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The Story of Squirrels #DreamSmallBiz

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In honor of #SmallBizWeek and #tbt, we’d like to share the story of CEO Dave Stanfill, COO Drew Gould and the creation of Squirrels.

Humble Beginnings

In 2007, Dave and Drew worked for the same development company in Green, Ohio.

The release of the iPhone that year created a wave of excitement throughout the world. However, without the ability to create apps, Dave wasn’t sold. This changed a year later when the iPhone 3G was released with the ability to write applications. Dave drove to Pennsylvania to buy one immediately, and he and Drew decided to develop their own app.

They created a TV guide application and one of the first 100 apps in the Apple App Store. They charged a couple of dollars for it, and within days had more money than they had ever seen before. The successful app opened a number of big-time prospects like MTV, Viacom and Nickelodeon, all looking for guidance. Recognizing the great opportunities they had ahead of them, Dave and Drew quit their day jobs.

Napkin Studio Era

The pair formed Napkin Studio in September of 2008 and began making medical apps for a startup in California. While developing, Dave and Drew needed an easier way to share screens and display their work. Dave created AirParrot and Reflector to alleviate the complications during the development process.

The pair soon recognized that these applications had great potential in markets other than development. Squirrels LLC was formed in 2012 to house AirParrot and Reflector and any risks the applications may have entailed. With the unexpected success of the Squirrels apps, Dave and Drew decided to merge Squirrels and Napkin Studio. They brought everything together under one roof at the end of 2013.

#TeamSquirrels

Today, Squirrels has grown to 26 employees and is eager to expand further. The two co-founders have made it a priority to run their company less like a hierarchy and more like a family. In their group culture, they make sure every employee knows his or her role and how important they are to the whole.  Dave and Drew, along with their partners Cody, Matt, Sid and Cory, don’t feel the need to micromanage. Everyone knows how valuable they are, and that’s what’s used to motivate.

A workday at Squirrels is far from your typical eight-hour grind. When the group isn’t grinding away behind their computer screens, you’ll most likely find them sitting down for lunch as a company, in the midst of a Nerf gun war or shooting hoops in the parking lot. With a work-hard-play-hard mentality, #TeamSquirrels is able to create amazing software and design elements, offer support and market each product, all while establishing friendships.

The future of Squirrels LLC

What’s next for team Squirrels? Greatness.

“The goal has never been to make the best apps or the most money,” Drew said. “Our approach is to hire great people and build a team and army that’s ready for anything. Our employees are very talented and multi-disciplined to take on whatever we encounter next.”

“We could have sat back and enjoyed what we had, but we love what we do,” Dave said. “As technology grows we will continue to grow as well. Expect the unexpected.”

 Here’s to more products, more anniversaries and more cake. Happy Small Business Week!

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