Let me start by saying thank you.
Thank you for following. Thank you for being a fan. Thank you for the likes, comments and shares. Thank you for sticking around. Thank you for being you. Thank you for allowing me to be me. Thank you for your time.
This next year is going to rock, and if everything goes as planned, the first version of Genesis will be released by Mother’s Day 2014. Like my friend tells me, “Work as if there is only a Plan A, but always have a Plan B.” He’s not talking about the morning-after pill either.
Two years ago, I came up with the concept of Genesis. Genesis is a mobile method of communication specific to custody, visitation, and support for single and separated parents. It keeps your notes in the event of a dispute. When the local news did a story last year, I pulled up the video to show Olive while she ate her favorite yogurt. Olive says, “Hey, that’s Sissy’s name,” all excited about seeing her sister’s name on TV, “but where’s my name?” My gut dropped in guilt. Fortunately, at the time, I still needed to file for an LLC, so I redeemed myself a little by forming Olive Us, LLC, which is now doing business as Genesis v1.
I love my girls. I love them completely. The concept of Genesis was created because of my own experiences with having two children who have different moms. I’ve been the custodial parent for roughly seven years, and the non-custodial parent for the last four. I’m the Petitioner in one case, the Respondent in the other. There are times when I think that if I never lost custody of my oldest, I wouldn’t be here. Other times, I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, like I feel right now.
It was a day in court when I realized I’ve been slacking. It was my first appearance as the non-custodial parent, and instead of going into detail, let me say this:
- I’ve always provided a safe and suitable place for the girls to live.
- I’m a stickler for being on-time, being late for a pick-up or drop-off is rare.
- I’ve never missed a scheduled visitation since becoming the non-custodial parent.
- I’ve always wanted what’s best for the girls, even if it’s unfavorable to me.
- I’ve never allowed my daughter to look up “adult material”.
But that’s not what the court believed, and I walked away in disbelief. It was my own doing, my own lack of preparedness. I didn’t keep consistent records, records that are vital for single parents to build or defend a case. Instead of wallowing, I decided that I needed something that would help me. I didn’t go back to work that day, opting to sit inside of the nearest Starbucks and search for a custody management system I could use.
I couldn’t find anything of real value; and nothing for mobile devices. This is when I decided I wanted to build my own system. The closest competition was built for desktops and laptops, but I wanted mobile. The cost to the user was around $100 per year, but I wanted much lower, and possibly free. The competition had too many bells and whistles (great features, very little benefits), but I wanted something simple and easy to use.
A few weeks later, I was with a friend on his back patio. He had bought a kegerator recently and filled it with something delicious, so obviously I needed to go make sure everything was working properly. Later into the night I mentioned my concept. He says, “I have a couple of family law attorneys I’d like you to talk to. I can set up a meeting.”
And so we met, and the immediate feedback was reassuring. They knew about the competition, and were somewhat familiar with the system. They reassured me that my alternative, Genesis (I couldn’t think of a better name), was something completely different. They encouraged me to refine what I had created so far, which at this time was a very basic storyboard that visually explained how Genesis flows. When I look back at my original flowchart, I laugh. It has become so much more since this day, but the basic foundation remains the same.
Once I became comfortable with the drawings (not the images you see above, much more detailed), I submitted a provisional patent application with the USPTO and shopped around for developers. My initial plan was to develop apps for iOS and Android systems, but after a failed Kickstarter campaign that asked for an exorbitant amount of money, I had to go back to the drawing board. Instead of mobile apps, which what I assumed was necessary, the new plan to develop would be a “responsive mobile web application”. What this means is that Genesis v1 will use the browser of the mobile device, and will adjust to the screen size of that particular device, so it doesn’t matter if you have a Kindle, iPad, Windows Phone, Android, whatever. The plan simplified development and reduced costs by over 60%. And now, I would be able to offer Genesis v1 for free, or at least try to.
We all know nothing is free, but hear me out.
In exchange for “free”, I’d like the birth date, gender, and zip code of both the user and the children within Genesis v1 to use at my disposal. My plan to add value is by trying to save single parents money. Being on a single income for the majority of my dad life and knowing the struggles I’ve gone through trying to “make it,” this feature became very important. Amusement centers, pizza places, diapers, wipes, binkies, blankies, pull-ups… the list goes on. So while Genesis is storing data related to custody, visitation and support, users benefit from offers that are age specific to the user, child, and/or location (i.e. a pizza place can offer a birthday package a month before the child’s birthday, or a store can offer a deal on potty training items when the child reaches that age). It’s my attempt at putting sugar on top, and saving money on items we have to buy anyway made the most sense. Controlling how advertisers communicate with users will also eliminate banner advertising, keeping the look and feel of Genesis v1 clean, organized and simple.
I write this because I’m going to launch a crowdfunding campaign and I wanted you to know first. Instead of running it under my name, it will run under Olive Us, LLC. The platform used will be FundAnything.com. The campaign video is with professionals being edited as I type (I hope). You will be the first to know when the campaign will be launched, and I wanted you to be the first to know beforehand. Your support, whether for a limited edition Genesis T-Shirt, or simply sharing the campaign with your personal network, will be greatly appreciated.
And if Plan A happens to fail, Plan B is ready to go. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me via the Full-Time Daddy Facebook page. I will respond.
Thanks again for your time. I’ll keep you posted.
The vision of Genesis is to focus on what is in the best interests of the child.