A chance meeting between childhood friends has catapulted two men into the limelight as they’ve seen a simple idea take the world by storm.
Iain Baird, 31, of Rock Lane, Linslade, hadn’t seen old school pal Peter Worth (formerly of Cotefield Drive) since he was 17.
But after bumping into each other at a meal with mutual friends, the pair got chatting over a curry and soon got the ball rolling.
With Peter working as a web developer and Iain in internet Pay Per Click, the former Vandyke Upper School duo combined their skills to create My Talking Pet, an Apple and Android app that allows owners to put words in their pet’s mouths. An amazing 500,000 downloads later and Iain and Peter have quit their jobs to concentrate on their venture full-time.
Iain said: “I was in the pub with my friends one night talking about our pets and a really funny YouTube video of a dog talking. We said how great it would be if you could have something that made your own pet talk.
“I realised there was nothing out there that is really working, one that is personalised at least, so the idea was there. And then I met Peter and we built the app exactly how we wanted it to be.
“It’s quite hard to be recognised in the app market because there are so many so we were making about $50 a day, which was OK, but not great.”
But their slow burning success didn’t last long. In October, Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, stars of TV series 2 Broke Girls, were on Ellen Degeneres’ talk show when they began to praise My Talking Pet.
And in the next six weeks the duo earned $100,000 as the app took off in US and had global success in Australia, Canada and Japan as they reached top of the charts.
Iain said: “To think they were two of the few who had used it was just a massive amount of luck.
“We knew nothing about it until suddenly the app shot up the chart and went crazy.
“It was brilliant and it has just taken off from there. It has been total luck really. Of course, we were hoping something would happen to give it that spark because everyone really love the idea.
“We never thought it would be as successful as it’s been. My Talking Pet has absolutely changed my life.”