We’re Looking For An Apprentice To Help Launch Something Big


Hi there. We’ve been supporting our friends at Enstitute since they launched last year, as we truly believe that the best way to learn is to ‘learn by doing’. We’re looking for a 2014 apprentice to work closely with our executive and (newly formed) product team, to help build something special and bring something new into the world.


Although we’ve been talking on interns and the occasional design/dev apprentice for years, we’re now on the hunt for something/someone a little different. This guy/gal is wicked smart, eats web/mobile trends for breakfast, understands why/how hardware and software are coming together, and most importantly is hungry for a big challenge. Ideally, they have some background in programming, or at the very least have a deep understanding of the contemporary tech landscape.

The current deadline for application closes on 2/16, so this week is your week to apply. Read all about Enstitute, and help us find our next apprentice!

3 Million Teens Leave Facebook In 3 Years: The 2014 Facebook Demographic Report


3 years ago, we published a report on 2011 Facebook Demographics & Statistics that covered gender, location, education, and more (US only). Recently we dove into Facebook’s Social Advertising platform to get a refreshed snapshot of the same data points to see what exactly has happened over time and to look at the numbers behind many recent claims: teenagers are leaving by the millions. Enjoy!

FB 2014

Top Insights:

1) Teens (13-17) on Facebook have declined -25.3% over the last 3 years.

2) Over the same period of time, 55+ has exploded with +80.4% growth in the last 3 years.

3) Of the major metropolitan areas, San Francisco saw the highest growth with +148.6%, a stark contrast with Houston which saw +23.8% growth.

We also took a closer look at the Teens (13-17 year olds) and the Folks (55+) to get a better understanding of their current representation on Facebook. Here you go:

FB 2014.1

UPDATE — Thanks for all the feedback and comments on this post, here’s a quick clarification:

Many have commented on the fact that “Teens” (age 13-17 in this post) as we recorded in 2011 have now grown into the 18-24 year old demographic. While that’s true, the primary point of this post was simply to draw attention to the fact that Facebook’s Social Advertising platform shows 3 million fewer addressable 13-17 year olds today compared to 2011.

Unleash Your Inner James Bond: Pull A Book To Open A Safe

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While you may not have a Walther PPK, a laser watch, or an Aston Martin, you’ve always kind of wanted to be James Bond. We’ve been using a lot of hardware/software combos recently, from Arduinos and Raspberry Pi’s to motors, magnets and actuators… and decided to create something in our office to offer a taste of the 00-agent life: A safe that only opens up if you pull a specific book back off the shelf.

iSL Experiment #47: The Bookshelf Safe from iStrategyLabs on Vimeo.

The first step in building our custom safe was taking apart the safe’s door and understanding the basic mechanics

We stripped out the standard dial locking mechanism and attached a DC motor to the dial, and used our 3D printer to mount the motor to the safe door.


We then added a small linear actuator to the safe lock so we could unlock and lock the safe. The DC motor and the linear actuator were connected to an Arduino mounted inside of the safe.


Externally, a magnetic switch was attached to a book and the bookshelf. When the book is pulled from the shelf, a signal is sent to the Arduino telling it to unlock the safe.



Stay tuned for our next experiment — we’re just getting started.


Whoa! PiePal Lets You Order Dominos Pizza with the Push of a Button


Update: Piepal is buzzing! See the coverage on NBC, NPR x 2, CNET, FoxNews and more.

After building a series of Social Machines over the past few years (from unlocking GE fridges with Foursquare check-ins to weaponizing Twitter with a paintball gun, then destroying a bar with an internet connected baseball launcher) — we decided to take on a new challenge:

We handcrafted a RaspberryPi device that orders Dominos Pizza with the push of a button.

World, meet the PiePal, officially the easiest and fastest way to order a pizza. Sign Up to be a Beta Taster HERE.


The physical construction of the PiePal was designed using SketchUp and printed out using PLA on a MakerBot Replicator 2.


The internals are powered by a Raspberry Pi (of course!) & Arduino combination, allowing for finite control of the LEDs mounted internally and a fully realized user interface.


Like many of iSL’s Social Machines, the PiePal is powered completely by JavaScript, using  Node.js. Some tricky reverse-engineering allowed us to set up an API wrapper around Dominos’ amazing online ordering system, which handles everything from finding the closest store to tracking the status of each order.


Finally, we leveraged Google’s Coder library for the Raspberry Pi to create an intuitive setup experience that allows users to connect their wifi networks, Dominos accounts, and favorite pizzas for one-touch ordering.



Hungry yet?  Want one for yourself?  While we’re still tinkering away, you may want a shot at being one of our elite Beta-Tasters… Check out !

General Assembly Comes To DC

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You may or may not know about General who has (not so quietly) become a staple of the tech & startup ecosystem in NYC, and most recently has expanded to London, Berlin, SF and beyond with classes, workshops, and an incredible space for technology, business, and design focused education.

If you know iStrategyLabs, you know we’ve helped grow the same scene here in DC through events like DCWEEK & the DC Tech Meetup. With the launch of our beautiful new space in Dupont Circle, we’re happy to announce that we’re partnering with GA to bring some exciting events to DC in just a few weeks:

10/26:  Intro to User Acquisition

10/27 – 10/28:  Weekend Workshop: Entrepreneurial Thinking + Best Practices in UX Design

10/27:  Hacking Entrepreneurship in DC

These will fill up, so sign up soon!