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PopUp Profile: Making a 'Great Play'


BusinessNewsDaily meets lots of entrepreneurs. We always find that learning about the person is as much fun as learning about their business. Our PopUp Profiles go beyond the bottom line to learn what makes them tick. Keith and Jyl Camhi are the founders of Great Play, an interactive children’s gym that uses computer technology to keep kids active. They tell us who inspired them to become entrepreneurs and what they think is the next big thing.

What does your company do?

We are a franchisor with a unique new children's gym concept called Great Play that we developed. It uses technology to keep kids active.

What was your first job?

Keith: Writing software for AT&T.
Jyl: Such a geek. I was camp counselor.
K: Yeah, but then you worked at Microsoft, geek.

What was your worst job?

K: I worked for a small consulting firm after college and the owner was crazy. I left after four months.
J: I've been really lucky — I spent most of my career at Microsoft during its explosive growth in the '90s.

Who inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

K: My dad (and my whole family, really — no male in four generations on either side has held a "real job!")
J: My dad was too, and I swore I'd never be one.

What one person, dead or living, would you have on your fantasy board of directors?

J: Steve Balmer . I worked a couple levels below Steve at Microsoft and got to present to him a few times. He's brilliant, upbeat, and even makes you feel good when he's ripping you apart!
K: Gus Tai, Trinity Ventures — he was on the board at my last startup and was a great help.

What fictional character do you most admire?

K: Hermione in Harry Potter.  She was the real hero because she showed that hard work and learning everything (being a magic-nerd) pays off. To me, learning technology is like her learning magic — the more we know and can incorporate, the more magical we can make our space for kids.
J: Yes, honey, you are a nerd.

Social Media: Godsend or Evil Distraction?

K: Godsend for business, and I enjoy visiting Jyl's facebook page because she picks her friends based on looks.
J: Stop that, that's not true.

What did you eat for breakfast this morning?

K: Whole wheat wrap with hummus, some herring on crackers, a few olives and a cup of coffee.
J: Nothing. Someone's got to work in this family.

What’s your ideal retirement?

J: A beach!
K: The mountains. Can't stand the beach. All the sand.
J: I'm going to the beach; you're welcome if you'd like to join me.
K: Fine. Maybe we can pave a section?

Lefty or righty?

K: Righty
J: Throws right, bats (and writes) left

Why do you do what you do?

J: I love the business. I'm drawn to helping kids succeed, and when I visit one of our sites and see how much they love what we've created, it makes all the hours completely worthwhile.
K: On that we agree!

What’s the next big thing?

K: Radical life extension. I'm planning to live to 400.
J: Ugh, forget it. I'm too tired for that!
K: Fine, just leave me the login info for that Facebook page, OK?

You can find Great Play on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @GreatPlayGyms.