Two years ago, we sat in a room at Zynga as part of the co.lab accelerator program. We asked big, wild, irresponsible questions. The type of questions you ask as you start to dream, and subsequently try to put into action.
The Apple Watch had just launched and we were in front of a whiteboard with Cameron White, our mentor and friend, charting out the “perfect use case” for a parenting app idea we had. We wanted to figure out who might actually use the app and how they might go about doing it.
Our insecure questions were far reaching and yet somehow oddly singular. They were focused, rather intently, on asking how could we foster and encourage a lifestyle of learning. Basically, we wondered how we could best utilize technology to equip parents with the tools they would need to spend more time with their children.
How could we help parents rediscover the world alongside their children?
Our ambition was broad in scope and yet rather specific in application. It was to provide helpful and inspirational tips, reaching parents and positively impacting their lives, with resources and outlets for conversation, amidst their daily routines. Essentially, building a place for parents to feel comfortable, reassured and ultimately empowered with their unique brand of parenting. It’s an old adage that we follow closely: there isn’t just one way to do things.
It’s actually always been our philosophy: meeting families needs, where and when those needs arise.
With an idea, and nothing more than a set of intuitions, we set about creating this app for parents. Not just any app, we thought, but rather the app for parents. After all, when you think about where parents get their information, and this is something our research revealed, it feels really scattered and disjointed. Perhaps, a bit like parenting itself can feel like at times. Overwhelming and unsteady.
When we looked really hard, and believe us, we did, there wasn’t a single place parents regularly turned, outside of their families. Most parents, we discovered, get their information primarily from their mother or father, or even their grandparents, who pass down the tricks of the trade.
Others get ideas online, from blogs or forums, or other outlets, searching for like minded philosophies and a band of kindred spirits. While there are small, helpful pockets, there’s isn’t a single, unified place for parents to frequent. At least, not akin to what Facebook is for staying in touch with friends.
We set out to become that place. An online community for parents. A place where parents were empowered. A place where parents were inspired to spend time with their children.
For the past year, we’ve been working on that idea. Refining it. Tweaking it. Perfecting it. Even testing it in the wild, with more than just our family and friends. We’ve nurtured it, from conception to birth, and now it’s time for our idea to go out into the world. We’re a bit nervous, but equally as excited. Perhaps as any parent would be. And like any parent, we have high hopes.
Here’s how we would like to introduce our new app to the world:
Primary is an app for parents with tools to encourage positivity, engagement, and learning. Parents can receive daily, positive parenting tips to their iPhone and Apple Watch - and, we’ll soon be expanding into other platforms too.
One of the really neat features of the app is that we provide weekly activities for parents and children to do together. Ironically, it is our hope that parents use Primary as a tool to put down technology and spend more time with their children. To rediscover the world alongside them. To, as we like to say, rediscover parenting.
Parents can also chat with fellow parents and share ideas, as well as read original articles and inspirational resources from contributors. We only have a few rules: be nice, be helpful and be open.
We believe if we’re going to create the place for parents to want to participate, it has to be positive, which is not to say it can’t be critical, or hard conversations can’t happen, but rather, that when you look at the world with a positive bent, positive things start to happen. Let’s be positive about the joy and business of parenting.
Originally published on the Huffington Post.