• Women 2.0 HowTo Conference San Francisco, September 30 - October 1, 2014

Building an App to Become Happier Parents

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Needing a better way to organize chaotic family life, one founder co-created an app with her husband geared for families with busy schedules. 

 

By Claudia Dietrich-Joe (Co-Founder, Hapimomi)

 

Nobody can prepare you for being a parent – both how wonderful it is and how much work it really is. Seven years ago, I left my full-time job as a brand manager to move from New York, with my husband and four-month-old son, to San Francisco. In an effort to re-establish myself, I joined local moms groups, went to parenting meet-ups and signed up for a co-op preschool. I met amazing mom friends, many who also gave up their careers for the joys of family and kids. We learned from each other, supported each other and brainstormed ideas together to make our lives as parents better. This experience was a large part of what inspired me to launch a startup.

Staying at Home – My Most Challenging Job Ever

Being a stay-at-home mom somehow became the most challenging job I’d ever known. In many ways, I worked harder for my little munchkin than I have ever done for myself. It was amazing to watch my son grow, but the complexity of our life grew as he did. His circle of friends expanded and the number of playdates and after-school activities increased. Everyone’s schedules became increasingly hectic and our family calendar was an unmanageable mess. I talked to my friends and realized that I was not alone. Other moms were struggling through their daily routines with kids, work, school volunteering and trying to have a personal life.

The Collective Mom Fear

During these early-mom years I was constantly thinking about business ideas that could help make parenting easier. I brainstormed with other moms but never found the right time, nor the right partner to execute these ideas. One idea, however, seemed to resonate globally, and so I carried it with me. It was the simple fear that every mom I knew had: the everlasting worry of forgetting something. We joked about forgetfulness and how our memories had started to deteriorate after childbirth, and no one wanted to be the one to blank out on something important. This was a problem I wanted to help tackle.

Something in the Air in Silicon Valley

Next for our family, (as fate would have it), was another move -to Silicon Valley, the land of startups. Just about the time that I was able to go back to work, my ideas about a parenting product were starting to crystalize. But finding a flexible job, that allowed for time with my son and school involvement, seemed impossible. Meanwhile, chaos in our new house sent me to a tipping point. I was mixing up scribbled to-do lists, shopping lists and appointments with my son’s precious artwork on our kitchen island. Scattered communication and calendar issues with my husband pushed me over the edge.
I knew what was needed to bring peace of mind back to our family: a single place where my husband and I could capture and share our daily family life. As a result, the app Hapimomi was born. My husband and I sat down together every night this past year and drafted the perfect app for busy families. We conceived a safe and private place where a family could: share their special moments during the day; plan family activities in a shared calendar; access a contact list with each other’s family, friends and emergency phone numbers; share shopping and to-do-lists; and store their kids’ memorable comments and pictures in a personal diary.

The Perfect Business Partner

Perhaps the best thing that happened was that I also found a partner who was as passionate about this project as me: my husband. He was living and breathing the same pain points – from the communication breakdowns to our organizational chaos. He needed this as much as I did. My son actually came up with our product name ‘Hapimomi’ because with this new venture, he finally came home to a ‘hapi’ mom.

What other apps do you use to help organize your family life?

ClaudiaAbout the guest blogger: Claudia Dietrich-Joe is a mom and co-founder of Hapimomi, Inc. creator of Hapimomi, a private communication and productivity app for iOS.