No Lazy Kid: 12-year-old app developer off to fast start

Ethan Duggan’s app career began with an at-home fashion show.

His mother had returned home after clothes shopping and wanted to model her new finds. Each time she would emerge from the bathroom donning a new outfit, she would ask, “How do I look?”

To which 12-year-old Ethan would reply, “You look fine, Mom.”

“You look nice.”

“No, it doesn’t make you look fat.”

After complimenting a few wardrobe changes, Ethan came up with a clever idea. To save breath and humor his mom, he’d record a few replies onto his smartphone and play those instead.

“It’s a true story, as much as I hate it,” said Marni Klein, Ethan’s mom.

That was the inspiration behind Ethan’s first app, Lazy Husband, which he debuted in March at the South by Southwest interactive conference in Austin, Texas. He was the youngest person to present.

“I’m a normal kid, I didn’t go to private school — nothing crazy,’’ said the soon-to-be seventh-grader at Bob Miller Middle School in Henderson.

The app, which sells for 99 cents on iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle, is loaded with seven recorded phrases such as, “No, you don’t look fat,” “It’s beautiful,” “Uh-huh” and “You don’t look a day over 30.”

Not yet 30? No problem. The apps’ sayings are customizable, and can be changed and rerecorded.

Ethan’s dad, Rick Duggan, is the voice behind the app’s recordings, but Zappos’ director of website systems said the idea and execution were strictly his son’s. Rick helped with troubleshooting, but was otherwise hands-off.

Ethan says he learned coding through free online resources Codecademy, an interactive coding school; w3schools.com, a website development database; and Stack Overflow, a programming forum. He also received help from members of the Vegas Tech community in downtown Las Vegas, where he attends weekly meetings.

To criticism that the app is sexist, Rick Duggan said they’ve heard the concern a couple of times, but not often.

“It’s a fun app,” he said. “It’s a gimmick. It’s not like we’re saying this is how you should treat people.”

After launching Lazy Husband, Ethan released similar apps, Lazy Wife and Lazy Kid. Both sell for just less than a dollar and are for sale for the same devices, save Lazy Wife, which was rejected by iTunes, though it’s basically identical to Ethan’s other apps.

“Maybe Apple thinks there’s no such thing as a lazy wife,” Klein said.

Lazy Wife comes stocked with phrases such as, “You can go out with your friends,” “It’s a great idea if you barbecue,” and “Yes, dear.”

Lazy Kid says “Yes, I’ve done my homework,” “I’ll do it later” and, perhaps most effective when paired with puppy-dog eyes, “I love you.”

If creating three apps at age 12 isn’t enough, Ethan is now developing an app called Bargument, which is meant to win arguments in bars.

This new project, Ethan admits, wasn’t his idea.

Rick Duggan said a friend at work came up with the idea, but neither had time to work on it, so they passed it to Ethan.

Users can enter a title and a subject to create a “Wikifakia” page to win trivial bets. The app creates a convincing fake Wikipedia page populated with related dummy text and an image pulled from Google.

“It’s sort of like a mad-lib type of thing,” Rick said. “If you just were to glance at it, it would seem as if it was a fact.”

To demonstrate, Ethan enters the phrase “there are 30,000 penguins in Africa,” into his prototype app, but it’s now experiencing a glitch. Ethan said he’s been working on it for about a month and it’s 80 percent complete.

Ethan and his father will present Bargument at South by Southwest V2V conference at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Aug. 11-14. The conference is the newest edition of the SXSW franchise. Other events focus on film, music, education and sustainability. V2V is all about entrepreneurship and creativity. It’s open to the public, with admission at $1,150 a head.

The pair will talk about how Ethan got his start, how to engage children in technology and about reducing the stigma of tech hobbies as extracurricular activities.

There are visual programming languages that can be picked up by children of all ages, Rick Duggan said, but part of the problem is that “these types of things aren’t necessarily viewed as extracurricular activity.”

If Rick Duggan had his way, taking a child to SXSW will be just as normal as taking a child to football camp.

To which Klein adds, “Some children play instruments. This is what Ethan does. This is his extracurricular activity.”

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada secretary of state website offers little protection against fraudulent business filings
Property developer Andy Pham tells how control of his business was easily seized by another person using the secretary of state website.
Caesars may be going solo in its marijuana policy
Several Southern Nevada casino companies aren’t following Caesars Entertainment’s lead on marijuana testing.
How much is the Lucky Dragon worth?
Less than a year-and-a-half after it opened, the Lucky Dragon was in bankruptcy.
Gyms and discount stores take over empty retail spaces
Grocery stores used to draw people to shopping centers. But many large retail spaces have been vacant since 2008. Discount stores like goodwill and gyms like EOS Fitness are filling those empty spaces, and helping to draw shoppers back in. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Funding source of Las Vegas stadium for the Raiders is sound, expert says
The stadium is funded in part by $750 million of room taxes, the biggest such tax subsidy ever for a professional sports stadium. Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute at UNLV, says that is a good use of public funds. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas needs light rail, expert says
Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute said he is afraid of a "congestion mobility crisis." Las Vegas needs a light rail system, he said, to accommodate the city's growing number of attractions. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three takeaways from Wynn Resorts' Earnings Call
Matt Maddox came out swinging in his first earnings conference call as Wynn Resorts chief executive officer, boasting of record Las Vegas quarterly revenues and applicants lining up for work.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like