In 2014 Frank Balemans and Vera Smets from Belgium - married for almost 20 years - both turned 50. During a weekend for two to celebrate the birthdays, the idea of the Happy Memory app originated in a Starbucks in Amsterdam.
While enjoying a coffee, Frank and Vera started to daydream. "We're in a nice place, this is a great moment. But we're going back to work on Monday. And soon we'll have forgotten all about it... Wouldn't it be possible to create an app that helps us to cherish nice moments. And wouldn't it be great if we really developed this app." Frank came up with a name... Happy Memory was born!!
Once home, they told their daughters Eva (18) and Caroline (14) about the idea. They loved it! The app became a family project.
Having an app idea is one thing. Making an app is something else. A start-up company of young guys and girls, Appreciate nv, joined in to create the app. For many months there was intense contact between Appreciate and the Balemans-Smets family, where it became customary to hold a pyjama meeting every Sunday morning about the app.
The app was ready at the end of 2014. Newspapers and TV were invited to launch the app on 19 December.
How does it work?
Although the concept of the app doesn't really have anything to do with the birthdays, Frank and Vera still wanted a logo with a connection to the number 50. Frank drew and drew... Eventually, a fresh logo was chosen that can be seen as a sun. Or as the flash of a camera. Or an eye. The logo has five stripes and a circle...
We worked on the app for months. We tested Happy Memory hundreds of times. But we realize that an app can never be perfect without it being tested by hundreds of people. So let us know how it can be improved! All feedback is welcome on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The app started as a joke. But nevertheless, we are determined to spread the app as much as possible. We want Happy Memory to conquer the world! This requires marketing. Think of marketing and you think of big budgets... which we don't have. But 100 years of wisdom is stronger than cash...
With small budgets we want to reach as many people as possible.
For us as a family Happy Memory will always be a success. We had so much fun creating it. The fact that the app can be downloaded worldwide also gives us a big kick!
But even at the age of 50, dreams can be big. We hope that one day, our app will allow us to finance Happy Memory projects. We dream of initiatives bringing happiness and fun into this world.
A first dream... making rollators fun.
Frank's mother Mia and Vera's mother Helene use a rollator. Rollators are great! When your mobility is limited, a rollator helps you to stay independent. Only... a rollator looks so boring! Why not some fancy colour? And gadgets! A flag with "Happy New Year" or the slogan "Old = Gold" on the handles, or... We can’t wait to start this project!
When the idea of the app originated, we knew this would take time. No problem. The hours, days and months spent on Happy Memory were pure fun! But we also knew it was going to cost money. This is why we decided to limit the celebrations for our birthdays. The money for the party went to the app. Which we don't regret!
In the future we want to manage our budget the same way. As our means are limited, we will have to make smart choices. We don’t mind at all. It will only increase our creativity!
Doing the right things but also… Doing the things
We strongly believe in these values: