A few months ago, we showed you the preview of our second app that we were busy working on. Now we are happy to announce that our new app, Zoozoo Readables for iPad, iPhone, + iPod Touch has finally launched in the Apple apps store!

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The Zoozoo Readables app is adapted from a popular series that we published for education called Zoozoo Into the Wild. It features eight animal stories that have been lovingly illustrated and animated. We are excited about the addition of animation to the Zoozoo Readables! It is the next evolution in our app development education that began earlier this year with the launch of our Letter Buddies AlphaBooks app.

Check out the video above to learn more about Zoozoo Readables or visit the Apple apps store to download the full or free versions of the app. Hope you enjoy!

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Yun and I know that the ultimate success of Cavallo Media will depend greatly on our ability to establish our brands and products in a new market — for parents and kids — that extends beyond our old market — schools.  Creating brand awareness is a significant hurdle for all budding consumer product companies, and building the Letter Buddies brand amongst potential early childhood customers has been our top priority so far. While we've made some headway on this front since launching our collection of four Letter Buddies AlphaBooks apps, which together have been downloaded by a modest several thousand people around the world, we don't yet feel like we've been able to connect with our customer base in a meaningful way. In part, this is due to how closed Apple's system is, which prevents us from actually knowing or communicating with whomever is downloading and buying our apps. 

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In the past, when we were primarily focused on creating products for the educational school market, it was easier to connect with our customers — teachers — to get their feedback on products, marketing, etc. One of the ways we were able to do that was to attend local conferences. Twenty times or so a year we would travel to some far off part of America to attend an early childhood reading conference. While visiting small cities, like Covington, KY, wouldn't be considered glamorous to most, spending time in places that I might not otherwise have reason to set foot was actually an unexpected bonus of the work. I loved it, with the exception of the very sad Springfield, IL — sorry Springfield, it's the truth. Not only was exploring these smaller cities fun, but by going to local reading conferences, I was able to meet our customers face-to-face. I could speak with teachers and discuss what they liked about our products and what they would like to see us develop next. I could get some real-time feedback on what we needed to do to accentuate the areas that were strengths and improve the areas that were weaknesses. It was an invaluable part of our growth and development.

Now that we've entered this digital market, we're searching for new ways to dialogue with our customers the way we used to at local conferences. We've been lucky to have a number of mommy bloggers review our Letter Buddies app, which has given us some great feedback, but we haven't connected with our customers in as broad a way as we would like. The need for creating a "social media" presence to enable these interactions, while obvious, is easier said then done. As an initial step, we recently launched our own Cavallo Media Fan Page, and last week we ran our first Facebook promotion to find out what could happen. 

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When we launched our promotion - giving away Letter Buddies Activity Worksheets - we had about 30 Facebook fans, and at last count our promotion has helped us to add about 80 more. Nearly 300% growth! Considering that Lady Gaga has over 40 MILLION FANS, you're probably asking yourself why 100+ fans would be exciting. Fair question. While we don't yet have the following of Gaga, running our promotion is hopefully the start for us to figure out how to use social media to better know our new customer base. Not only did we add a number of fans but more importantly, we began having those important conversations that help good companies know what their customers really want. The Cavallo Media fan page is a great venue for connecting with customers, and it is fun to begin having those customer conversations again. - K
 
When you have your own company, there's rarely a time that you're completely free from thinking about your business. It's always on your mind. And, since Yun and I spend most of our waking hours working together, some aspect of what we do is constantly a topic of conversation. Our weekends and holidays don't offer much reprieve, and meals are often just an extension of work, except with food. 

But, there are those times when being an entrepreneur does have its perks. This past Tuesday, I had the chance to power off my Blackberry, ignore emails, and enjoy nature for a few hours. After spending the weekend visiting my nephews and newborn niece in San Francisco, I stayed for a few extra days and my buddy Jon and I took the two hour drive down the coast from SF to Monterey so that we could play one of America's true golfing gems, Spyglass Hill Golf Course. Not as famous or scenic as its sister course, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass is simply a golfer's golf course. One of my favorites. Jon discovered a membership card that would get us a 40% discount on the greens fees at Spyglass, so like a moth to a flame, we rushed to take advantage of the deal before anyone changed their mind.  
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It was a chance to unplug, getaway, and to employ a pair of very loud pants made possible by one of my favorite brands — Moods of Norway. As another friend noted after seeing the picture above on my Facebook page, where else do you get a chance to wear teal plaid pants, but on the golf course? (Needless to say, Jon doesn't share my fashion sentiments) In any case, it was also an opportunity for me to once again use the greatest golf innovation of my lifetime — Taylormade's new R11 Driver. EVERY GOLFER SHOULD HAVE ONE! Seriously. I feel like I'm cheating when using it — it's that good.


But, I digress. 

Whether it's playing a round of golf, going for a walk or watching an episode of Ace of Cakes, it is so important to find time to clear your mind from work and decompress. It's cliche to say that sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses, but it's true. When your business only goes forward if you're the one pushing it — as is the case for many entrepreneurs — it's easy to feel guilty when you're not working, so you end up working all the time. This past week I was lucky enough to play a round of golf at one of the most beautiful places on earth with one of my best friends, and walking around with not a care in the world for the better part of five hours put in perspective why dealing with the constant work pressure is ultimately worth it. There's nothing better in business than having your own company as long as once in a while you remember to stop —and make a late tee time on a Tuesday afternoon. — K