Osmo Builds iPad Games To Promote Emotional, Social and Physical Learning by Jenna Abdou


Whether it was the moment I walked out of my last college class or recorded my first interview, the most telling indicator of groundbreaking news is when I race to tell my grandparents.

Last week marked one of those moments, as I truly couldn't contain my excitement telling them about my interview with Pramod Sharma, the Co-Founder and CEO of Osmo. 

Osmo is the creator of four educational iPad games specifically designed to keep children from continuously touching the screen. 

I am in complete awe of Osmo. With their four games - Newton, Tangram, Words and Masterpiece -  the team’s mission is to  “pioneer actual reality to unleash experiences that go beyond digital screens.”

You can see Newton, Tangram, and Words in action in this video. 



Here's a glimpse of Masterpiece as well. 



The genesis of the idea was Pramod’s daughter’s fascination with the iPad. At only two years old, she was mesmerized by the screen. 

After making early wooden prototypes in Pramod’s garage, the team learned that the more mediums and senses you engage kids with the greater their quality of learning. 

Take Masterpiece, for example. The app enables children to draw beautiful pictures of whatever they want. As someone who failed sixth grade art (I have not forgotten you, Mr. Chris), I can confidently say that the ability to produce realistic drawings makes a crucial difference in a child's confidence. 

The uninhibited pursuit of creation that Masterpiece fosters in children is the same motive driving the Osmo team. 

According to Pramod, “Creation is addicting.” 

A small team by design, Osmo’s the perfect representation of Liz Wiseman’s Rookie Smarts: “When you know nothing you’re forced to create something.”

What we are building at Osmo is changing so quickly that giving people a well defined role is very dangerous. Almost everyone here does multiple things in different domains.

One of the keys to doing that is not having too many people. You don't have a choice but to ask people for help, even if they have no expertise.

Osmo’s approach lends to the notion of scaling the generalized job description. More importantly, it highlights that Goals > Titles. 

“I have been constantly amazed by how the people on our team can take on wildly crazy responsibilities and do an amazing job," he shared. 

Pramod’s the first to admit that the lack of a clearly defined roadmap is intimidating, especially when the continuum of their Reflective Artificial Intelligence is so enormous. 

Although easier said than done, Pramod recognizes that his most important duty as a founder is to be present. 

If you are so focused on an activity that you aren’t thinking about the future or the past, you tend to be very good at the creation and you tend to be very happy. Your happiness disappears as soon as you start thinking and worrying about the future.

To learn more about Pramod’s journey from his garage to CEO tune into his episode of 33founders, follow Osmo on Twitter here, and be sure to reach out to the team if you’re interested in buying the product or want to share your feedback. 

Here’s a glimpse of what we discuss: 

  • Osmo’s mission to combine actual and digital reality 
  • How moving beyond the screen impacts social behavior
  • The link between creation and confidence for children
  • How to lead a cohesive and responsive team
  • How to manage uncertainty


Further Reading
  • How MeUndies Made Merchandising Their Competitive Advantage — When MeUndies thinks about their underwear subscription service they compare themselves to Netflix. What the streaming pioneer did for TV, the Los Angeles startup wants to do to your underwear drawer. The goal is to provide monthly subscribers with the staples they love while delivering elements of surprise - Think briefs with donuts and dinosaurs - right to your doorstep.
  • Seedling Relies on Childhood Curiosity to Inspire a Creative Team — On a recent flight home, I spent over an hour browsing a children’s play website, completely enamored by sets like Design Your Own Superhero Cape and Invent Your Own Insects. After sharing Seedling with everyone I know, despite few of my friends having children, I wondered why the brand struck a such a meaningful chord with me.
  • eero Designs Wi-Fi for the Smart Home Era — Nikhil Basu Trivedi, Principal at Shasta Ventures, recently distinguished exceptional founders by their ability to prioritize. “It all comes back to prioritization, speed, paranoia, and knowing that if you don’t iterate, even after finding product market fit, you can be disrupted by the next product,” he says.


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