Roughly 11 years ago, I became a dad, to a beautiful bouncing little boy called Jack.
Parenthood was one of those life-changing moments for me, it made me reassess what and who I am as a person.
Cliched as hell I know, but it made me look at my life with a much bigger perspective. There was this tiny person who would rely on me and my long-suffering better half.
At the time I was a freelance software developer writing early web apps and, with a partner, doing our own small projects on the side.
FanFinders is what became of one of the projects.
We worked on the business mornings, evenings and weekends around paid work for heading towards two years, starting in 2012.
I had no idea at the time it would become a “proper” company with 28 wonderful staff, two office dogs and now serving over 4.5 million parents on two continents.
We started FanFinders as we didn’t like the way the baby marketing industry worked. My wife and I both received heaps and heaps of spam from companies we had never signed up with and often never heard of.
It turned out the two biggest players at the time (who are both still around) would sell data gathered in hospitals and GPs surgeries to anybody with some dosh. Some of this was perfectly legal at the time, and some of it wasn’t.
We believe selling data lists like this is unethical.
That’s why we operate on a 1st party, one to one basis and we only ever do something with explicit permission from the person involved.
It’s not rocket science but it was a new approach.
And we were ahead of the curve – with the introduction of the GDPR data laws in 2018 effectively outlawing the sale of third-party consumer data lists.
Our online first model was a new idea in the baby sector and Your Baby Club has taken off far beyond our initial modest dreams.
I remember thinking at the time, wouldn’t it be fab if we could sign up 5,000 new parents every month and be able to help them with our service.
At the time of writing, we sign up 40,000 new members a month here and 100,000 in the US.
In total, we reach over 14 million people per month on social media and deal with some of the best baby and parenting companies in the world.
I’m proud of the business we have built so far and that we’ve been able to put the power of controlling where their information goes back in the hands of parents.
And I’m excited about what’s next, as we look to expand to other countries and explore using our expertise to build data-compliant communities and clubs for our partners.
Over the coming months, Alec will be blogging regularly about his experiences as CEO and Co-Founder at FanFinders.