Oh Daddy, What A Year!
June 13, 2016
A year ago I left a great job to pursue my dream of founding my own startup and making a positive impact on the world. With 2 devoted partners, several awesome volunteers, dozens of trusted advisors, and many many friends, we turned an idea into a vision, and realized a fraction of that vision in the O'Daddy app that gets better every 2 weeks. We've built a cool company that was accelerated in the leading impact accelerator in Israel, won prizes and praises in the Israeli and international media, attracted some of the best talent out there, and received a sizeable seed investment that allows us to reach new highs. Obviously, not everything has been great this year. We've also had our share of disappointments, and I turned 40. But I won't let minor irritations creep into my happy 1-year startup anniversary blog. Overall, undoubtedly, it's been a fabulous year.
Most important, we helped thousands of parents to spend quality time with their kids, to enjoy diverse activities together, and be more mindful about using their smartphones during family time. We see many of our users coming back to the app every other day to discover ideas for their afternoon or weekend with their kids, off the app, off screens, together. We get messages from people reading an article about the importance of quality time or the damages from being over-connected and immediately thinking of O'Daddy. Every time someone tells us that our app created happiness for her and her kids - an #ODaddyMoment as we call it - we're filled with joy ourselves and think how to recreate and scale using our technology these precious moments that make life worth living.
During this hectic year, we also proved our point that working hard doesn't necessarily equal missing out on our family. I got to spend more time with my very own kids, play with them more, and play with my smartphone less. I can't say I'm totally cured from my darn mobile addiction, but I'm much better at managing it. My kids also hold me accountable to my goal when I occasionally reach out to my mobile during our time together ("Remember your app Daddy?" shoots an arrow through my heart and makes me quickly put the device aside).Getting a decent dose of love and satisfaction almost every day allowed me to be more energized, work harder, and be more effective the next day. It's not rocket science but many parents still feel victims of their workload and alleged "lack of control" over their work-life balance. Our goal is to make this virtuous cycle available to any working mom and dad, to "productize" great parenting and a healthy lifestyle for the benefit of families and enterprises alike. We know it's possible.
We've got a lot on our plate for next year - improving the app (available on App Store and Google Play! A fantastic new version is coming out later this week!), taking acceleration to the next level at MassChallenge, launching ourEnterprise offering to enable better employee wellness (feel free to connect us with your head of HR), continuing to develop the secret sauce in our back-end kitchen, and a few more surprises (some planned and others that will surprise us too).
It's too early to know whether we'll be successful. On the roller-coaster of startups there are many ups and downs, risky turns and pivots, with gold, shit and skepticism hitting you when you least expect it. Too many carts and people end up off the track, beaten, broken, or with a total-loss. But none of the crazy drivers of these carts, these lunatics named "entrepreneurs", would tell you that it wasn't worth it. Because it is. It's a hell of a ride, you learn a lot, you suffer occasionally, but you enjoy yourself many times during this journey, even if you don't eventually get to where you wanted to go.
The lapse of a year is also a great opportunity to say Thank You. Thank you my amazing wife who lets me fly even during long months without a salary. Thank you my partners and co-founders and thank your supporting loving partners too. Thank you, our kick-ass team across 3 continents. And thanks to all of you "Babysitters" and friends who made this year and this startup possible, successful, and still rolling fast and forward on its mission to create quality time and happiness for parents and kids around the world.
Happy Father's Day (we're giving away Apple Watches - check out our competition!), enjoy your family, and stay tuned (to life).