155

Fatherly

A practical resource for guys entering that next phase

155 Upvotes

          28 Comments

          Dave Ambrose

          Venture Investor

          @daveambrose

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          Dave Ambrose

          Venture Investor

          For the generation of guys that grew up on social media and now entering the next chapter of their lives (fatherhood), there's generally poor advice and resources available. Fatherly looks to solve this in a very elegant manner, both via a beautiful web experience and great email content.

          A few weeks ago, Fatherly hosted a Q&A w. Warby Parker founder @neilblumenthal about learning to lead from his 3 yr. old son: http://fatherly.com/work-and-money/warby-parkers-neil-blumenthal-learning-lead-3-year-old/

          Outside of the content, which is top-notch, the team behind the product is amazing. @mjrawth was the first employee at Thrillist and is now working on what I'd call, "my new favorite content business".

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 06:06:59 -0700
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          Ryan Hoover

          Product Hunt

          @rrhoover

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          Ryan Hoover

          Product Hunt

          Alternative tagline: "Father like a boss" :)

          This looks super useful and actionable but I'm unqualified to have much of an opinion here but cc'ing fathers @byosko, @hnshah, @joshelman, @davidkmckinney, and @roybahat in case they want to chime in.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 08:01:09 -0700

          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @mjrawth

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          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @rrhoover we should make black T-shirts with that slogan on the front along with a clerical collar.

          Appreciate the recognition on Product Hunt and I'd encourage everyone to sign up for our private beta. The aim of Fatherly is to combine general interest content (i.e. the universe of new products, services and studies hitting the market every day that a thoughtful, evolved guy-who-happens-to-be-a-dad would want to pay attention to) with content and commerce recommendations that are keyed specifically to the age/stage of the user's child/ren.

          We're only a fraction of the way there but welcome the feedback and support from this community, which as previously noted, tends to be heavily dude-oriented.

          1 Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 08:44:03 -0700

          Ben Yoskovitz

          VP Product VarageSale, author, investor

          @byosko

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          Ben Yoskovitz

          VP Product VarageSale, author, investor

          @rrhoover Checking it out now. Content looks good, although I don't know how much general purpose content dads want to consume. The key will be in specific recommendations they make via email based on the age of your kids. I signed up to try it out.

          I think it'll be hard to go social with it -- dads aren't social the same way moms are -- although it'd be interesting to see if there's a play there at all.

          1 Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 09:56:59 -0700

          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @mjrawth

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          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @byosko agree that key is meeting our guys where they are based on their evolving needs through the parenting lifecycle, particularly from third trimester to the end of Year Two. General interest content will also be segmented based on age/stage, though there are some features that so far have proven compelling to everybody (i.e. bit.ly/1qunsSt ).

          Also excited about special tool sets we're building on top of the content, including (slight spoiler alert) a "bully-name generator" that works with rhyming/foreign/homophonic/slang/Urban dictionaries as well as an editorial team to help dads anticipate the universe of bastardizations from a seemingly sweet, innocuous given name.

          Re: community, I think you're dead on. Guys tend to be much more private so thinking is that private communities among people you know may be a more helpful, frictionless way for guys to share tips and tactics versus a more public cry for help.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 10:27:55 -0700

          Ben Yoskovitz

          VP Product VarageSale, author, investor

          @byosko

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          Ben Yoskovitz

          VP Product VarageSale, author, investor

          @mjrawth Side note: my kids are 7 and 9, so a bit out of the range of where you're focusing too. That's the other challenge with parent-centric products, the differences between "age categories" can be quite pronounced. A couple years in age makes a real difference, so it's hard to cater to a broad market.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 10:50:41 -0700

          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @mjrawth

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          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @byosko yeah from what we've seen the needs seem to be most urgent and pronounced when kids are younger and can't communicate yet. Idea is to start here and then find not just the right messaging but the right cadence of messaging for folks who may be more "experienced" or further along the lifecycle.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 10:57:33 -0700
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          David McKinney

          iOS design & code

          @davidkmckinney

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          David McKinney

          iOS design & code

          @byosko +1. Focusing on a specific age range is really important. A few years difference in age represents entirely different needs in terms of play, education, social understanding, communication

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 14:53:48 -0700

          Joe Barber

          User Experience Designer, Level Five

          @cyborgnation

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          Joe Barber

          User Experience Designer, Level Five

          As a Dad that falls right into your target market, I have a few thoughts.

          I was pretty excited when I read the Product Hunt description for Fatherly. I think a resource like this could be really cool - and to be honest I've considered making it before.

          I was expecting some sort of hybrid site with wirecutter-esc recommendations lists and articles from Dads with activities and advice. What I found feels much more like a mix of uncrate and buzz feed, with plenty of product placement to go around. On top of that, the advice given isn't even that great.
          Here's a couple of examples

          In "6 pieces of tech that can tame the backseat" numbers one and six are both seriously expensive and restrictive. What good does this article really serve? Basically it's saying "get a smartphone, headphones, and a data plan". As a Dad with a serious road trip coming up, I'd love to see 6 piece of tech that can tame the back seat, but the only items in this list that are even remotely interesting are the kid bluetooth headphones and the iPad mount. There are mommy blogs all over the place killing it with new kid-tech items, and yet the site targeting dads is recommending MiFi hotspots and Onstar?

          Then there's "Jyrobike Vs. Training Wheels: An Objective Comparison" the title alone is a joke. This break down could not possibly be more biased. The price comparison pits the complete jyrobike against a set of training wheels. For $250 you get a whole bike. For $11.69 you get two metal L bars and two plastic wheels. Every single line item is a biased load of crap. This article flat out says that if you give your kid a jyrobike, they'll ultimately learn to succumb to temptation to always take the easy way out. What?!
          Lets think logically for a second about the most basic task these tools are trying to achieve - keeping a bike upright, so a child can get comfortable with it and learn to pedal and steer. THEY'RE BOTH MAKING BIKING EASIER. They are two different means to the same end. This article is nothing but an absurdly biased pitchforking of an arguably silly technology. But my BIGGEST gripe with this article, is that a website claiming to be good advice for dads ran an article about learning to bike and doesn't even mention balance bikes.

          In my ~15 minutes on the site I haven't found one article that I didn't find questionable. "Parenting Hacks That’ll Save You Time And Blow Your Kid’s Mind" Nope. Just a bunch of IFTTT recipes, a lot of which require additional hardware - which is mentioned nowhere in the article.


          I'm sure all of this is making me come off like an angry asshole, but please know that's just because I would genuinely like to see a resource like this work well, and I'm positive it can be done, but this is definitely not the right approach.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 11:41:33 -0700

          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @mjrawth

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          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @cyborgnation Joe thanks a ton for your feedback, especially because we're in the very early days and this is the kind of input that helps us as we continue to experiment among our beta community. Our first step has been identifying what categories, broadly speaking, appeal to our audience. Now that we've seen Tech and Gadgets are a definite winner, we'll look to take a deeper dive and invest more time, energy and rigor into the category.

          In re: to Jyrobike, we decided to take creative liberties in the name of voice (so yes, the title is meant to be taken lightly). As we refine the voice, which is designed to be more take-it-or-leave-it than prescriptive, it's inevitable that it won't appeal to all the people all the time. We're also in the midst of gauging our audience's knowledge of tech so what's If This Then That to some of our members may be WTF to others and we're striving to find the right balance.

          Parenting as a topic is the most divisive and rage-inducing there is, even among close friends. That said, I know there's a better solution than what's out there and we want to make it. Since you've thought a lot about this topic, I'd love to chat in more detail. If interested, feel free to drop me a line at mike@fatherly.com. Thanks.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 12:15:25 -0700
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          Joel Andren

          co-founder, PressFriendly

          @joelandren

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          Joel Andren

          co-founder, PressFriendly

          @mjrawth
          Mike,
          First off, congrats on the launch. Site looks great and as a father of three boys (four and 22month old twins) this is a site that I need.

          I agree to a certain extent with Joe's comments, but my feedback is that the site needs to be less Pinterest-y and more Lifehacker-y. Focus more on the parenting hacks and practical plans, less on the fluff. Dads will respond to that. The pieces could be a little shorter, too. I would love "cards" that I could forward to mobile and use in a pinch.

          -Joel

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 13:57:06 -0700

          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @mjrawth

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          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @joelandren Great suggestion on cards; they're already in the queue (h/t to Daveambrose for that too). Site is definitely in MVP/first trimester mode at the moment, really a repository for content we've been testing via email. Agree with Lifehacker direction and on tactical, evidence-based recommendations designed to make your life as a parent easier.

          [Also curious to learn more about PressFriendly. Signing up now]

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 14:09:22 -0700

          Shawn Borsky

          Creative Director, Upsight

          @shawnborsky

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          Shawn Borsky

          Creative Director, Upsight

          This is the first time I haven't been annoyed by a product name with "ly" at the end.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 13:37:50 -0700
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          David McKinney

          iOS design & code

          @davidkmckinney

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          David McKinney

          iOS design & code

          Congrats @mjrawth on the launch. I have a girl (3) and a boy (7) so I may not be the target market, but like all dads I can definitely use as much help as I can get.

          I think positioning is the most important thing to work on here. i.e. Who is this for? Is it for dads that want some light fun (it feels like this is the current focus) versus dads that want to be better dads (less of the current focus).

          I'm definitely interested in practical things I can do with my kids that are fun, educational, challenging, or skills-building (social, emotional, physical, etc).

          So, here's a couple of things that I personally would find valuable content-wise:

          1. Lots of fun practical activities you can do with your kids. Especially things that get them away from screen-time.

          2. Learning from other dads - how to be a better dad. (Blumenthal article is good)

          3. Recommended (and ideally qualified) resources on how to be a better dad e.g. "Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph explains the importance of teaching boys respect for women as they grow up".

          4. Some light heart jokes about how hard it is to be a dad fit into the above, but not as the main content focus. (One of the things about being a dad is that you are tending to move away from the funny headlines and more into understanding how to actually survive being a dad and how to be a better dad).

          ----
          Summary:

          I want articles like:
          "3 activities you can do with your daughter that will teach her about math"

          Rather than articles like:
          "25 tips to make you the most awesome dad from your college class - backed by science"
          *even though this probably converts better

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 15:17:31 -0700

          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @mjrawth

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          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @davidkmckinney Thanks so much for the feedback and your four points are very well taken. We're going to be putting more emphasis on the practical in the weeks ahead and we're in the process of building an expert contributor network by focus area, which should help us go deeper vis a vis fun, unexpected recreational activities as well as educational and skills building exercises that go beyond the obvious.

          If we can be useful while presenting the content in a way that's optimized for how men consume media in terms of presentation, length and tone, we'll hopefully have a product that can provide real value.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 16:24:43 -0700
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          David McKinney

          iOS design & code

          @davidkmckinney

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          David McKinney

          iOS design & code

          @mjrawth Great to have you here in the comments :)

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 16:32:33 -0700
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          Derek Skaletsky

          Founder & CEO, Knowtify.io

          @dskaletsky

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          Derek Skaletsky

          Founder & CEO, Knowtify.io

          Yeah...I have to agree with @cyborgnation on this. I have two little ones (4 & 2), and think fatherhood is a incredibly underserved topic for online content. But the tone and approach of this site is not something I wouldn't be remotely interested in. It feels very...well...Thrillist-y. Very link-bait focused ("Top X blah, blah; X ways to blah, blah, X vs. X) - right out of the Buzzfeed, HuffPo playbook (couldn't help but think of this great ClickHole post: http://www.clickhole.com/video/what-adorable-little-girl-says-will-melt-your-hear-286).

          To @byosko's point, dad's aren't social sharers in the traditional sense, so I wouldn't try to model this opportunity after those platforms. I take a much more 'editorial' approach to this content. I think there is huge demand to tap into the legitimate "How to be a better father" meme. I would look at Michael Lewis' ACCIDENTIAL GUIDE TO PARENTING as tonal inspiration, rather than some of these 'link-bait' platforms. I know it seems counter-intuitive to not follow best "viral online content" strategies, but IMHO (of course), the topic of fatherhood would be much better served & supported (ie - lead to a more engaged community) by a more serious approach.

          But the with Neil Blumenthal is very much in the right direction for me...

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 17:13:58 -0700

          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @mjrawth

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          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @dskaletsky Thanks for your response as well. That it feels a little Thrillist-y is probably no accident as that's where I cut my teeth for ~7 years as one of our earliest employees. I'd like to think that whereas Thrillist is irreverent we can graduate with that audience to "wry". That said this is a WIP and still in the throw shtuff against the wall phase and glad that the Neil piece stuck for you as we have more content in the queue just like that in the weeks ahead.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-24 18:26:50 -0700

          Sean Percival

          Partner, 500 Startups

          @Percival

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          Sean Percival

          Partner, 500 Startups

          ash bhoopathy

          entrepreneur, sequoia capital

          @ashbhoopathy

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          ash bhoopathy

          entrepreneur, sequoia capital

          Sorry for the late response here (I was literally having my first daughter when this was posted). This is a really cool site, do you plan on turning into a community of other fathers? There doesn't seem to be a lot of parallel communication on there right now or know who else is in the same situation.

          Also, I'd echo the thoughts of the other fathers on here - It just doesn't make sense for me to be reading the same articles/content in my inbox that someone who has a child who is 5 years old.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-25 10:02:29 -0700

          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @mjrawth

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          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          Hey @ashbhoopathy, first, huge congrats on the birth of your first daughter.

          Order of operations right now is 1) provide value via content selection and tone w/ general interest-y products, services and studies that new dads would want to pay attention to 2) introduce age/stage specific recommendations (like a What To Expect franchise with a male focus and then after building affinity and a generally cringe-free space for consuming parenting content, 3) provide the ability for private communities to develop around friends-who-happen-to-be parents a la GOOG Groups (listservs have been a remarkably persistent tech platform among moms at the local level and given the vastness of local parenting content, we think it's easier for that to be crowdsourced).

          Congrats again.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-25 11:57:37 -0700
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          Ryan Hoover

          Product Hunt

          @rrhoover

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          Ryan Hoover

          Product Hunt

          @ashbhoopathy "Sorry for the late response here (I was literally having my first daughter when this was posted)"

          Ok... good excuse.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-25 13:09:42 -0700

          Jennie Wong

          Founder of ABorC.com

          @DrJennieWong

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          Jennie Wong

          Founder of ABorC.com

          @mjrawth Kudos for defining and targeting an important, emerging market. Content for Dads is a seriously blank space right now! I think you will find evangelists among women who believe that engaged dads on the work front are the key to advancing women at work.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-25 11:33:51 -0700

          Ian Tracy

          co founder, accelerateproduct

          @acceleratelove

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          Ian Tracy

          co founder, accelerateproduct

          @mjrawth congrats! as a father of four, i see the need here. also loving the "PowerUp 3.0" perhaps worth being featured as a product of its own on ProductHunt. On that note, maybe that's a good way to give back to ProductHunt and tie in Fatherly like products featured on Fatherly (literally) or ProductHunt or both. More specifically, do some additional curation and roll out a section on fatherly called "Fatherly products from Fathers" or something like that within your site. Therein, I could see a bunch of things from razors to PowerUp 3.0's and lots of Dad's contributing. And making references to products that stimulate interest on both sites. Just a thought (throwing it out there while its top of mind) and perhaps will open up a business channel for further cross pollination and Fatherly product promotion

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-25 12:07:57 -0700

          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @mjrawth

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          Michael Rothman

          Co-Founder, Fatherly

          @acceleratelove definitely. Given the amount of products hitting the market and the interest from our test group and this community, we absolutely plan on building out a product section and love the idea of integrating Product Hunt (as a source of discovery if nothing else). Thanks for the support and congrats on the big brood of 4!

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-25 12:25:45 -0700
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          Ryan Hoover

          Product Hunt

          @rrhoover

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          Ryan Hoover

          Product Hunt

          @acceleratelove love that idea and we'll be doing more product themes in the daily email and elsewhere. People seem to dig it.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-25 13:11:51 -0700

          Ian Tracy

          co founder, accelerateproduct

          @acceleratelove

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          Ian Tracy

          co founder, accelerateproduct

          @mjrawth excellente. thank you! they're great @rrhoover saweet, yeah i think that's wide open (products per vertical) terrain for you

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-25 13:14:21 -0700

          sarah kunst

          .

          @sarahkunst

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          sarah kunst

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          Really cool idea, huge white space for this type of content.

          Upvote Mark as Maker 2014-06-26 10:40:22 -0700
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