Two UD Ph.D.s, one 'stupid' app, many local connections - Technical.ly Delaware

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Sep. 5, 2014 11:23 am

Two UD Ph.D.s, one ‘stupid’ app, many local connections

The guys behind Foolhardy Softworks want you to get to know each other. One of many apps they're working on is basically a treasure hunt, called "OMG Stuff!" The goal: engage local communities.
John Meyer, left, and James Dalessio operate Foolhardy Softworks from The Loft in Wilmington.

John Meyer, left, and James Dalessio operate Foolhardy Softworks from The Loft in Wilmington.

(Photo courtesy of Foolhardy Softworks)

James Dalessio and John Meyer, newly minted Ph.D.s from the University of Delaware, formed a friendship years ago, one that’s — excuse the awful pun here — out of this world.

After all, the two have advanced degrees in astrophysics and magnetic reconnection.

Since graduating in 2013, both have written highly technical software and do scientific and software consulting. Dalessio, 31, also has a part-time research position at UD.

But before they left academia, the pair of friends decided to create something that would change the world. They had big ideas for apps that could connect people IRL.

“It was a foolhardy thing to do,” Meyer, 35, said. That’s how the two felt about their decision to launch a technology company.

Hence the name, Foolhardy Softworks, which boasts several apps and platforms — created, they both say, with infrastructure and technology that didn’t previously exist.

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Setting up shop at The Loft in Wilmington, the pair is currently working on an app to engage members of the local community with one another.

It’s called OMG Stuff! and it’s basically a treasure hunt: the app will generate adjectives, the user will go out into the community, take a picture of something that fits the description and upload it to the feed.

“This app is about humor,” Meyer said. “It’s lighthearted, goofy and engaging and it’s with the local community.”

The OMG Stuff! app from Foolhardy Softworks is still pre-launch. (Screenshot via foolhardysoftworks.com)

Foolhardy Softworks currently has three apps in the Google Play store and the iTunes App Store. CMX allows users to chat anonymously with friends or strangers in their neighborhood and around the world.

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They’ve also created two bartending apps — A21 and Hawthorne — for other clients. The apps are aimed at providing a safe, private connection for bartenders to connect with their regulars.

The duo has found themselves consistently creating apps and platforms with the local community in mind.

Dalessio said they’ve also created an advertising platform that enables grassroots, local advertising. The hope is to target smaller business and restaurants who can’t spend a lot on ads, but can pay to advertise on the one city block closest to them.

Dalessio and Meyer are also currently working on another app which is aimed at connecting people at the grassroots level.

The leap from physics to software development, was not, in fact, a quantum one for Dalessio and Meyer.

Actually, the transition was pretty smooth. Dalessio said both roles take a good amount of creative energy.

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