Tech Startup of the Week: Kahnoodle, An App to Keep Love Alive
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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“One of the key issues that we face is people feel like there is a stigma to using any [outside agent] to help their relationship. There is the assumption that everything is supposed to be perfect. But Every relationship requires work. We try to make it fun and effortless to do the work needed to build a strong relationship,” says Scott Washington.

While Kahnoodle is free, her team is working to launch a new subscription-based feature called “Date Night,” which will help remove the barriers to people getting out more regularly, such as difficulties finding childcare; something the new mother is familiar with. Kahnoodle will receive a fee through affiliate revenue every time a couple books a date using one of Kahnoodle’s date night deals.

Black Enterprise honors Scott Washington and Kahnoodle this week not only because of her dedication to build and repair black love, but also because her app has had a 300% increase in downloads from month to month since she launched the “Love Coupon Feature” last Fall.

Scott Washington describes gamification as the use of game design and game mechanics in non-game contexts. “It’s commonly used to promote positive behavior change – like losing weight or saving money,” she explains. Here, Scott Washington gives three key elements that she believes must be included in a gamified app in order for it to be successful.

– Points, Badges and Leaderboards – There are limitations to each of these elements but they are the most commonly associated with gamification frameworks.  They are necessary but are not sufficient on their own.

– Engagement loops: This is the cycle that encourages a certain action in the game. The game provides the motivation, causing the user to act. Next, the program provides positive feedback (points, virtual rewards, etc.), which provides motivation to complete further actions.

– FUN! Games are inherently fun. To apply gamification effectively the user experience must be fun.

 

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.


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