Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com

Sara Mauskopf

CEO and Co-founder of Winnie. Previously Director of Product at Postmates, Twitter, YouTube, Google & MIT.

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON March 01, 2016

Discussion

Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
Hi - I'm Sara Mauskopf, CEO and Co-founder of Winnie, a brand new app for parents. As a new parent myself, I have found there’s not much technology aimed at helping parents and it’s my mission to fix that. I’ve spent time building consumer products at some bigger tech companies like Twitter, Google, and Postmates so feel free to ask me anything product related, startup related, or life related. I’m addition to my passion for building tech for parents, I'm also super passionate about making working in tech more accessible to parents, especially moms who drop out at alarming rates. Ask away!
can you talk a bit about your previous experience? how has that helped you shape winnie the company (and the product)?
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@drew Starting a company is pretty different from anything I’ve ever done before but yet draws on a bunch of different skills I’ve acquired over the years and some I have not yet acquired but am learning as I go. Building a team is something I got some good practice at at Postmates, but skills like managing burn rate and getting press I’m going to have to learn as I go.
@sm you'll kill it. good luck!
Randy Ksar
Randy Ksar@djksar · I find cool things
Hi Sara. Love the target audience you are reaching but need a little more information before I can ask you some questions on Winnie. I'm a father of 2 boys - 4 year and 2 year old so very intrigued at any parenting app that can make my life easier.
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@djksar Glad you asked! You’re in our target market :-) Winnie helps parents navigate the world with their children. As a mobile app, it lets parents find the best places to take kids, with confidence that the facilities they need will be available. As a service, it is the most robust directory of local information specifically for parents, backed by a blend of automated data collection, curation, and crowdsourcing.
Emily Hodgins
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What should tech companies change to address the issues of new moms dropping out?
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@ems_hodge A big problem is when tech companies align “culture” with performance. Many tech companies expect you to be in the office at all hours (even when you can do the work just as well from home), go out for company drinks, go on company trips, and other cultural things that can exclude pregnant and nursing women, parents, and others who just don’t prefer those activities. The more tech companies can separate participating in all the “cultural” activities from actual work performance, the more parents will stay in tech and the more companies will benefit by rewarding tangible work performance.
Nik Sharma
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
Hi Sara! Kudos for taking a selfie with your baby 🙌 Being a parent, but also being heavily involved with the new products and apps coming to life, would you ever let your kid ride in a Shuddle (Uber for Kids app)? Just curious, thanks!
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@mrsharma My daughter is 8 months old so she’s not old enough yet to ride in a Shuddle but I can’t wait until she is!
Hyunsoo
Hyunsoo@deneear
Hi Sara! Do you foresee parenting-help businesses/apps (i.e., babysitting, nanny, petsitting) successfully utilizing an "on-demand" business model? It sounds like it would be difficult to drive adoption due to safety and/or lack of recurring use. How does that inform your work at Winnie, if at all? Thank you!
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@deneear I think a more on-demand model is especially important when it comes to parenting because things seem to always come up last minute when you're a parent and also you need a lot of help. I use all the on-demand apps more than ever now that I'm a parent!!
Yoshi
Yoshi@dnxx28 · Freerance Engineer
Hi @winnielabs and Sara-san! I'm Japanese Yoshi! I know Japanese local service for local parents so I wanna ask about network effect of Winnielabs. That Japanese service is 600 users and CEOs are just selling and uses YouTube. So how does Sara-san do for Winnielabs to make network effect for "parents" :) ?
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@dnxx28 @winnielabs はじめまして!そのサービスの名前は何でしょうか? Winnie は地域情報のサービスです。親たちが子供たちを連れて行くのにいい場所を見つけるのに役立ちます。その地域に住んでいる他の家族と知り合える機会を見つける手助けになればと考えています。
Yoshi
Yoshi@dnxx28 · Freerance Engineer
@sm @winnielabs I'm sorry to go to bed and this is it! http://mamapuri.com/
Eric Mustin
Eric Mustin@ericmustin
Hey Sara! Excited to learn more about Winnie. My question is, what kind of company are you trying to build at Winnie?
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@eric_mustin Some things are top of mind for us as we build Winnie the company. First, we want to build a company where having a child is an asset. We want to be a company where diversity (gender, race, age, etc) is valued because we know that having people from different backgrounds will make us perform better. Second, we’re building a strong engineering culture from day one. We looked at previous attempts in this space and saw that most of them failed because their tech sucked and their founders weren’t technical. Our mission is to solve problems with technology and we are building both the team and product to execute on that mission.
Mike Lehmann
Mike Lehmann@coach_lehmann · Web Developer / Creator
Hi! What is your take on releasing a minimum viable product? How simple should it be?
Abraham Krisnanda
Abraham Krisnanda@abraham_k_s · Software Developer, Watch Over Me
Should parents let their kids (3-5 y.o) play with gadget (tablet or smartphone) ?
Kartik Krishnanand
Kartik Krishnanand@kkrishnanand
Regarding Winnie, what shortcomings did you observe in the existing market when researching technology aimed at helping parents? Thank you!
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@kkrishnanand There are still very few true technology companies making products for parents. This means that what software is out there isn’t great — the tech sucks, the design sucks, the product execution is poor. We know that we can do better and that parents will respond to having modern, fast, usable tools to help solve their problems. Another problem we’ve observed is many of these products exclusively target moms. It’s so unfair to all the dads out there who take an active role in parenting (not to mention families without a mom).
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@sm thanks so much for joining us today, I would love to hear what the catalyst was behind you leaving the rocketships that are your previous employees to start your own rocketship? What were the hardest things about founding the company that you did not expect?
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@harrystebbings Becoming a parent 8 months ago, I realized firsthand that there’s very little technology out there for parents. I’m parenting my daughter the same way my parents parented me. There hasn’t been anything that makes me a 10x better parent than my parents were… even though there is technology that makes everything else 10x better than it was 30+ years ago. As far as the hardest things about founding a company, we’re still at the stage where I’m writing code and it’s challenging to code and also do the million other things a CEO has to do.
Justin Ruckman
Justin Ruckman@jruckman · Maker and breaker in residence
How do you track priorities for yourself and your team? Less individual tasks/bugs/stories/etc than overall priorities, if that makes sense.
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@jruckman The top level goals are just in a google doc and my co-founder Anne Halsall and I have a 2 hour weekly block just to force ourselves to reflect and make sure we are still working towards the right things. But then it’s important that those actually map to the Asana tasks that we work on every day. At Winnie, we have an Asana project for each milestone we’re trying to reach and that’s made up of the individual tasks.
Andrew Parker
Andrew Parker@andrewparkr · Founder of Givebuy
Hi Sara. At what point did you know that Winnie was going to work and be a success? Were there plenty of times when you thought it wouldn't be?
Adam Besvinick
Adam Besvinick@besvinick · VC at Anchorage Capital
What's your favorite part about building a product for other parents? How is building Winnie for yourself as a user different than building products for yourself previously?
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@besvinick Parenting is an extremely hard job so helping parents is something I’m personally really passionate about. It gives a greater purpose behind what we’re building than just “oh here’s a big market to tackle”. However, it’s also important that I don’t just build for myself. We’re building a product to help parents and most parents don’t have all the resources that I have at my disposal. So while I’m really passionate about this space in general, a good product person never builds for just herself.
neeharika sinha
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Hello Sara! Great to meet you here! You have worked in diverse companies what growth strategy would you suggest has been a good one in your opinion? Whats the best way to reach out to you to get your advice on a product?
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@neeeharika The best growth strategy is a great product. If you don't have product market fit, then no growth strategy will help you. As far as reaching out to me, I'm sara@winnielabs.com or find me on Twitter @sm.
Andrew Brackin
Andrew Brackin@brackin · Growth at Visor
@sm @neeeharika @winnielabs I disagree depending on the product. Wish has a terrible product but is valued at billions and has an excellent growth strategy.
Nikhita
Nikhita@nikhitaaaa · Product Manager
As a working mom, what do you think of the question "can women have it all"?
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@nikhitaaaa No one -- woman or man -- can have absolutely everything in the world all at once. But certainly women can have just as much as men can have especially when it comes to having a fulfilling, challenging career and a loving family.
Cary Sandler
Cary Sandler@carysandler
Hey Sara, Winnie sounds like a terrific idea, filling a much needed space for parents. Do you have a tentative timeline for roll out? Can't wait to see the finished product.
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@carysandler The app is coming soon! Please sign up at winnielabs.com to be first on the list when the app becomes available. If you’re in SF or the Bay Area email us at info@winnielabs.com to get early access to our beta.
Eric Littell
Eric Littell@ericlittell
Hi Sara, parent to 2 boys (7yr, 3yr) here in SF. Question about your future products: when I think of what I need for my kids, it breaks down into groups, like 'activities/places to go/do', 'babysitting', 'childcare/schools', 'healthcare' and 'parenting advice / what to expect'. The sources of info range all over the place (blogs are a big source, Babycenter.com sites, healthcare sites, popular lists from newspapers/etc, and then books). Is Winnie helping in this? Also, any thing you can share on what areas it'll focus on (or not focus on)?
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@ericlittell Winnie is helping with the first thing you mentioned (and maybe some of the others too). Winnie helps parents navigate the world with their children. As a mobile app, it lets parents find the best places to take kids, with confidence that the facilities they need will be available. As a service, it is the most robust directory of local information specifically for parents, backed by a blend of automated data collection, curation, and crowdsourcing. Email me (info@winnielabs.com) so we can add you to our beta!
Renee Moss
Renee Moss@reneemoss
Hi Sara - Will the user interface be simple enough to be useable for the older generation ? (ie. Grandparents, & Great- Grandparents)
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@reneemoss Yes Grammy you will be able to use it :-)
elaine intenzo
elaine intenzo@elaineintenzo · boss
@sm @reneemoss we know GG will be able to figure it out but what about typical older folks?
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com
Sara Mauskopf, CEO of Winnie.com@sm · CEO and Co-founder at Winnie.com
@elaineintenzo @reneemoss we will make sure to test with a bunch of GGs :-)
Randy Ksar
Randy Ksar@djksar · I find cool things
@sm @reneemoss awesome.