“None of us is as smart as all of us”
2020 has created major shifts in human history, it’s going to reshape society in lasting ways, from how we travel, to the level of security and surveillance we’re accustomed to, and even to the language we use, and how we choose to interact. We also realized that meaningful child care assistance is extremely limited. (I have written tons of posts on this and I will also elaborate in another post on what it means when we say meaningful child care )
With all this info in mind, I kept on iterating the product as per the immediate needs of families and kept chatting with them. I am grateful for their time, if I had no interaction for a few weeks, they are the ones who pinged me asking about my well being. It became a huge factor for me to continue working. They were not my friends, just as a repeated paying customer I know them, and over the pandemic, seems like they are the ones with whom I became close in touch.
We kept on iterating the product over the last few months: What we learned:
a)Parents’ are in search of a community which they trust.
b)Many are early parenting experts in our community. (Earlier post on this)
c)A community in itself might mean less than a community that has a physical product tied to it. In our case, the physical product has been the Nooks. They come in for Nooks, and they stay in for the community of like-minded people and neighbors until they discover the Facebook Group.
We also realize our group on Facebook has a ton of social capital(a huge number of early parenting experts and like-minded parents), we are lucky enough to have like-minded early parenting experts from all over the world supporting us and guiding us. Many have spent countless hours to make the product look a little better without expecting anything in return. I am forever grateful to them.
All these thoughts and interactions with group members made me realize there is this huge social capital associated with Nooks which I was not able to relate.
So here is how it’s been evolving
A close-knit "Parenting+" community. We all are overwhelmed with too many parenting products everywhere to which we are not able to relate. It’s too noisy out there and getting into an app and realizing that I don’t need this might be overwhelming for a parent.
The Nook creates a high signal environment and thus also a barrier to entry. You come to attend Nooks, if you like it then join our community. You may need to attend Nooks for a certain amount of time to be able to get into the community. Maybe something like Nook Passport? (+ covid screening +vaccines maybe once it’s available/referrals by like-minded members or parenting experts)
By that time the customer might already realize if they like Nook or not.
Thus we say that our Nook community is a high trust environment facilitated by the Nook. Over the pandemic, we did not allow new members to enter the group as they have not attended any in-person Nook. It was a tough decision but it was worth it. Nook Passports give you entry to the group.
We also realized after speaking with many early parenting experts that incentive oriented community might be a great option for them as creators. Every action they are taking in the community might be incentivized as it needs a well-meaning effort and time.
As we mentioned earlier that Covid changed the way we perceive society as. We have observed that Parents’ Nook was lucky enough to have the indulgence of the collective creativity of many like minded early parenting experts and parents who are now our community members. Thus we are imagining ourselves as an incentive oriented collective parenting community where Nook members and experts work together for making parenthood empowering with knowledge, support, and while also creating commons and building community, locally and/or globally. The model allows members to choose to do work that they consider value-aligned, and therefore, worthwhile.
Also, we mentioned in our earlier post how we have seen the need for parenting support for parents during the time of the pandemic. It is overwhelming. We would like to incentivize the effort of our early parenting experts for each and every effort. We are grateful for the immense value they are creating through their intentional efforts and work.
We will come up with a separate post on how the incentives may work, we have created a flow chart and will love to share it with a few of you over the next few weeks. I will also reach out to our community to listen to their thoughts and suggestions on this.
In the meantime, if you are someone who might want to help us in any possible ways you may imagine, please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a 15-30 min call here https://calendly.com/tanaya-v/30-min-meeting.
I am immensely thankful to all of you who listened to me while this was still in a very rough idea. This document is also not edited.