How 3 friends turned a creative idea into a very successful business

Video interview will play after a short advertisement is the archetype of a creative studio with a DIY ethos. Rather than producing materials for clients, it combines creativity and tech development to design, produce and sell its own products – hip and heartwarming children's books that have stories personalised to each child way beyond just inserting their name into the story.

In its first book, a child has lost his or her name and has a series of encounters based on each letter of their name – an Alice would encounter an angel, a lion, an Inuit, a chameleon and an elephant. And to date, The Girl Who Lost Her Name – or The Boy Who Lost His Name – has sold over 650,000 copies.

Underpinning this is some serious tech, which was largely developed in-house by a team that's grown to 60 employees. While the books themselves combine traditional digital illustration and graphic design, the company has developed its own software to automatically render the book based on the child's name and send it for on-demand printing. And both the book and service has been developed further to allow customers to alter choices they don't like, so mid-West Americans who think having angels in the book are blasphemous can replace it with an aardvark (or vice versa).

As prepare to launch their second book – The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home - I sat down with co-founders Asi Sharabi and David Cadji-Newby about their approach to creativity, technology and growing their business.

The book features further innovations that form parts of the story: including an artwork of the child's name as a galaxy of of stars, rendered using some serious maths – and a Bing Maps-based satellite view of their house (for example for a Lizzie who lives at Buckingham Palace in London, in's sample pages below).

Watch my interview with Asi and David in the video above.

Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn't affect our editorial independence. Learn more.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Read Next...