Your Baby Club - How it Startedby Alec Dobbie
Roughly 10 years ago at the time of writing, 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 but it made me look at my life with a bigger picture view, 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, morning, 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 20 wonderful staff serving over 4 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. The latter has since been proved via two very large fines from the ICO (the data police) for selling new parents data to companies they had no right to sell it too.
We believe selling data lists like this is unethical and should have been banned, we operate on a 1st party, one to one basis, we only ever do something with explicit permission from the person involved, it’s not rocket science but it was a new approach. This model was proved correct with the introduction of the GDPR data laws in 2018 that effectively outlawed the selling of third-party consumer data lists.
Our online first model (you can see where being a developer came in handy) was a new idea in the baby world and we took 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 they get some use from our service. At the time of writing, we sign up 40,000 new members a month both here and in the US. I still find the take up astounding, we reach 4.3 million people per month on social media and deal with some of the best baby and parenting companies in the world.
I’m also pretty new to blogging and will be writing some more if you have any questions please reach out and ask, my twitter profile is below. I’m happy to talk about all things parenting but also business, coding and anything else.
PS The bigger one is Jack the littler Tom.,