RootsTech Profile Series: An Inside Look at An App that Helps Parents Preserve their Children’s Art and Memories
As part of our ongoing series leading up to the RootsTech Family History Conference in Salt Lake City next week, our team interviewed the founder of Keepy, an innovative app that helps parents preserve their children’s art and memories.
Q: What inspired you to create Keepy?
A. About 4 years ago, I moved with my family from Israel to New York City after selling my previous company to Getty Images. My oldest son Liran was five-years old at the time. Just four months after we arrived in New York, our apartment started to look like an art gallery – our son’s creations were literally all over our walls and refrigerator! We were amazed at his prolific creativity and wanted a way to preserve his artwork. Naturally, I started searching for software to help us! But when I looked for ways to keep all of the artwork, it struck me that there was not a good solution to keep the best artwork and memories for my kids. I didn’t want to just share them on Facebook or drop them into a disorganized folder in the cloud. What really struck me was the realization that if I wanted the rest of our family who still lived in Israel to enjoy the artwork, comment on each piece and allow the younger and older generations to keep in touch. That’s when I knew I had to build a new solution to this problem. Keepy was born.
2) What is the core mission of Keepy?
Keepy’s core mission is to create a place where artwork, photos and videos are turned into memories worth revisiting years later. We take thousands of photos and videos each year. Then, we choose one or two of those photos and videos to actually comment on, thus adding context to the memories.d Our hope is that Keepy will be the place where our kids’ grandkids can come to learn about their ancestors, by watching seeing not just their artwork, but also the rest of their family’s comments and reactions.
3) What role do you think visual memories – artwork and photos – play in family history?
All of our ancestors made artwork when they were kids – even before cameras were invented! Artwork tends to be the first proprietary content that ever every human being creates, but until now, it was pretty hard to keep pieces of art in a good shape and within context. (Context such as age, location and story is often lost.) Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could show my kids today what my grandma was drawing during her childhood?
4) How does Keepy help families preserve their history?
Even though Keepy was built with the intention to capture kids’ memories and their family’s reactions, we also started to notice a different use of the app. It was fun – we started to see grandparents hacking the app and using it to preserve their pictures and add more memories! For example, they added stories about high school year books. They added stories about experiences they had with their parents. They added stories about their childhood. All those stories are now being shared with the rest of their family, too. The best part? Family members can comment and ask more questions. That is a whole new way for preserving the family history and we’re excited about it.
5) How does Keepy attract users from many generations?
Keepy was built as a multi-generational platform, first and foremost to help parents organize and save their kids’ artwork and mementos. Yet with our unique user interface, we were able to extend the experience to more than just parents. With the Keepy app, parents are able to capture their kids’ voices and narration as a story about the artwork. By enabling private sharing with grandparents, we now have the ability to invite grandma and grandpa to share their love and appreciation through their own voice and video. Suddenly, one piece or art inspires three generations to document their relationships and historical bonds.
6) What’s your biggest hope for the RootsTech conference next week in Utah? Why should they come?
RootsTech will be a week of firsts for us – first time teaching a class, first time hosting a video series and first time exhibiting at the biggest family history event in the world! Most of all, I am looking forward to sharing how Keepy was developed with a User Interface intended for three generations. Our biggest hope for the conference is to work with family historians, genealogists and archivists to understand how they’d like to use Keepy to celebrate memories with every generation of their family.
You’re invited to visit our table at “Innovation Alley!” Bring your photos; we will have plenty of tablets loaded with the Keepy app! You can add video stories to your pictures and then share those stories with your entire family!
About the Author: Offir Gutelzon is the founder and CEO of Keepy, the new way for families to save and share memories. He is a serial entrepreneur whose last venture, PicScout, sold to Getty Images in 2011. Offir lives in Palo Alto with his wife and two sons.