connect / 2014

App of Life transforms people and communities by challenging us to play real life as a game.

App of Life transforms people and communities by challenging us to play real life as a game.

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by App of Life

We will a) Fine tune and finish development of App of Life tool set & b) Get people on board improving themselves & their communities.


Please describe yourself.

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

We will a) Fine tune and finish development of App of Life tool set & b) Get people on board improving themselves & their communities.

Does your project impact Los Angeles County?

Yes (benefits all of LA County)

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • South LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South Bay
  • Westside

What is your idea/project in more detail?

In our initial launch, App of Life players are earning points for eating well, exercising, experiencing local culture, being social and taking on socially responsible projects. More importantly we’ve found that users are sharing these experiences and inviting friends to join in the gamification of their lives.

a) We will complete our buildout with API connections to wearables and fitness apps; finetune the look and function of App of Life; finish development of team building tools; and build an Android version of the app.

b) We will get players on board through digital marketing campaigns and partnering with local organizations and companies to run wellness challenges.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

The first thing we would do if we win will be to issue a press release telling our LA story. This traction will result in thousands of people doing good while using App of Life - right away!

1) Connect to Wearables and Fitness Apps using APIs We are working to connect people using wearables with App of Life so that they can track a balanced lifestyle beyond fitness. We’ll allow players to connect App of Life with Fitbit, Jawbone Up, Strava Run & Bike, and MyFitnessPal. Players will be able to automatically earn points in App of Life for using a fitness tracker or app. Since these players are already earning points via fitness, they’ll feel motivated to work on earning points in our other categories of a balanced life: culture and social.

2) Fine Tuning By the time judging begins Version 1.0 user surveys will be complete, additional research will be finished. Our design and development team will be using this information to inform a fine tuning of the the look and function of App of Life.

3) Teams and Contests We will finish the development of our team building and contest tools that will allow organizations to compete in wellness challenges and contests.

4) Expand with Android App of Life launched first on iOS, and we are working on the Android version to launch later this year. By building and marketing an Android version of App of Life, we can reach twice as many potential players, and create a seamless experience for iOS users who want to share the app with their friends on Android. This build will take about four to five months, including testing and app store submission.

6) Wellness Challenges with Partners Our contests give organizations new opportunities to engage, mobilize and grow their communities. The app allows contest organizers to add a custom move tailored to their specific goals. People who try more new exercises will earn more points via App of Life, and thus could win prizes such as fitness gear for their favorite new routine. Contests will typically run for one month. It’s a win-win as everyone who participates will feel healthier and have fun trying new exercises, while the athletic club engages more members and App of Life gains more players.

7) Build user base through targeted advertising and marketing We will target potential players of App of Life via strategic marketing and advertising campaigns, such as targeted Facebook mobile ads, to grow our user base of Angelenos who will benefit the most from the app.

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to CONNECT today? In 2050?

App of Life is a social media app that challenges its players to share their progress toward a balanced and sustainable life. Based in LA, we are growing the app’s user base locally to help improve Angelenos’ lives and the community around us. As more friends get on board with App of Life and engage each other with comments and likes, the message will spread via social channels that it’s GOOD to improve yourself and your community. As App of Life grows and connects more players now and into 2050, its impact on Los Angeles will continue to grow.

More than 10 million people live in LA County, and we’d like App of Life to improve the lives of each of these Angelenos, whether they’re avid players or they’re affected by the GOOD that our players do.

Whom will your project benefit?

As an LA-based company, our goal is to first build a solid base in Los Angeles. Initially individual players will benefit from App of Life by getting more physically fit and becoming more socially and culturally tuned. As groups of friends use the app together, communities will benefit indirectly from a healthier and happier citizen base and directly through our app’s moves such as more volunteering, better voter turnout and better use of alternative transportation (just to name a few). Organizations will benefit through wellness programs. Everybody wins :)

Our audience includes every Angeleno who is old enough to use social media - everyone around them will benefit.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

Collaboration is our game plan, here is where we are starting: Office of Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti Mayor Garcetti’s office contacted our founders about working on a community engagement program. We have proposed a campaign to engage citizens to volunteer throughout the city. App of Life will serve as the framework of this program, which will help us gain new players who care about improving our community. Success will be measured on the number of new players, number of times each person volunteers, and the amount of time each person stays engaged. We have worked with the Mayor’s office many times. Currently our creative team is developing the branding for LA Promise Zone and the Mayor’s residence Getty House.

Los Angeles Athletic Club As the city’s oldest health and fitness organization, LAAC is where Olympic and pro athletes train next to regular citizens. The club hosts the Wooden Awards, presented to the most outstanding college basketball players. A fitness contest will engage members at the club while onboarding players for both LAAC and App of Life. Players will achieve a balanced lifestyle and compete for fitness-related prizes. Success will be measured on number of new players, number of times each person posts about exercising to App of Life, and the number of friends each player has gained. We have confirmed this partnership with the LAAC and have worked with them in the past.

DIGDEEP DIGDEEP is an LA-based water rights organization that works to secure clean water access for every human being. App of Life will run a contest with DIGDEEP awarding points to people who join their 4Liters program, promoting water rights awareness and conservation, as well as raising money for water access. The challenge will grow DIGDEEP and App of Life. Success will be measured on number of new players, number of days each player participates in and by the degree to which these players continue to use App of Life. We have a longstanding relationship with DIGDEEP and have confirmed partnership.

LA Works We will partner with LA Works to award points for volunteering. People who take on LA Works’ challenge will earn points each time they volunteer and will also earn points for trying new projects. Through this challenge, volunteers will help improve LA while earning points and prizes, while App of Life will benefit from gaining new players who are focused on giving back. We have volunteered with LA Works for more than a decade and have proposed a partnership.

How will your project impact the LA2050 “Connect” metrics?

  • Rates of volunteerism
  • Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support
  • Attendance at cultural events
  • Number of public transit riders
  • Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)
  • Total number of social media friends (Dream Metric)
  • Attendance at public/open street gatherings (Dream Metric)
  • People can use App of Life to share their participation in anything positive. :)

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

People get points in App of Life by posting and sharing in the following areas:

Rates of volunteerism: volunteering, anima adoption, mentoring, helping a stranger, lending a hand, etc.

Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support: hugs, stress relief, making friends, sharing, time with friends, time with family, therapy, etc.

Attendance at cultural events: festival attendance, attending a performance, attending a service, museum visit, historical site visit, taking a class, teaching, library visits, going to gatherings, etc.

Number of public transit riders: using public transportation, using alternative transportation

Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally volunteering, anima adoption, mentoring, helping a stranger, lending a hand, etc.

Total number of social media friends: This is a social media app, the number of friends someone can make and clubs someone can join has no boundaries.

Attendance at public/open street gatherings: festival attendance, attending a performance, park visit, attending a service, beach day, historical site visit, going to gatherings, etc.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

The great thing about a quantified self app is everything is measured. We will evaluate success based on, but not exclusive to, the following: • Number of new players • User retention rates • Specific player participation numbers for: Volunteering; Voting; Attendance of cultural events; Use of Public Transportation; Use of Alternative Transportation; Festival Attendance; Number of social media friends.

We can also provide data on over 128 specific behaviors as they relate to health, cultural and social behavior.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

1) We’ve found that by gamifying and quantifying a balanced life through App of Life, people are changing their behavior for the better. Even more interestingly, our players’ specific actions and behaviors continue to improve over time the longer they play the app.

2) Sharing encourages healthy behavior. We’ve seen that specific comments and likes from friends can motivate and change the behaviors of other players. We’ve also seen players imitate the positive moves their friends have made. It’s good stuff.

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

1) Android Development We have a team lined up with budgets and an established timeline. We feel comfortable with development as we’ve already completed the iOS app.

2) Partnership Contests We’ve already begun developing our wellness challenges with partners with whom we’ve had longterm relationships and a history of shared success.

3) Building User Base Experience tells us that building a user base with targeted advertising such as Facebook mobile ads is effective and cost efficient.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

Our first challenge is implementing the right strategies to reach a critical mass of players for App of Life, to help encourage exponential growth on an organic level. We’ll need to set benchmarks and test our strategies to ensure that we’ll reach our goals.

Our second challenge is to create multiple versions of the app to reach the widest number of potential players. We need to make sure that we aggressively implement a fundraising strategy to build an Android version in order to double our potential base.

What resources does your project need?

  • Network/relationship support
  • Money (financial capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Community outreach