Recently, Milwaukee's Richard Lorbach masterminded another potential pop culture phenomenon. This time, it's in the form of a iPhone / iPad / Android game that's a retro-style parody of the "Jersey Shore" television show called Jersey GTL.
"Anyone familiar with the 'Jersey Shore' knows that the guidos on the boardwalk live by a code. It's called GTL: Gym, Tan, Laundry. And the guidos must GTL everyday to achieve maximum potential," says Lorbach. "Many people, myself included, are too pasty to tan everyday and too lazy to spend that much time at the gym."
For 99 cents, GTL wannabes can enjoy the "guido" lifestyle from the comfort of their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch via the App Store. Lorbach says the game will hit the Android market soon, too.
The gameplay allows the user to be a tiny "Guido" on the Jersey Shore boardwalk and the goal is to get a high score by running as fast and as far as you can while avoiding bullies and grenades. If you hit the GYM, TAN or LAUNDRY, extra points are scored.
"And it's essential to keep your skin tan. If you get too pale, the party is over," says Lorbach.
Lorbach says he was drawn to the idea because he loves old school video games and because the guido lifestyle is the polar opposite of his own life. The popularity of the show, which is currently filming a fourth season in Italy, was an inspiration, as well.
"'Jersey Shore' is MTV's most viewed series ever. And the popularity of the show doesn't seem to be letting up," says Lorbach. "I've been looking for a way to incorporate that retro-style game play with something new from today's pop culture. The 'Jersey Shore' guidos seemed like a great fit and the feedback has been very positive."
Since 2002, Lorbach launched five companies – four of which have been purchased – while maintaining a full-time job as a graphic design consultant and raising two children.
"I've always had the entrepreneurial spirit. But I've never been a bricks and mortar guy," says Lorbach.
Lorbach owns a T-shirt company, The Jerkass Clothing Company, and in 2009, partnered with multi-million dollar zany media empire, National Lampoon. Today, National Lampoon owns 51 percent of the company that Lorbach runs from his home with help from his wife, Angela.
Most of his clever shirts appeal to a college-aged crowd, including a green-and-shamrocked tee that reads "Mom, Dad: I'm Gaelic," "COLEGE," "Wii-tarded," "I Smell Like Stripper," "Stop Wars" (created to look like the "Star Wars" logo) and "I Facebooked your mom."
Lorbach also co-created another business, GroupCard.com, which distributes greeting cards online. A few years ago, he and his business partners entered and won a Facebook Web development competition, beating out nearly 600 other applicants for a $250,000 grant. In 2010, Groupcard was sold to InComm, an Atlanta gift card company for an undisclosed price.
Lorbach says he gets ideas all the time, but 99 percent of them are terrible. Before he takes a fresh idea to the next level, Lorbach asks himself two questions: "Is this a product people want to pay for?" and "Is this idea already taken?"
Jersey Shore GTL passed the two-question test, but the future of the app is still in need of an affirmative answer. Lorbach says his family, particularly his kids, have been very supportive of the endeavor which helps multiply his confidence in the project.
"I have two kids in grade school and although they don't really know what the show is all about, they are the game's biggest fans and my most dedicated salespeople. If you look hard enough, you'll even find tiny digitized versions of them hidden within the game," he says.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.