TikTok viral video leads to business opportunity for boat navigation app

Reporter: Gail Levy
Published: Updated:

One man’s marine navigation app is riding a new wave of success.

This all comes after his daughter posted a 12-second TikTok video of her father Jeff Foulk at a boat show in Chicago.

No one was taking the time to look at his flyer in person, but online, those 12 seconds have been seen by almost 23 million people.

A sad dad is no fun.

But to Megan Foulk, 20, her dad’s sadness proved to be a business opportunity.

“Honestly, I was making a funny video for my dad, but also with the potential of blowing up, which it surprisingly did,” Megan said.

Megan Foulk’s TikTok video went viral and helped people find the Argo app. (CREDIT: WINK News)

That 12-second TikTok video created a wave of support for her dad’s labor of love.

“Oh my gosh, emails, they just keep coming.”

Megan’s post is about the app her dad created. Argo Navigation.

“It’s a marine navigation app. It’s a very easy app to navigate on the water. That was what I know my goal when I designed it,” Foulk said.

Foulk had the idea for the free app about 10 years ago.

“I talked about it all the time, around my family and colleagues, but particularly my family to the point where my wife says, please shut up about that app or build it,” he said.

So he got to work.

Four years ago, the app launched.

Up until Jan. 14, he had more than 100,000 downloads.

Jeff Foulk (CREDIT: WINK News)

Not bad.

But since TikTok, it has grown.

“Now we’re over 300,000 downloads and it was, I think, it was getting about 50 a day. Now I might be getting 5000 a day. It’s crazy,” Foulk said.

The outpouring of support for the app is great.

Foulk has been a boater for 40 years.

He’s seen the trials and tribulations of navigating the waves, with no app like Argo.

Five or six years ago, he and his family went to dinner by boat.

“Dinner took a little longer than we thought by the time we got back on our boat. It was starting to get dark,” Foulk said.

It was also stormy and he forgot his headlight.

So he told his two daughters get in the front and point if he needs to turn a different direction.

“At one point, one of the girls pointed to the right, and one of the girls pointed to the left,” he said. “I just guessed I pulled left, right into a fairly large marker, a big buoy.”

So his girls also appreciate their dad’s app invention.

“They just thought it was the best, the best thing ever. And just so those are the kinds of memories you have. Everybody was safe. My boat took a little ding to it. But yeah, I probably needed Argo back then to avoid those markers,” Foulk said.

Now, there’s an app for that.

Argo has topped the charts for boat navigation apps since Megan’s video was posted.

But Foulk said he hasn’t made a dime on the app yet.

Thanks to its sudden popularity, he’s thinking about launching a premium subscription for around $20 a year with more added features.

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