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Transitioning to iPhone Development — A Progress Report

PIE: Portland Incubator Experiment
1227 NW Davis Street
Portland, OR 97209, US (map)
Public WiFi



In January 2009 at the height of the recession, Nat Sims talked to Mobile Portland about how his company was undertaking a radical transformation from developing kiosks and exhibit media for museums to becoming an iPhone app development company.

The presentation from Night & Day Studios was one of the most popular Mobile Portland sessions we've had. Nat and his team talked about their successes and failures in the App Store. They shared real numbers. They talked about the benchmarks they needed to meet to be successful.

Two years later, a lot has changed. The composition of the company and how teams are formed is different now than it was then. The retired fire house where they worked flooded causing them to wade through muck to save what hardware they could. The company grew smaller and at the same time worked with more people.

And despite all of the challenges, Night & Day Studios is still around. They have nearly 30 apps in the App Store. They've begun licensing properties as a way to ensure hit products.

Their latest product, My Very First App, is based on Eric Carle’s best-selling My Very First Books and is currently the top-selling education app for iPhone. They have another hit on their hands.

Nat will give us a progress update on their transition to an iPhone company. What assumptions did they make that were correct. What didn't work. And detailed insight into how their business has been able to survive and thrive.

About Nat Sims

Nat Sims is the founder, president, and Creative Director for Night & Day Studios. He has been a content developer and media designer for 20 years, creating educational software, interpretive plans, books, exhibits, websites, videos, electronic music, and games. Much of his career was spent in developing media for museums; Night & Day developed a multimillion-dollar visitor experience for the City of Tucson, and Nat worked with Threshold studio for over 10 years on exhibits such as The Life & Times of Woody Guthrie for the Smithsonian Institution. Nat was the CFO and Lead Designer for the Behemoth Corporation, a roleplaying and strategy game company, from 2004-2009.

Nat's background includes game development and graphic design. After completing a B.A. in interface design at Hampshire College, he earned his master's degree in Communication at the University of California San Diego, studying computer games in the context of cultural cognition. His daughter Hazel is almost three and has been a tastemaker for Night & Day since Peekaboo Barn.