When Evan Deaubl isn't geeking out as a computer-software developer, he performs with local comedy troupe Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed and travels as much as possible. He's also a regular in a local LGBT bowling league, and Deaubl's worlds collided when he developed an iPhone application for bowlers to keep track of their scores—and exactly where they were standing as they happened to make that lucky strike. Deaubl says the app helps bowlers improve their game. For more information on the app, visit www.12strikes.com, and for more info on local LGBT bowling leagues, call 404-3591 for the Desert Coyotes, or visit twitter.com/OZbowling for Welcome to Oz.
How did you get the idea to develop an iPhone application?
It was basically an experiment toward the beginning of my starting a business on my own. This was kind of a little mini thing I could do rather than starting a full business. But I'm still not quite there yet.
Had you done any other app development before?
This was my first experience, and although it's profitable, it's not really enough to free me from the shackles of employment. But it's been a great experience and has taught me a lot of lessons.
Have you always been into bowling?
I've been fairly active, but not quite as hardcore as some of the others in the Desert Coyotes league. I'd probably bowl in the other (LGBT leagues), but they are on Thursday nights, which I can't make right now. But I'm having a lot of fun.
So why a bowling app?
Since I was involved in bowling, it was one of those ideas that popped in my head, but it wasn't my first idea. My first idea was going to be a way to interface all the bowling alleys' computerized bowling systems. First, it was going to be something league operators would use to download scores and run their leagues, using a computer to dramatically reduce their workload. In reviewing the market for that, I realized it was a lot harder for them to interface with the computerized systems.
What does the app do?
It's a little more personal. It's for tracking your own personal scores, and it goes beyond that, too. It allows you to track other data, like where you were standing on the lane, so you can keep track of where you're standing and where you're having the most success, to increase your score. Using the app, my average has gone up a solid 10 to 15 pins, because I've been tracking that information.
The app is called 12 Strikes. How much attention has it received?
It's been a worldwide thing. I've had the vast majority (of attention) in the U.S., obviously, but I've had purchasers down in Brazil. I've had purchasers in Japan, and some purchasers in Europe. It's a lot more worldwide than I actually thought it (would be).
I'm still keeping an eye on how this app can be used and how to make league administration easier. I feel attached to this idea of downloading this information to the scoring systems, but a lot of them tend to be very closed systems. So, I think a lot of my focus will be to allow bowlers to put on more information about their games and the history of their game ... analyzing how they can improve their bowling in their leagues and tournaments.
Do you want to do another app?
Now that I've got the experience, I'd like to see if there is a way to integrate an iPhone component into another business. I'm not sure if I would repeat what I did with 12 Strikes, actually. There's a particular knack to make an iPhone app that would actually be able to support you full-time. I'm beginning to think that it's a knack that I don't quite have.
How long have you worked as a software developer?
For about 10 years now. Basically, it was almost kind of preordained. I actually started writing my first programs at, I believe, around the age of 10. Once I finally got to college, I finally figured out: I can learn and get a degree in this stuff, and people will pay me to do this.
I would say the biggest thing is the social aspect. That's the reason I got into it, and my bowling is better as a result. I feel like if I was in a league, and everything was really serious, and there was not much banter, I'd get a lot less out of it.