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Hi, I'm Rob Sobers of Munchkin Report


#1

Hey everyone! I’m Rob Sobers. I’m a designer/developer who is addicted to building things. I’m currently a marketing director for a 500+ person software company. Formerly, I was a designer/hacker at Fog Creek Software.

My product is called Munchkin Report and it’s an easy online activity tracker for parents and daycares.

Other stuff:

  • I blog about my startup lessons learned
  • I wrote a book called Learn Ruby The Hard Way
  • I’m writing another book called Mastering HubSpot
  • I’m a member of the Micropreneur Academy

Let me know if there’s anything you think I can help you with!

Best,

Rob


#2

Hey Rob,

I just took a quick look at MR. It has a nice vibe. Sorry I’m not in your target, my kids are in their 20s (years not months!).

I was wondering if/how you went about validating the market for MR?

Best,
Frank


#3

Hey Frank!

At first, I was scratching my own itch without any market validation. If you read the Our Story section of the site, you can see that my wife and I track everything.

But I got wise pretty fast and started cold calling daycare centers and doing customer development interviews. My mother-in-law also runs a large daycare center, so she’s been a great resource to tap.

One thing I haven’t proven is whether or not I can reach my audience at scale online (and convert them), which is why I’m doing a lot of content marketing now.

There is also a decent amount of competition in this niche that appear to be making making money (my only evidence is their longevity), which bodes well.

-Rob


#4

Rob, cool service! I wish it was around some 5-10 years ago when my kids were in kindergarten!

Now I only hope someone implement the same for schools. The disconnect between teachers and parents upsets me on a weekly basis.


#5

Great idea Rob! It didn’t look like your app does this but my wife thinks it should email a report to the parent at the end of the day if it’s used by a daycare :smile:


#6

Thanks guys!

@ian - We definitely plan to have that feature, since busy parents might not have time to always login to the app. We’ll also have SMS messages (if you opt-in) for alerts on school announcements and if you’re low on supplies.

By the way, I’m loving your podcast!


#7

Thanks! I’m sure she’ll be letting our kids schools know when they go back. They give us these paper slips everyday that suck.


#8

I’m not in your target market yet, and I know you are still very early stage with this, but I think your site could use some more examples of specific problems where the application could help. Documenting everything your child does can easily come across as obsessive or even as “helicopter parenting.” (I hate that term, but it’s the easiest way to describe it!)

This example is made up and it’s probably not so simple in real life, but tracking the days your child acted out in school back to them not having a proper healthy breakfast or having a soda with lunch would be something I could buy into.


#9

Great point @matthias - I definitely need to map out some of the core use cases. In the daycare scenario there are a ton of great ones not only surrounding correlating actions with behavior, but day-to-day communication between caregivers and parents.