Where did the idea for RunPee come from?

Where did this genius idea come from?

RunPee.com was the idea of Dan Florio, AKA polyGeek.

Here’s the Tale…

Please feel free to contact me: polyGeek [ at ] thisSite.com – if you have anything non-public to ask me. Otherwise just comment below. I’ll read and respond.

It came to me after watching the movie King Kong, which was 3ish hours long. My wife and I were thinking how nice it would be to have a website that listed movie times we could easily miss and run to the bathroom to empty our poor bladders, and not miss any crucial scenes.

I sat on the idea for about 2 years while working at XBox in Seattle. I am a Flash Platform developer and as my skills set grew, I started to learn to make Flash/database driven website – Spring ’08. The RunPee idea seemed like a good project to practice, on so I started building it. By August of ’08 it was up and running. RunPee.com debuted at the 360Flex conference in San Jose to much fanfare – watch the video at youTube.

And then promptly everyone forgot about it. 🙁

Then on May 9th @LeoLaporte mentioned RunPee on his weekend show. Before that the traffic to RunPee.com was in the 10-15 visitors/day. After Leo it went to about 350/day. Then Leo and Amber invited me to join them via phone on their net@night show. A few people here and there heard about it. Like Dave Barry. A producer from NPRs All Things Considered found out about RunPee from Dave’s mention, and invited me to be on the show. With all that, the site traffic has climbed over 30,000 uniques a day! Thanks everyone.

Lots of other people have also mentioned RunPee – the media attention has been phenomenal. I think this is that viral Internet thing that I’ve heard of before. 😉 I just never thought it would happen to me. All the traffic crashed the shared server that RunPee was on so it had to be moved to a dedicated server.

Thanks everyone for your compliments about RunPee. Hopefully my next project will be even better.

About the Creator/Developer – polyGeek

I’ve had many media requests for interviews to talk about myself and RunPee.com. Here are a few tidbits, in no particular order, about myself. And FYI – my wife took this photo of me, on a stormy Oregon beach, after we skipped rocks into the ocean for hours. That was a damn nice day.

Dan Florio, aka polyGeek

Born
1967 in Bisbee, Arizona

Education
Mastered in Philosophy and History at Northern Arizona University (did not graduate. See note below about Swansea, Wales )

Places I’ve lived
la’Aquila, Italy; Swansea, Wales; London, England; Seattle, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Crestline, New York, Orlando, Los Angeles and many, many others.

Additional schooling
Massage Therapist with a degree from the Desert Institute for the Healing Arts in Tucson, Arizona.

Studied mathematics, physics and astronomy at the University of Arizona from 1985-1988.

Jobs
Mission Director at the United Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama: mostly I taught kids how to run mission control during a Space Shuttle launch. Also did lectures on celestial mechanics, astronomy and planetary science.

Research Assistant for Steward Observatory and Kitt Peak at the university of Arizona: did a lot of photocopying and data entry but also got to hang out with some of the best known astronomers in the world.

Flash Prototyper for XBox: built prototypes for the XBox and Zune for user testing. Also developed the media sales app for the Zune which was used to present the device to potential retail outlets and partners. ( I only did the development. Others did the design.) I was told that Bill Gates thought it was outstanding, which coming from him means a lot, since it was all in Flash.

Trivial stuff
I didn’t graduate from college because I did my last year abroad in Swansea, Wales. Upon returning to the US I didn’t have enough money to return to NAU where I had to present my work from Swansea – as a formallity. Instead I got a job doing HTML design/development in Greensboro, North Carolina.

I was in Manhattan, on my way to work, on the Upper East Side on 9/11. I worked at the Hospital for Special Surgery in the IT department doing video and web design/development. Here is a bit that I wrote about my experience shortly afterward.

I have taken first semester calculus three times and made an A+ every time. The first time was in my freshman year of college. Then a year later I took the class again in a different format because a friend was teaching it and wanted to get my feedback on how the different formats compared. I was then out of school for a few years – working at the Space Academy. When I returned to my mathematics studies I started again with calculus because I was rusty.

During my first semester at NAU I lived in a tent near campus. The reason I lived in a tent was because I spent all my extra money on a Dell laptop. That’s just how I roll.

I did nude modeling for the art department at NAU.

I lived in the back of my 1995 Nissan Pathfinder for 3 months after I moved to Seattle. During part of that time I was working for Microsoft XBox. I parked the car in the parking lot of the downtown Belleview library.

I was a professional photographer for a short period. You can see my work at XanaduWest.com – of course, I also designed and developed the site. Watch the sun set over the buttes; I think it’s an elegant design.

I created an open source project called videoMaru. It allows people who don’t know much about writing Actionscript code to create custom video interfaces without writing any code themselves. videoMaru has received high marks from the community and I am quite proud of this project. It was a nice way to give back to the Actionscript community and devs in general.

My wife and I like to travel in our RV, Serenity, for long periods of time. Since we work out of the home, we can pretty much do what we want, wherever we are. Isn’t that cool?

About Jill Florio – HippyGeek

Dan Florio met his wife online. Of course. It was love at first click. jill florio picture

He was pretty fortunate in meeting a cute woman who enjoys science and science fiction as much as he does. While Dan was working for Space Camp, she was working at Astro Camp. No joke. Their wedding march was the Throne Room Theme Song from Star Wars. It really doesn’t get much more geeky than that.

As the Woman Behind RunPee, Jill Florio writes the RunPee Blog, is the press manager and social media promoter for the enterprise, and also takes out the dogs on a regular basis.

Jill, a print journalist for The Prescott Daily Courier, Flagstaff Live!, Sweat Magazine and other offline endeavors back in the day, now devotes herself to online writing exclusively.

She’s been Community Manager for BellaOnline.com (the world’s largest independently-owned women’s website); Site-wide Unit Manager and Science/Adventure Travel Section Editor for Suite101.com; Dean of Health and Dean of Entertainment at SuiteUniversity; Editor-in-Chief for Mused Literary Magazine, edits the Blogs & Social Media topic at BellaOnline.com, is a Vine Reviewer for Amazon.com and really, truly loves backpacking in the Grand Canyon.

You can read more about Jill Florio and her works at JillFlorio.com. If you want to. She can also be followed on Twitter at Hippygeek.

But she’d really rather you just read the RunPee Blog, since that is what she eats, sleeps and “pees” these days.

Read the RunPee Blog

7 replies
  1. Kelly Johnson
    Kelly Johnson says:

    I heard about RunPee from Jordan Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals’ QB (Carson’s brother) when the Bengals were featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks in the summer of 2009. Is he part of the group that started it, or just a fan? I’m a 50-ish woman who is VERY grateful for RunPee! I’ve been telling all my the rest of the “gotta go, gotta go right now” generation about you. 🙂

    Reply
    • Dan Florio
      Dan Florio says:

      @Kelly I’m so glad that RunPee has helped you and your “generation”. 🙂

      Jordan is a member of a company named RockLive – formerly RockSoftware – that builds iPhone applications. I had the idea for RunPee ages ago and eventually built the website. When it became popular I had lots of people begging for an iPhone application. I’m a software developer but at the time I had no idea how to build iPhone apps so I partnered with RockLive. That’s how Jordan got involved.

      Of course when he and Carson were being interviewed on “Hard Knocks” they couldn’t just say, “This geek Dan Florio had the idea and so my company built the iPhone app for him.” HBO would certainly have left that sitting on the editing room floor. So, with my complete consent, Jordan and Carson used the word “We” a lot. Of course we includes me because I’m technically a part of RockLive so they weren’t exactly lying. They were just being a tiny bit misleading in order to get that interview in the show. It worked. We all benefited. And really, who cares who came up with the idea as long as you don’t have to sit uncomfortably in the theater, right? 🙂

      Reply
  2. Judge Angel
    Judge Angel says:

    Dear Dan,
    Thank you for such an open Bio. We feel like we know you -the great guy next door. We are in pre-production this week. May we discuss and show your app on the show? We are very proud of you.
    Sincerely,
    Judge Angel and Mike Faust
    702-363-4771-O
    702-234-2020-C

    Reply
  3. Judge Angel
    Judge Angel says:

    Dear Dan,
    Thank you for such an open Bio. We feel like we know you -the great guy next door. We are in pre-production this week. May we discuss and show your app on the show? We are very proud of you.
    Sincerely,
    Judge Angel and Mike Faust
    702-363-4771-O
    702-234-2020-C

    Reply

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