It always starts the same way. A story shared among parents about their kids. A story about the Internet and a struggle to reduce the influence over their child’s development. Maybe bedtimes seem impossible to enforce because of online videos. Or chores remain undone in favor of one more game. Or they simply don’t come when called for dinner anymore.
If you have kids, then you have your own stories.
One of our friends confided that they unplug and take away the WiFi Router to address the too much Internet situation in their home. While this is a very efficient solution, it does mean that the parents also lose the Internet at these times. We often make sacrifices for our kids and that was one they were willing to make.
My best life hack was to take away the charging cables. I established a monopoly on electricity. Only I could charge their devices, and I would only do it when I went to bed. So when their batteries drained so too went the Internet.
This time I spent money and replaced our WiFi router with a device advertising Parental Controls. It was difficult to set up and sort of did what they claimed it would do. But I had troubles with it. I’m a highly skilled engineer who knows this stuff inside out and backwards… and I had trouble making it work in my home. Ultimately it took me about six hours to configure and adjust the settings to work in my home environment. The Internet problem was solved. Again.
This is where my story goes sideways.
Within the first week I needed to adjust the rules on the brand new WiFi router. When I tried to login to the WiFi Router’s website to adjust the settings I found myself looking at the configuration of some other home’s router. I couldn’t change my own settings! Worse, I could tamper with someone else’s settings. An inexcusable software bug and such a violation of my trust that I had to rip their broken product out of my home. Then I needed to do a full security check on all of my systems because that product had exposed my whole home to hackers on the internet.
That was the last straw.
It’s important to understand that my story is a little different than yours: I and the members of our team spent the last decade building the products that contribute to the allure of the Internet. We’ve made tablets and smartphones. We’ve built streaming video services and products. And in doing so, we’ve made parenting in the 21st century harder than it has ever been before.
In the face of complete technical failure of the available products, it suddenly became our mission to build a better WiFi for Parents. We had the skill, knowledge, and incentive to fix this problem. So that’s just what we did.
Within a couple months we had a prototype and installed it in a couple homes to see if this product was worthy of full time effort. Could we build a business around it? Happily we found near unanimous support and interest. Every parent we knew wanted to try it. Their eyes wide with excitement as I demoed the software. Thus began the year long adventure of making it a real product.
A prototype is a great tech demo but it is far from a consumer grade product. We needed to build a new, faster, and more powerful hardware platform. We also needed to radically re-engineer the software stack to address the lessons learned while building the first prototype. We did these things and more, all to make Kindera an incredible tool for parents.
This week our hard work pays off. We proudly began shipping Kindera WiFi hubs to parents and celebrate the start of Parenting in the 21st century.