Björn Jeffery: Why Play Doesn’t Need To Be Educational [PSFK 2014]
The CEO of digital toy company Toca Boca talks about why play in itself is a good thing.
PSFK is excited to host Björn Jeffery, the CEO of Toca Boca, a play studio that makes digital toys for kids. Björn will speak at PSFK CONFERENCE 2014 on April 11th about how he started a new kind of toy company that outsold Disney in the App Store in less than three years.
In advance of his stage appearance, we had a chat with Björn about Toca Boca and the new way kids play in the digital age.
What inspired you to start Toca Boca?
My co-founder Emil Ovemar and I were working together at Bonnier R&D; in Sweden, working with various project within future media. We saw how the launch of the iPad changed kids access to touchscreen devices at home. Smartphones had previously been lent to kids frequently, but the iPad changed the direct access by being a device that was shared by the whole family. This made us look at what was available in the App Store for kids, and we quickly realized that it was very skewed towards gaming and books. Kids, however, play in many different ways and games is just one of them. This in turn led us to the insight that we should be making digital toys instead – products that you can’t win or lose with. And that’s how it started.