Freak'n Genius

Co-Founder, Chief Freak | 2011-2018

Screenshot 2019-03-30 16.21.20.png

Freak’n Genius was my software company for 7 years. We flipped animation on its head, taking a highly technical, time consuming, and expensive medium, and made it toy-like. It was so fun and simple, that kids as young as 3 years old played with the apps, and the by-product was they created an animation. Our apps were used by millions of people, creating tens of millions of animated videos. We built 8 apps across 4 platforms and were a graduate of Seattle TechStars.

freakngenius_app_sample2_2.jpg

With one product, a user performed skits and it created cartoons in real-time, where we partnered with Microsoft and the Kinect team to roll out.

Another was an award winning mobile app called YAKiT, where a user just spoke and created cartoons in real time. We hit #1 in Apple’s App Store multiple times in Photo/Video, domestically and internationally.

We were also the first company to have created an animation engine for mobile devices that allowed for animated stickers and frame overlays, years before the social apps, and we helped companies like Facebook establish new UX norms on how users interact with content, and Adobe to create an entirely new prosumer product offering.


Public Reactions:

Launching with Microsoft:


Often times the product vision started big, messy, and complicated. I would work with the engineers to de-spaghetti complex problems until the end result was achievable. If it’s any consolation, I’m a high-functioning Virgo and love John Madden-style hairballs to map out and untangle.

yakit_path.jpg
freakngenius_app_sample1.jpg
freakngenius_app_sample4.jpg

We were the face of Microsoft’s Kinect and highlighted extensively at their annual BUILD Conference and across many marketing and PR materials.

IMG_3416.JPG
sprint2.png

Key roles:

Managing an 8 person team; design, engineering, Marketing, QA

Managing design & engineering sprints

Creative direction

UI/UX/Branding/Illustration/Animation

Content Development

Business Development & Partnerships

Fundraising & Investor Relations

Event Speaking

Ask me sometime about my community-driven War Room launch party concept I came up with:

WarRoom_005.jpg

Always inspired by his creativity and leadership, I’ve seen year after year that Kyle is clearly an expert from concept, to execution, to delivery, never afraid of getting his hands dirty. In fact, I think he enjoys it. Driven by passion, curiosity, and exploration, Kyle doesn’t go for the low hanging fruit, but climbs to the top of the tree.

Kyle is a visionary and futurist, living in the present. His passion to serve others and unlock their potential is unique. Where I’ve seen Kyle operate best is when things aren’t working and need shaking up. He has an incredible ability to embrace discomfort, reflect, and make the right changes.
— Mike Folden, Director & Filmmaker

Fun Fact: Freak’n Genius’s initial focus was to create a multi-platform property built around an animated series called, Marc ‘n Marvin. It was a story about a man and his talking tapeworm, and the relationship they had with each other. An “Odd Couple” dynamic.

After completing the pilot episode and the first interactive experience, is where we discovered the power and the need of the software we had built, where we can turn everyday people into animators, simply by moving and speaking. So we pivoted.

Pilot Episode

Interactive Narrative

next_005.jpg

Kyle Kesterson