How we became Canny

The Canny Group is a new mobile and web based game development studio that began at the start of 2012 in Southern California. It is a collaborative effort between Patrick Wilson and Thinglet Software.

The Canny Group is the brain child of Patrick Wilson. With a background in psychology and neuroscience, and technical skills that are basic at best, Patrick is an unlikely entry into the world of software entrepreneurship. However his experience as a research associate to the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technology taught him that successful software depends on a strong understanding of human behavior. Armed with this new insight, and facing bleak prospects as a graduate in the 2011 job market, Patrick went searching for a project. Being an avid gamer, he took notice of the recent success New Toy Inc was enjoying from delivering classic board games using modern social media to create Words with Friends and the like. Patrick had found his project, and knew immediately what the flagship game should be; Super Tic Tac Toe. Now he needed a team.

Through friends and family, a clandestine meeting was scheduled with the team that would serve as the Canny’s technical backbone, Thinglet Software. Thinglet, founded by Nuri Hodges, brings years of mobile and web development experience to the table, as well as a passionate desire to leave an impact on the way social games are played.

Where others balked at the notion of partnering with a young, non-technical entrepreneur, Thinglet saw an opportunity to do something unique. Many technology startups often are forced to require the leader to shoulder creative responsibilities beyond their training and forte. The problems that can arise from this management structure are quickly becoming industry clichés. However, most software startup ventures begin as a team of only technical persons and so the issue can be difficult to avoid. In partnering with Patrick, Thinglet saw increased potential to avoid this common pitfall.

The Canny Group was formed to focus on creating awesome turn-based strategy games that not only meet the standard set by industry behemoths such as Rovio and Zynga, but to also innovate user experiences to be more fun and functional. As CEO of Thinglet, Nuri Hodges assumed the role Director of Technology, responsible for overseeing product development, and Patrick Wilson became the Creative Director, responsible for overseeing all creative processes from product design to product promotion. While each must approve decisions regarding their individual responsibilities, a consensus between directors is required before moving forward. General business duties are a shared responsibility.

Slowly but surely over the first six months the venture began to take shape. The name Canny was picked to represent the shrewd and cautious mentality that is required to play our games, as well as lead the venture to success. Wanting to eschew the traditional blue based color schemes of most software, the Red Panda was adopted as the company mascot with the browns and deep reds from their coats becoming the base for Canny’s color scheme.

By June we reached the current era in Canny’s history when the first version of Super TTT was released for android devices. and are both live, and users can play Super TTT from the site. The Street Team is growing, and is an excellent example of Canny’s commitment to building better software for users by maintaining strong accessibility for active engagement with the community.  Be sure to visit the sites, play the game, download the free application, and check back often to get updated on our growth!

Thank you to all supporters. The Canny Group loves you!

Extra-Life Charity Event Success!

Hey Guys,

We hosted an Extra-Life charity game-a-thon benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals this past Saturday! We changed up the skin to Super TTT and donated our daily ad revenue from that game, as well as held a live 24 hour event in Palm Springs. Cumulatively we raised around 200 dollars for CMNH. Exciting huh!?!?!?

The experience was awesome, and got us thinking about some neat philanthropic things we can do with our games.

Be sure to check back often to see what’s new with Canny and find out when we are hosting another awesome event!

- Patrick Wilson