Curious Hat – Erwan Maigret (CTO) Interview

With over 15 years of experience in Software design for Computer Graphics, Erwan Maigret brings to Curious Hat the technical and project management experience needed to supervise the development of innovative products. In 2007, Erwan founded an innovative software company, directing the software development on one hand, and supervising the whole company sales effort, marketing strategies, and investor relations. Prior to this, he held the position of R&D Technical Lead at DreamWorks Animation, where he was responsible for the development and support of core software technologies for the production of feature animation movies. Erwan's software has been utilized in 'Shrek 2', 'Madagascar', 'Over the Hedge', and 'Shrek the Third'. Before joining DreamWorks Animation, Erwan held several 3D developer positions at various companies, including a low-vision research center, for which he created 3D simulations of the human eye. He is also the owner of a patent on laser-based glasses technology.    

Erwan, welcome to Capital Network Magazine. We're looking forward to getting to know you and your company a little better. Will you please share something about yourself that can't be found in your public bio?

My biggest passion is music, I play all sorts of instruments anytime I can have one in my hands.  

Tell us about your company, your team, and how you got started creating apps?

Luca and myself had been dreaming for a long time about creating something together. Then we both fell in love with the very first iPads, and started using it with our kids. From that day, the outcome was pretty obvious, it was just a matter of time and jumping into this new venture together. When the timing was good, we made the decision in a few days to go full speed ahead on this.  

You have a very impressive resume with a long list of accomplishments. After leaving DreamWorks Animation you could have basically worked anywhere. Why did you decide to spend your time, energy, and resources on educational apps for children?

The main reason I work in DreamWorks in the first place is because I wanted to do something I loved. So we relocated to California to make this happen with my Wife. Now what I love is family/kids/friends and technology. The whole market in 3D animation being tougher and tougher, this seemed like a natural move.  

Describe to us your creative process. How long does it take to bring your ideas to life?

A lot of brainstorming, testing apps, looking at how your kids use it, and use our creative past to imagine something new. We have about 100 application ideas on paper, only 15 that reached a working prototype, 4 released and 4 more in active development today.  

In your opinion, what are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Focus, priority management and patience.  

What does your typical day look like?

Check-in with China/Turkey/Russia early morning, managing European based assets and other priorities in the morning, software development in the afternoon, Check-in with Luca at 6.45pm every week-day since day one, then family quality time.  

What has been your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?

Thinking it would be easy, I learned to be even more patient whatever happens. Something goods always grows from it if you can keep the focus and communication between the team-members.  

Other than Curious Hat, what companies do you admire the most and why?

Apple, for the design. Lego, for the greatest toys ever. Pixar, for keeping their movies accessible for young kids.  

If you could have one super power, what would it be?

I wish I could fly, this is my regular night-dream.  

What's next for you and Curious Hat?

Connecting all our apps to make a better experience for our customers from all our "exploration apps".  

Sell all of the parents out there on why we should be interested in Curious Hat.

Because we mostly care for our children, and want to open their minds to the outside world through art, entertainment and education. And we need them to create these cool apps so they can too share all these precious moments with their kids.  

Creating a company is a long journey. If for some reason this does not succeed would you do it again?

Without a glimpse of hesitation, this is the best experience ever: -Working with great friends -Doing amazing products -Testing with my own kids  

Where are you located?

Headquarters are in San Mateo, California, where Luca Prasso lives. Erwan is in France, the rest of the team is international (Italy, Turkey, Russia, China, Canada...)

Curious Hat

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Thanya, agreed…that was one of the reasons we reached out to Erwan, Luca, and the team at Curious Hat. Thank you

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Ever Gonzalez

Co-founder & CEO @ Outlier