On November 27th, I wrote an article titled: Ponderings On Why We Have Yet To Find Success With MyPeopleNow.com (Chapter 1 – Economic Advantage).
This was part of a series of articles I will write as I uncover tremendous success with our platform in real time. What does this mean? It means that I haven’t figured it out, I will figure it out, and I will document the steps I am taking to figure it out in real time so that others in the marketplace space can possibly learn from the steps I am taking.
Let’s begin. I met with an incredibly aligned angel investor this morning and within a few minutes of meeting, she said, “did you know that there is a childcare crisis going on in Seattle right now? That there are only 2,500 spots for children in the city, but 7,000 kids who need care?”
I thought – this is oddly perfect timing. We just created our first partnership and it happens to be with a licensed family childcare owner, we soft-launched the first fully vetted section on our site (/childcare), and will be working on furthering female founder equality through childcare resources, starting with the startup/entrepreneur events around town.
This led me to want to write the 2nd piece to my article on Economic Advantage: segmentation. See, many people have told me over the last year that our site is too broad and that this won’t work because people won’t know what to come to our site for. People know to go to Wag for dog walking or UberEATS for food delivery. But what do they go to MyPeopleNow.com for?
Everything! What?! Everything?! That’s not going to work. Well, for now, I am too stubborn and driven to think otherwise. After all, I created our platform because as a busy mom, I don’t have time to go from app to app to app booking and managing all of the people that help me with various things. I wanted to go to one place. A place like Amazon, but for services.
But since I like to have the best of both worlds, I have decided to experiment with segmentation, AKA categories. And since a lack of affordable childcare is literally threatening the existence of my female-founded startup, I thought what more perfect of a category to start with than childcare!
All throughout the week, I get invitations to startup event after startup event. When I had an au pair, I would excitedly sign up for all kinds of things that led me to meeting some people that have really opened doors for me and a wealth of knowledge on startups worth more than any MBA. But now, because I lack childcare and because none of the events provide any, I almost go to none. And when I do go, it costs me quite a lot of money, taking away what little resources I have to do other startup work.
I don’t have the time or talent to quickly learn everything there is to know about childcare or any other category that we decide to move forward with. And this is why I had the brilliant idea of partnering with someone who is already passionately immersed in their respective category so that we can each focus on what we do best and provide great service in the meantime.
And how is this related to economic advantage? Well, we want to do for childcare what Airbnb did for spare rooms. All across our neighborhoods, there are people with “spare time,” if you will. Maybe they are retired, semi-retired, miss the joy of children, and/or are stay at home moms or dads. And maybe those people would be willing to commit some of that spare time toward providing childcare to someone in the neighborhood so that the parent can attend an important startup, work, or business event.
We are betting that the economic advantage is that we are creating economic opportunity where there was none before (like Airbnb), benefitting the supply-side and in addition, we are providing a much more affordable access to drop-in childcare, benefitting the demand-side.
So there you have it. This could become a total flop of course! But this could also solve the childcare crisis I am experiencing, as well as countless other people, in a way that not only empowers mothers and others, but also provides loving care to those kids who are going without and meaningful connections to children and income that people may be missing in their lives.
Stay tuned for my next article in the series on market network success called, “High Frequency.”