Recently on the VOOM Podcast we explored the rise of ‘parent tech’, a thriving sector within the technology industry which is already reportedly worth two trillion dollars.
In the episode Nikki Bedi was joined by two entrepreneurs who’ve used personal experiences as catalysts for parent tech businesses. Michelle Kennedy (formerly from the dating app Bumble) explained how a period of loneliness after the birth of her first child inspired her to create an app for mums called Peanut - helping mums chat, meet and solve problems together. While entrepreneur Doctor Sue Black revealed how a life-changing journey in computer science became a springboard for her to enable others through the social enterprise #TechMums.
But what can we learn from their success stories? Here are three key takeaways.
Embrace the side-hustle
Given that many parent tech founders already have their plate full with raising a family and, for many, keeping down a job it’s not a surprise that a large number of the start-ups in this area start as a side-hustle - something Michelle Kennedy believes more people should be embracing.
"When I was working I saved a lot, I would squirrel all the time, because I knew eventually that I wanted to do something. When you’re earning good money it’s a difficult decision to step away from that but if you’re in a position to save then do it. But if you’re not there are other options - try the side-hustle.
"There’s always a way to side-hustle… if you’ve got a skill that people want then offer it up, try consulting for companies, whatever it is, you might be able to earn the money to build up your own small war chest. But if you can’t do that, and you can’t step away from your day job, then it’s about building your love and passion up in the evenings and weekends."
Work out what the 'modern way of working' means to you
Traditional career paths or jobs for life are now a thing of the past, which means shaping you career in a way that works for you. In the case of Doctor Sue Black, she splits her work into two buckets.
"I probably spend half my the week on #TechMums stuff, which in general will be unpaid. So I mainly earn money from public speaking and consultancy kind of stuff, which means I can spend the rest of the time doing stuff that I really care about. You need to find a way to fund your passions, which to me is the modern way of working."
Your great idea doesn’t have to be made into an app to work
"So many people say to me ‘I’ve got an idea for an app’ and to be honest I often think... just take a step back, you don’t have to start with an app," explained Michelle Kennedy. "What you’ve got is a concept that you think will work and it’s not because it’s an app, it’s because it’s a tool or a problem solver. You can test and learn that without having to make it into an app, why not try something through a Whatsapp group for example. You should be seeing what the appetite is for the idea before going full on in to building an app."