Happy Goon started as a class project at Pratt Institute. The assignment was to create a unique product that incorporated design and technology.
I thought about what makes me happy, because I knew that whatever I came up with, it had to be something that makes people smile. Greeting cards! Everyone loves receiving post, and I've always loved the reaction on a friend or loved one's face when they read a great card.
The way we interact with media and the world has changed a great deal since the advent of the greeting card, so I focused on making the cards more dynamic, fun, and interactive.
I talked to a number of developers to try and find someone who could help. I'm not technical, so I really needed it. They all said variations of "I have no idea how to do this, sorry I can't help".
Just when I had almost given up on the idea is when I met Tim Mutlow. I told him about the idea and he said "I have no idea how to do this, but I'm really excited to find out how!". Tim is now CTO and Co-founder of Happy Goon. He's the guy that makes all the crazy awesome stuff happen through our app, and together we have been able to make it work.
Now, Happy Goon is a reality and we are a team of people making interactive cards! A few of these people working and designing were there with me at Pratt where the idea started. We've also solved the pesky problem of forgetting to buy cards on time by building a scheduling feature that allows you to create the perfect card and send them all when you remember (now, not three days before your parents' anniversary).
But Why the name 'Happy Goon'?
Within our circle of friends we define a persons ‘Goon’ as that little insanity that everyone has, but you only really show to those closest to you.
As an example: One persons Goon was shown by singing a 90’s RnB medley through a snorkel while jumping up and down on their hotel bed.
We thought this embodied everything Happy Goon is about, sharing little pieces of insanity with those closest to you, and making them happy.
At Happy Goon, we are all about making people smile, and that means we don't skimp on quality. We take the time to design our cards in house, in order to make sure they match with the digital experience perfectly.
We are working with a print company in Brooklyn who specialize in sustainable printing, they even run their operation using wind power!
Each card we send out is printed on 100lb luxury card and comes with an 70lb envelope. They are made from 100% post consumer, processed chlorine free, FSC and Green Seal Certified card and printed with non-toxic ink.
We add your personal message, fold and mail all our cards by hand, so you know they are getting taken care of. You can also be confident they will arrive at their destination on, or before, the special day because our ordering system calculates how far in advance they need to be sent.
Here is a selection of our card designs:
We design all of our cards to be great to send to those important to you, and make them smile, even if they have never heard of the internet or their idea of a smart phone is those big ones from the 80's.
But, we have also added our own little piece of magic to them which means if the person receiving the card downloads our app and points their camera at the front of the card, it will make the card come alive! Cool right? well, it gets better… You can personalize the content too, making them smile even more!
When buying a card to send to someone:
1. Visit the shop on our website, www.happygoon.com and choose the card you want to send.
2. Create the message that you want in the card. (or deliver it to yourself to hand write your message)
3. Choose the date that you want the card to be delivered.
If you've received a Happy Goon card:
1. Download the app from get.happygoon.com
2. Point your phone at the front of a Happy Goon Card
3. Now watch the magic happen!
Try it for yourself on the picture below!
Download our FREE app here:
Signing up for our delivery service gives you the power to schedule when and where your cards get sent. So you can take a little time on one day to schedule a card for every important event in the entire year.
Set it, forget it, and never miss sending a card again. Not for Mother's Day, not to your bae for their Birthday, or whatever else is important to you… and them. We have you covered.
For example: You can schedule a Mother's Day and a birthday card for your mother, a birthday card for your best friend, and a 'just because' card for that great friend from high school who you keep forgetting to get in touch with. All on different days, anytime in the year.
Your family and friends will think you are the most thoughtful, organized and amazing person because of it. We will even send you a notification just before we send anything out, so you can change/edit whatever you want first.
There are many different ways you can personalize our cards. Here are a few of them:
1. The text on the inside of the card. You can add any message to the inside of the card that you want. We already have a set of handwritten fonts (made by our team) but we are working on letting you create your own handwritten font so it is your handwriting on the inside of the card.
2. Text on the front of the card. Change some of the text in the digital experience, add your friend’s name, nickname, whatever fits. Make the experience so they know only you could have sent it.
3. Pictures. On certain cards, you can upload a picture, and it is then integrated into the experience. It could be of that one that really embarrasses them, or their best profile pic. Its up to you.
4. Video. This is where things get really cool. Some of our cards will allow you to add video to the digital experience. Give a personal message, record and share a special moment with them
5. Alternate experiences. We want you to be able to send the perfect card, sometimes the tone of a card is too formal, too silly or too gross for the person you want to send it to. We want to give you options, pick from a library of digital content and find the one that fits best.
You have control over how much or little you want to customize each card. From sending out a generic card with “From Me, To you” on it, to a completely personal and thoughtful experience designed especially for the person you think of most.
We need your help to add the ability to personalize the cards you send with text, pictures, video, and alternate content. Our website is up, almost ready to start selling and our current selection of cards work well with our app. Your support will enable Happy Goon to dramatically expand our product line and exponentially increase your customization options.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge comes from the technical side. We have a developer lined up and a set timeframe to complete the necessary design and development. As is common with new technologies, there are likely to be unexpected setbacks. With that in mind we will have to work extra hard to make sure you get the product on time, while keeping it to our high quality standards.
Also we hope to be stuffing a lot of envelopes, that’s going to take ages… but it's a good problem... right? :-)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)