Robyn Gee on Tuesday, Oct. 30th
Zuhairah Scott Washington, 35, is combating relationship ruts with her mobile app, Kahnoodle.
The app targets couples who have been together for a while and are starting to take each other for granted. Washington said she wanted her app to utilize gamification “to actually help couples see each other anew and get excited about doing new things in their relationships.”
Within the app, couples rank their “Love Styles,” which basically categorize what people desire from their partners — gifts, thoughtful acts, quality time, etc.
“For me and my husband, it’s been great for us because he’s someone who really appreciates thoughtful acts,” Washington explained. “If I’m going to do something for him I’ll prioritize making dinner because I know that’s something that he really appreciates, instead of getting him that nice tie I saw at the store.”
She said Kahnoodle will regularly send users tips that remind them to do something special or different for their significant other based on their top “Love Style.” The app then lets a user give their partner “Kudos points” to show they appreciated the act.
The app also recommends local deals for date nights using a site called yipit.com. This may have potential as a revenue model for the app. But Washington said she doesn’t see the goal of the app as trying to make a your relationship into a game. “It’s about injecting newness and freshness into something that you’re both already really invested in and that you want to make work. … I think there’s always this tension between what we aspire to do and what we actually do. And what Kahnoodle is doing is trying to close that gap,” said Washington.
Washington recently won the “Pitch It” competition at the Focus 100 event for black women in technology — a demographic that is often ignored, she said.
“It’s usually a ‘tech conference’, or a ‘women in tech conference’, or an ‘African Americans in tech conference’,” she said, and the narrower black female demographic gets overlooked. Paraphrasing Focus 100 creator Kathryn Finney, Washington said, “If you want to see change in any group, you focus on the women — because that’s where you see the most return on your investment.”