“It’s very polarising when we say that we’re married and work together,” says Keith Shepherd of his partnership with his wife Natalia Luckyanova. The couple founded Imangi Studios, a mobile gaming company, back in 2008; their app Temple Run is iconic, having garnered over 170 million downloads, with a sequel out today. “It’s always either, ‘Awesome, that sounds great,'” says Shepherd of reactions to their working arrangement, “or ‘Oh my God, that sounds like the worst thing ever.'”
For Shepherd, 33, and Luckyanova, 31, it’s mostly been awesome. Indeed, without having their life partner also be their business partner, Shepherd and Luckyanova wonder whether this journey would have even been possible. The two met as software engineers in Washington, DC; when they married a little over five years ago, they found themselves continually scheming about how they could work for themselves. When news came out about Apple opening up its app store to independent developers, they decided to take the plunge.