The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team.
Philip Anderson is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
I am cofounder and CEO of ParentPlaybook. I have been an entrepreneur for almost 30-years. I immigrated to the U.S. from New Zealand when I was 22-yrs-old to marry my wife (married 29-yrs, 2 children and 3 grandchildren). 14 years ago I cofounded and served from its founding until May of this year as CEO of Beacon Learning Group, which is a financial coaching company. We have coached more than 10,000 students and produced over $60 million in revenue since 2007. That company is still in business and growing. I am now full-time at ParentPlaybook as CEO.
What did it take / how did you get started?
My mentor, John Richards, also an investor in ParentPlaybook, introduced me to my cofounder, Bruce Hymas, in August, 2019. Bruce had the original idea that became ParentPlaybook. After following lean startup principles and testing the idea thoroughly with our target market (think 250 plus parent interviews, which led us to making some pivots and lots of micro iterations to the model) we determined to form a company and that A: the market was there and that we were in fact solving a big problem B: we could build an All Star team and C: we could secure a pre-seed round of funding sufficient to launch the platform/app. ParentPlaybook’s a smart Q&A platform that when completely built, will connect parents to a community that will help them find and implement custom solutions to all of their parenting challenges. They’ll be able to do three primary things on the platform: ask and answer questions; share, save and collaborate on those solutions; and when the challenges rises to the level of needing engagement with a professional, find a professional right on the platform (think therapist, counselor, psychologist or life coach).
What does the future look like for you and your hustle?
We raised approx. $1.1 million in a pre-seed round earlier this year. We’ll raise a seed round starting in March of 2022, likely targeting $2.5-$3m. We launched our alpha version of the platform last week to a small group of users and will move to beta in approx. one-month. We believe 25-million parents will be using our platform in 5-years or less.
What drives / motivates you?
I am very competitive and hate to lose. I am also very motivated by what success can mean to those I care most about. It’s a bigger driver than what success means to me personally – and don’t get me wrong – that’s important too but not as important. I am also VERY motivated by giving a solid return to the investors that stepped to the plate and backed us as an early stage tech startup. We are preparing a montage of photos of every investor that backed us so the entire team’s reminded of our need to be good stewards of their resources and to give them a great return on every dollar they invested in us. Another motivator for our entire team is the opportunity to impact millions of parents and their children via the technology we are building. Here’s our purpose statement: Our Purpose is to empower people with the knowledge and tools to elevate their thoughts, feelings, and actions so that they create a positive future for the next generation. That’s what we are building.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
Follow Lean Startup. We did and continue to. Take John Richard’s Startup Ignition course and follow it – it teaches lean startup.
What has been the hardest part of the hustle?
Staying true to lean startup principles. Lean startup says go slower at the start and frontload the learning then and only then scale when you have confirmed product market fit. As an entrepreneur you just wasn’t to build and go! Lean startup says slow down and learn about your market and develop the right model then pour it on only when you have confirmed the market truly wants/needs your solution. This will save you time and money in the short-term and long-term. It’s just a smarter way to build a business.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
As an executive team we are always reading a book and in the last two years have read approx. 15-20 books together. If there’s a subject we don’t understand we ID the best book written on the subject then study it and go do it. Get good mentors. I love the How I built This podcast. Here’s some of my favorite books: Nail It and Scale It, Trillion Dollar Coach, The Obstacle Is The Way, Seven Habits, Atomic Habits, Start With Why, Hooked, Indistractable, Slicing Pie, The Psychology of Winning (an oldie by still a great read)…I could go on but that’ll keep you going a few weeks.
Side or full-time hustle?
Was part-time for 18-months. Full-time as of 6 months ago.
List the founders
Philip Anderson, CEO and Bruce Hymas, COO
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
10 full time, 1 part-time.
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
We self-funded for 18-months and invested approx. $180k up until we raised the first round.
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
$1.1 million pre-seed. Friends & family and Angel investors.
$0 revenue. We launched alpha last week.
Any call to action?
Be bold. Dream BIG then go to work to make it happen.
E: Phila@parentplaybook.com | P: 801.674.3108.