Although Thomas Alva Edison and local businessman Scott Relf were born more than a century apart, their lives are marked by several strikingly similar characteristics: Both chose to call South Florida home; both were mid-life entrepreneurs; and both had bright ideas for products and devices that influenced life throughout the world.
As Relf reflects on the development of his new social media app for the iPhone, PikMobile, he tells of being inspired by something Edison once said: “There is always a way to do it better … find it!”
“My wife, Renée, loved to share photos with her Facebook friends. But she was frustrated when she wanted to add more photos later to complete her story and found that all of her previous photos were already lost in the newsfeed,” says Relf. “The problem with sharing pictures on Facebook, Instagram and others is that you can’t truly tell a complete story with just one photo. I knew there had to be a better way to tell a story … so I decided to create it.”
And that’s exactly what Scott Relf did.
PikMobile allows users to share multiple photos in a single PikList®, and then add more photos at any time without them being separated from the original story. Those who like to be creative with their stories have the option to add captions, filters, and edges to their photos. And because every good story deserves more than just one picture and a thumbs up, users can choose from a variety of responses including Like, Love It, Great Shot, Cool, Cute or Dislike.
Scott Relf has been described as “a man who is hard-wired for creative thinking.” As founder of Infinite Growth Group, a leading innovation consultancy firm to Fortune 100 companies, he has been the creative catalyst behind scores of new consumer products and services. In 2006, Scott co-founded the start-up Zave Networks in his home office. The Zave system, which enables consumers to access a wide variety of digital discounts and online offers, was sold in 2011 to Google, becoming its twelfth largest acquisition to date.
While Scott and Renee’s friends often refer to them as the “dynamic duo of marketing,” the Relfs readily acknowledge that the process of bringing PikMobile to the marketplace has been an effort that encompasses faith, family, and friends.
The Relfs longtime friend Lois Bolin, strategic innovator and Old Naples historian, is always looking for ways to bring together like minded people who have the capacity and ability to impact Southwest Florida’s economic development. “Entrepreneurship is the essence of the American Dream; it is woven deeply into the fabric of our country’s history, economy, and cultural beliefs,” says Bolin. She introduced Scott Relf to Steve Walling, creator of Fusion Pointe, a non-profit venture development organization committed to increasing the number of high quality, investment ready companies in Southwest Florida. Relf was invited to serve on the Board of Directors, along with other entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and business leaders. All share a collective passion and understanding that new business creation brings game changing technologies, wealth- creating investment opportunities, and good paying jobs—giving talented professionals more reasons to live, work and remain in our region.
While PikMobile was designed to give social networkers new ways to tell their stories, the company also supports the best aspects of economic development; it was developed and built locally by a team of creative geniuses, some of whom graduated from local schools.
The Relfs tapped Jamin Meyers to serve as Head of Technology for PikMobile. A 2002 FGCU Computer Software Engineering graduate, Myers founded Naples based StableBrook Software, which specializes in mobile apps, website design, and software development.
Renee’s daughter, Danielle, a 2012 Community School graduate and now a junior at Lesley University’s College of Art and Design in Cambridge, MA, handles beta testing with the Millennial Generation and provides new product development.
Gareth Rockliffe and Jan Soderquist provide digital arts expertise. The couple, who are longtime Naples professional photographers, just embarked upon a Kickstarter funded four month journey to photograph “The Great American Coastline” in a photo-wrapped van that features the PikMobile logo and tagline, “What’s your story?”
PikMobile users are following the adventure as it unfolds day-by-day on #greatamericancoastline.
Rounding out the local team is social media Creative Director Erik Van Horn, whose experience, creative energy, and excitement are being used to ignite the kind of positive viral frenzy that will establish PikMobile as the premier social networking app for the iPhone. The only team member not located in Southwest Florida is Orlandobased Michael Attardi, an award-winning director, producer and lyricist who now heads up Digital Content for PikMobile’s newest feature, the PikStore®.
“The idea to include a PikStore came to us while we were creating our own stories to share on PikMobile. We found that there were times when just the right professional image was what we needed to complete our story, and what better way to find it than on the app,” says Relf. “Now, users can purchase the perfect image from the PikStore
just like they purchase songs from iTunes.”
It took dreamers and risk takers like Thomas Edison, who always looked for a better way, to build our country—relying on their faith, family, and friends to get them through the good times and the bad. Today, in 2014, Scott and Renee Relf are relying upon those same values as they unleash the potential and possibilities from their entrepreneurial creation. It is a story that deserves more than just a “thumbs up.” Lucky for the Relfs, PikMobile is the app that can do just that.
Download PikMobile now from the App Store and begin telling your story!