Last week the vibrant pool of technology startups in St. Louis got a little deeper with a hint of a hard stick of powdered bubble gum.
Developer Matt Sebek, best known for his spiked hair, overstated ping-pong expertise, and most notably, combining sports and technology interests at JoeSportsFan — has released an iPhone application entitled “Rookies” that allows users to create and print personalized baseball cards. Users select from a catalogue of templates and can personalize the front and back with custom photos, text and colors.
The application took two years for his team of five to develop, with most of the time, ironically, less about the modern-day technology end but allocated towards perfecting the baseball card printing process.
“I never imagined caring so much about the print process in 2013,” said Sebek, who enjoys tight pants and High Karate cologne. “But we wanted this product to be right and worked hard to make it happen. When someone picks up their personalized baseball cards, we want to transport them to their childhood.”
The application is free to download and users can share cards through Facebook, Twitter and email. A pack of twenty cards comes printed on premium card stock and wrapped in wax packs, reminiscent of the way baseball cards were packaged back in the day. Sebek’s team even looked into packaging gum with the packs of baseball cards, but hit regulatory blockages.
“We quickly learned that FDA guidelines have changed since the 1980s, which was disappointing because we wanted to make it happen,” he said. “The first thing people ask about is the stale gum, so we decided to make ‘Everything But The Gum’ our product’s tagline.”
The app currently resides in the App Store’s Top 10 sports downloads and Sebek says the first few days have surpassed expectations with users already finding a number of unique usages including birth announcements, business cards, wedding gifts, and birthday presents.