If the new definition of nerd—straying from the stereotypical headgear-wearing, socially inept individual who knows the particle composition of the fleck of dust on his or her bandaged glasses—is to be outlined as an individual whose personal passion leads to desirable innovation, then one need only open mobile app stores to understand the triumph of the new era of nerds. The endless scroll of apps is not only indicative of a growing love of and dependence on technology by us consumers, but is also representative of how many nerds have morphed their personal passions into lucrative, highly desired careers.
Yes, that’s right. Nerd + idea + development = worldwide commodity. Worldwide, commoditized app + desirability = the elevation of the nerds as the coolest, most popular and envied in the school. This of course explains why so many developers attempt to create the perfect app and why only the nerdiest of the nerds make it.
That brings us to Nerds You Should Know i.e. the coolest of the cool. And today we have an “Apps 2 Riches” poster child: Lisa Bettany of Camera+.
I know what you’re thinking, that she’s far too put together and smoky-eyed to be a member of the nerdhood. But she is. Believe me.
Bettany’s interest in technology started at the ripe age of two when her father, a university computer professor, introduced her to Appleland. From there she developed a love of technology and computers. But perhaps the biggest push into technology happened in 2006. Following a backbreaking injury that occurred while figure skating (Bettany was a competitive Canadian figure skater), she began taking photos to motivate herself into moving. These initial photos turned into a lot of photos that she began uploading onto her Mostly Lisa blog (which now seems a bit dormant) and soon her passion switched from the ice to the lens.
Skip to 2008 when she was invited to MacWorld and everything changed.
At the conference, she met tap tap tap, a successful iPhone development team, and soon began a partnership with them. First, she gained an alias, Agent Sophia in The Heist, a game for iPhone. This, I think, counts as a more modern, perhaps more contemporary, though still nonetheless nerdy, role assignment than Dungeons and Dragons. Bettany stars as a Russian spy in promotional videos, after all.
This partnership then led to another, spurred by her passion for photography. After a little over year of development came Camera+, an application that enhances the iPhone camera.
Since the app’s launch, her success has been astounding. Really, it’s a win win win win win for Bettany: she turned her passion into a job, she created an app that she would want to use and uses, she added professionalism to taking mobile phone photographs, she became the image for the app, she is raking it in and she is clearly a nerd you should know and watch..
Since its launch in 2010, Camera+ has been listed as the tenth most downloaded app, with its users promoting it through the uploading of photos on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Indeed, Bettany’s own Twitter feed, at over 52 thousand Followers, is a Tweeted collage of photos taken with her own iPhone. Forbes (among other publications) lists Camera+ as the best mobile photography app and at over 10 million sold (from $.99 to 1.99) this is one of the most lucrative apps on the market. Its easy to see how Bettany could take the time to travel around the world to promote her product.
Here she is in Tokyo with her Camera+, iPhone photography kit and… hoodie. What else would you expect?
And it’s not just that her app is popular; Bettany is desired. Her calm and goofy practicality lends itself as a perfect model on how to makes apps successful. As a powerful, good-looking woman, she has been featured on websites like Forbes, Elle, Entrepreneur, Fast Company and has made appearances on Foreign Correspondent, What’s Trending and On the Media.
It goes without saying that having what Bettany has is desirable. She’s cute, smart, successful and confident.
Check out another Nerds You Should Know: Charity: Water’s Scott Harrison.