A little history about Blue Lion

We have been working in the design of the Blue Lion app for (to begin with) iPhone and Android for over 6 months now. (Yes, it looks like a long time....) I would like to share a little bit of history of the project. Not too much, otherwise it becomes boring.

The origins
The idea started in May 2010 when I had a dinner with a friend of mine, Claudine, from Rio de Janeiro, who was visiting Paris (she comes here often). We had known each other in my previous job, when I was running a program to finance innovative technology projects for SME in Latin  America and the Caribbean. Together we organized a meeting and a Tech Expo on these same topics in Rio de Janeiro a few years back.

We were talking and I was sharing with Claudine my thoughts about what to do in Paris (I mean for work). A couple sitting next to us had an iPhone on their table, which they were looking at constantly.

When I told Claudine that I was ready for a new venture, I pointed to the neighbors and said: we need to put some relevant content on those devices. Why not a tour of Paris during the French Revolution? Indeed, when I first arrived I had been looking for a tour in the form of a book of the main spots of the Revolution in Paris, but my searches on Amazon and Fnac didn't yield anything. I am a historian myself and passionate about modern history.

So we started to talk about a business model, and have been exchanging for a long time over Skype and by email. Note that I didn't even possess an iPhone, although I did have one of the precursors, the Nokia Internet Tablet N810 (talk of missed opportunities Nokia...).

In July last year I had a first meeting with a firm that specializes in iPhone development. After that, things went onwards on a lower speed for about six month. In January we started working full speed again. But in March we had a fallout with the partner and I had to look for another provider. Meanwhile I was looking at our business model and what would differentiate us, while still creating new mock-ups of the app.

The idea was also built on my own past experience: I had myself been an occasional tourist guide during my studies at the university of Rome (most of the groups were German pilgrims, so I knew Roman churches quite well).  After I left my mother started too and she shared a lot of her experience with me. We actually had already planned to create videos about Rome back in the early 1990s, but then I went in other directions.

History of a brand
As a father of two girls (now 10 and 5), I love to listen to kids: they are full of enthusiasm and fresh ideas. And it is one of these moments that yielded the brand "Blue Lion". I had been looking for related names for many weeks: between Greek gods, Irish divinities, Latin names and English distortions I was getting nowhere. One morning my elder daughter confronted me with one of these games kids here in France are so fond of: namely asking me what was my favorite of this and of that and then combining all the elements in something absolutely grotesque.

My initial reaction to that request was, oh no, not again! But my daughter said: it's serious: name you preferred animal and color. Well after my answer she said: there you have the name of your brand, "Blue Lion". I was speechless. And of course went on with this name.

Don't ask me if I am of proud of her...