Dan Gardner wanted to know when to go to the loo during films – so he built an app

  • September 24, 2023
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The developer of RunPee, the app that tells cinemagoers the best time to take a loo break, on what makes a good ‘peetime’ and how the program helped him meet his wife

Created out of personal necessity by North Carolina-based developer Dan Gardner during a near three-and-a-half-hour King Kong screening, RunPee is an app that tells film audiences the best times to nip to the loo.

Where did the idea come from?
By the end of Peter Jackson’s 201-minute King Kong in 2005, I was in agony because I needed the loo. As we were leaving, I wanted to tell the people in the line to see the next show about the scene with giant bugs in the middle of the movie – perfect for a bathroom break. Of course, I didn’t say that to strangers at the movie theatre, but I’m a developer, so I thought I could make a website. This was before mobile apps were a thing. I bought the domain runpee.com, but then I got a job at Microsoft on its Xbox team so I didn’t do anything about this for the next few years. In 2008, I became a freelance developer and built RunPee as a demonstration app I could show to clients.

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