Treehouse App

After building a treehouse that gained the recognition of Pete Nelson, (world renown expert and star of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters), I became involved with the very active treehouse community in the PNW. I worked with Pete and his team at Nelson Treehouse and Supply on several media related projects and in the process began to develop the ideas behind this app. Pete has authored several “coffee table” books on treehouses and we (Pete, myself, my brothers and another close friend) wondered if there might be a way to bring more life into them, to go beyond a photo and really explore everything about these amazing places using current technology. Drawing inspiration from Al Gore’s “Our Choice” app and several of National Geographic's offerings, this app was created to push the ebook platform to new heights and provide others with a product we wished existed, a fully immersive multimedia ebook on treehouses.

App store video preview and brief sampling of UI/UX elements showcasing "coffee table" book aethstetic and immersive environment

Each phase of app and product development brought unique challenges, and opportunities for learning and growth. Working on a product from conception to launch/distribution brought home the real difficulties of creating something special, finding a receptive audience and marketing a product’s value so that people will be willing to pay for access to it. But we had a plan, and a pretty involved one at that, which included: creating a press kit, several video commercials (one viral/one cinematic), online advertising (social and websites of target audiences), working directly with social media influencers, a partnership with Energy BBDO and a guest appearance on the TV show Treehouse Masters.

"The real-life Rivendell awaits in an app that captures the arboreal awesomeness that exists, not in Middle Earth, but within the borders of the United States."

- Kirkus Reviews

In all, the app was a tremendous success. It received very favorable reviews including one from the iconic Kirkus Reviews and from a number of popular blogs, was featured on TV, awarded Best in Show at the LA New Media Film Festival, and became the #1 seller throughout the world in the App Store. It would seem that folks in Slovenia and in Norway can appreciate the joys of exploring treehouses! The app would also be one of the US's App Store’s top 100 grossing apps for paid iPad apps and we would reach #1 in our category of paid apps in the Books section as well.