips CD-i, Puzzle Games, women in technology

I used to play games of all kinds.  As a kid I loved board games, word games, almost any kind of competition – especially if I could win.  In recent times, videogames, computer games and mobile games have either been too violent, too time consuming, or too difficult for me to play. Of course, like millions of other people, I played Tetris, and I especially liked it when we licensed it for its first appearance on a CD.  I still remember the tagline we wrote for it.   TETRIS The classic becomes a legend on CD-i ! Too bad so few…

How Much Work, If Any, Should You Do On Spec?

17 Nov 2015, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Advice for Edtech Aspirants, Bidding Process, Children's Media, Graphic Design, Managing Development Teams, Marketing, Mobile App Development, Responding to RFPs, Software Engineering, women in technology

I am varying from my usual format to share something I found very funny and highly relevant to the business of digital media. I recently came across this video from an ad agency in which they effectively mocked the ad industry’s  practice of expecting work on spec, also known as working for free. The ad agency, Toronto-based Zulu Alpha Kilo, released the video on November 2 and it has already garnered over 1 million views. The video suggests that no other businesses operate this way, but as developers we know that at least one more, ours, does.  (By the way my…

Lina Chen—Innovator and “Strategic Hedonist”

12 Jan 2015, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, casual games, Expert Interviews, Game Design, interactive games, Mobile App Development, women in technology

Lina Chen—Innovator and “Strategic Hedonist” Lina Chen is the Co-founder & CEO of Nix Hydra, which makes mobile games and applications for young women aged 13-28. The company has more than $5.6M in funding and made the hit virtual pet game, Egg Baby, which has about 11 million downloads.  Lina was recently named one of the top 50 People to watch in Southern California’s tech industry. Lina manages company strategy, people, and money. Previously, Lina negotiated international mobile deals for Grooveshark, a streaming music startup, worked at the William Morris Agency, one of the largest entertainment agencies in the world,…

Who Says Women Can’t Make Games?– Meet Ariella Lehrer, CEO Legacy Games

03 Dec 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Children's Media, Expert Interviews, Game Design, Learning Science, Mobile App Development, Online Games, Videogames

  Ariella Lehrer is a 30-year veteran of the games business. As a female, she is a rarity and a much admired pioneer.  She has founded and managed three companies,  all of which were involved in the design, production, and marketing of interactive games. Currently she is the CEO of Legacy Games, which is based in Los Angeles, with development studios in Hungary and Poland. Legacy began 16 years ago making medical simulations like Emergency Room, graduated to adventure games such as Law & Order, which morphed into hidden object games like Murder, She Wrote. Currently, Legacy is focused on casual to…

Industrial Design Know-How Meets Children’s Digital Media and Great products are Born

04 Nov 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Advice for Edtech Aspirants, Children's Media, Edtech, Expert Interviews, kids' media, Mobile App Development

An Interview with Michael Chanover, Chief Creative Officer, Fingerprint Play Michael Chanover is the Chief Creative Officer at Fingerprint, a mobile start-up that is the first learning and play network for kids and their grown ups. Prior to Fingerprint, Michael was VP of Product for the Alsop-Louie portfolio company, Kidlandia. Prior to Kidlandia, he was Global Creative Director of Web & Brand at the educational toy company, LeapFrog Enterprises, where he directed products and programs that converge user experience, brand, strategy, Web, and print technologies. Before that, he spent four years in the San Francisco and New York offices of frogdesign, as Executive Producer and General Manager. In addition, Michael was…

Ken Goldstein: From Writer to Disney Executive and More

01 Oct 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Children's Media, Expert Interviews, Game Design, Mobile App Development, Online Games, Philips CD-i, Videogames

  Ken Goldstein has served as Chairman & CEO of SHOP.COM, Executive Vice President & Managing Director of Disney Online, and VP / Executive Publisher of Entertainment & Education for Broderbund Software. He currently advises start-ups and established companies on brands, creative talent, e-commerce, and digital media strategy. Ken is on the boards of Thrift Books LLC and Good Men Media, Inc. He publishes the blog Corporate Intelligence Radio and his first novel, This Is Rage, was recently published by The Story Plant. 1.  You have worked in the digital media industry almost from the start.  Your earliest gigs involved…

Ken Locker: Always At the Leading Edge

05 Aug 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, English as a Second Language, Expert Interviews, interactive television, kids' media, Mobile App Development

Ken Locker is the COO of the Living English Company, which has created an integrated cloud based software platform for companies that employ Hispanic blue-collar workers who do not speak English well. It offers a complete mobile app for administrators, supervisors and workers, incorporating language learning, vocational training and workforce managementHe has more than twenty years of senior management experience in the media industry, with expertise in digital content production, game and app development, distribution, online video operations and monetization, social media and marketing. Previously, Ken was the Chief Operating Officer of Film Domain Media Group, which offers multi-platform digital VOD…

Max Dichter—Creativity, Versatility and Drive

02 Jul 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Expert Interviews, interactive television, Mobile App Development

Max Dichter describes himself as a “40 something Vice President of Product at a home services startup with over 18 years of experience in the industry. “  He has two kids and, in describing his work, says, “each day at work feels like my first day on the job.”  Anyone who knows Max knows he’s very modest.  So let me fill you in. Max currently works at SERVIZ  as VP of Product Marketing.  Prior to SERVIZ, he was Director of Production for Mattel Digital Network where he lead a large team responsible for the production and brand engagement of Mattel’s…

Jeancarlo Ascorra: A Peruvian Artist with North and South American Sensibilities

10 Jun 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in Animation, Expert Interviews, Game Design, Graphic Design, HTML5, kids' media, Mobile App Development

Jeancarlo Ascorra is the Art Director at, NorthSouth Studios (yes—my company), and has been for the last ten years.  We were very lucky to find Jeancarlo, an artist who knows how to straddle two cultures and bring the both of best to his work. His very first job for us called for Disney-style illustration and we (and our client) were blown away by his talent. Before joining NorthSouth, Jeancarlo had eight years of Art Direction experience, with expertise in graphic design, creativity, illustration and advertising. Previously he worked at BBDO in Peru and freelanced at many other advertising and production…