A practical resource for guys entering that next phase

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#3 Product of the DayJune 24, 2014
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Dave AmbroseHunter@daveambrose · Steadfast Venture Capital
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-mon... 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".
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, 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.
Michael RothmanMaker@mjrawth · 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.
Ben Yoskovitz@byosko · Entrepreneur, investor & author
@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.
Michael RothmanMaker@mjrawth · 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.
Ben Yoskovitz@byosko · Entrepreneur, investor & author
@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.
Michael RothmanMaker@mjrawth · 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.
Joe Barber@cyborgnation · Product Designer @ Payit
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.
Michael RothmanMaker@mjrawth · 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.
Joel Andren@joelandren · 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
Michael RothmanMaker@mjrawth · 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]
Shawn Borsky@shawnborsky · Design Lead, Mobile - Blizzard
This is the first time I haven't been annoyed by a product name with "ly" at the end.
David McKinneyHiring@davidkmckinney
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
Michael RothmanMaker@mjrawth · 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.
David McKinneyHiring@davidkmckinney
@mjrawth Great to have you here in the comments :)