Some Assembly Required for Women
Sep 7 2008

A couple of friends of mine recently released a book called Some Assembly Required: A Networking Guide for Women and for some bizarre reason, they actually included me in their book!  I guess that means I’m a good example of how to network. :)

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I’ve known the authors, Thom Singer and Marny Lifshen, for probably close to 8 or 9 years now.  I met them somewhere along the journey of my first high-tech startup and we’ve remained in touch off and on since then.  In fact, Marny was one of the very first beta testers of Baby Insights when her daughter was born! 

For long time readers of my blog, you may remember that Thom Singer did a great guest post called Networking and the Stay at Home Parent that continues to get a lot of eyeballs.  If my 2009 SXSW interactive panel idea is selected, then Thom will serve on the panel with me because he is building his speaking and writing career after hours just like I’m trying to do with Babble Soft

The book is easy-to-read, easy-to-understand, and a great reference guide for those looking for some tips on how to network.  Although it’s written for women in mind, much of the advice they share is great for men too! 

I attended an informal book party they held this weekend at Marny’s house and gladly paid for my autographed copy.  Check it out and look for my name in the Acknowledgements and in a nice little vignette on page 172.  See below for a link to buy their book at Amazon:

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby insights, networking | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Emma’s Family – Baby Jaundice and a Heart Condition
Jun 29 2008

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a Parent Story and now we have a great one!  I met this fabulous mom (Kerry Reynolds), who also happens to be a doula, on twitter.  I was introduced to her by none other than her mother, Susan Reynolds, of Frozen Pea Fund and Boobs on Ice fame!  Check out the post I did on the Frozen Pea Fund back in December 2007.

Stories like these are what keep me going and and make all the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur building Babble Soft all worth while!

Baby Emma Family Uses Babble SoftMother:  Kerry (SAHM/Birth Doula)
Father:   Mike (Project Manager)

Baby:      Emma
Born:      April 2008
Place:     Burke, VA 

Browser:  Mozilla Firefox v2.0.0.11
Websitewww.birthinbloom.com 

 

Kerry’s story 

Emma is my second child and her birth was long awaited as she was seven days overdue!  Labor lasted 20 hours and was exhausting. In the process I was up for 50 hours straight and was so ready to come home.  After Emma was born we brought her to her first doctor’s appointment only to discover she had a worrisome case of baby jaundice.  We were concerned about her health and the doctor told us to make sure we kept careful watch of her weight gain, feedings, and diapers.  We were very worried about little Emma but little did we know at that time, jaundice would be the least of our concerns. 

When Emma was one and a half weeks old she had a frightening episode which resulted in a trip to the emergency room. We discovered she has a heart condition called Wolffe Parkinson White and learned she would need to be on a heart medication until she reaches three years old, when her heart will be large enough to have a surgery to correct the defect.  After three nights in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) we arrived home frantic and sleep deprived, her medication schedule had to be so exact that we needed Baby Insights to help us keep track of every detail of her routine. In addition, her dosage was on a schedule to increase as her weight increased so it was imperative that we monitor it closely. 

Babble Soft helped us through some challenging times  

The information I got from using Baby Insights was and continues to be extremely useful!  It helped us think in a time we could barely add two plus two or string coherent sentences together.  The ability to go to one place and see all of Emma’s information was a life saver. I use Baby Insights to: 

  • Keep detailed notes on how often and when she was eating, which helped us track improvements in her jaundice and report feedings to her pediatrician and cardiologist.
  • Monitor her diaper changes so that we could feel comfortable she was in fact absorbing her food and that all was working well.
  • Monitor her heart medication which helped us remember the exact time and dosage as that is a critical part of keeping any further episodes at bay.
  • Keep track of how much breast milk I was pumping to make sure we had enough to give to baby Emma and to ensure my milk supply would stay steady and increase over time.
  • Stay aware of any decreases in her appetite as this could be a sign of another episode with her heart.

—End—

If you are interested in participating in your very own user story, please activate a FREE Babble Soft Trial.  All you need is an email address!  If you find that Babble Soft applications work for you and you want to tell the world about your great experience, please email us at info at babblesoft dot com for more information.

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby insights, breast milk, breastfeeding, case study, parent stories, parenting, pumping, user stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Thanks for the Mentions!
May 29 2008

Trish and I were pleasantly surprised at the number of people who blogged and tweeted about our partnership with eMail Our Military that we announced just before Memorial Day weekend.  We are forever grateful for them in helping us spread the word about Babble Soft giving free subscriptions to Baby Insights and Baby Say Cheese to active duty military with newborns who are members of eMail Our Military!  We’d like to thank each and every one of them! 

Please check out their posts and leave them a comment and let them know how great it is that they picked up a partnership created by two entrepreneurs who are trying hard to make a difference in the world.  :-D

If you’ve blogged or tweeted about it and we missed it, please let us know and we’ll add you to the list.  Even though it’s past Memorial Day, if you are only now finding out about our partnership, please continue to tell everyone about it because the partnership is ongoing and Father’s Day is just around the corner.  We will still link to your post!

Blog Posts

Fred Wilson at A VC – Memorial Day

Jeff Nolan at Venture Chronicles – Markets are Communities

Maryam Scoble at Maryamie – Memorial Day

Lauren Vargas at This Mommy Gig – Serving the Homefront

Robert Hacker at Sophisticated Finance – Memorial Day

Barbara Ling at – 77 Great Resources for Memorial Day (she links to www.eMailOurMilitary.com)

Jeremy Bencken at PR4 Pirates – Anatomy of an A-List Blog Mention

Omar Gallaga at Austin 360 – Post-Memorial Day Web catch-up

Ashlee Allen of Mama Speaks – Keeping in Touch State Wide

Nicole Johnson at Pick Nick’s Brain – Quick Tip – Logging Sleep

Tweets

Pistachio – Challenging: newborns. More challenging: while your partner’s on active duty. @emailourmilitary @aruni memday help http://tinyurl.com/5gmmrs

KeithBurtis – (aruni)Happy Memorial Day! Help us spread news of @MailOurMilitary (aka @Dayngr) and @babblesoft partnership http://tinyurl.com/5gmmrs...

MikeChapman – Two of my favorites! @MailOurMilitary and @babblesoft join forces post http://tinyurl.com/5gmmrs

TroyTurner – @aruni , @dayngr FYI – I just fwd’d your offer to some insiders at Walter Reed, Ctr for the Intrepid-BAMC, and Naval Med Ctr-San Diego.

MackCollier – Retweeting @aruni: @MackCollier @MailOurMilitary and I have positive news to share too re: Memorial Day http://tinyurl.com/5gmmrs :-)

NewMediaJim (we know he tweeted but can’t seem to find the tweet now)

Hametner – @aruni @mailourmilitary Glad to see the partnership between www.BabbleSoft.com and www.eMailOurMilitary.com, looks like a great fit!

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby, baby care, baby insights, baby say cheese, blogging, entrepreneurship, twitter | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Memorial Day – Babies and Our Military
May 23 2008

I met a gal on twitter who tweets by the name of @MailOurMilitary and @Dayngr.  Her real name is Trish.  We got to tweeting and emailing and then talking. 

Since Trish had gone through the hardship of being away from her husband when her first child was born, we both thought it would be a great idea to join forces to offer members of her non-profit organization, eMail Our Military free subscriptions to Babble Soft applications as well as access to a discount code for 20% off purchases for non-active military and friends.

So please let the military families you know about our offer and encourage them and others to sign up at eMail Our Military.  We know there is no way to make up for the lost time and touch of a parent who is away but now they have access to a free tool that can help bridge the unavoidable physical gap between two parents of a precious newborn.  We wanted to give people another reason, which is often overlooked (i.e., being away from their baby), to remember all those men and women who have put their lives at home on hold and/or laid down their lives to protect our freedom.

You can see the press release below, on our site, on PR Web, and on eMailOurMilitary’s blog.  Trish also wrote a more personal blog post called Baby Memories, Milestones, and Our Military where she mentions her experience as a new mom whose husband has to leave one week after her baby was born!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! 

Babble Soft and eMail our Military Join Forces to Offer Free Subscriptions to Babble Soft Applications for Active Duty Service Members with Newborns

Just in time for Memorial Day, Active Duty Service Members with Newborns now get free access to Babble Soft’s web and mobile applications through their membership at eMail Our Military.

eMail Our MilitaryAUSTIN, TX; MIAMI LAKES, FL – May 22, 2008 – Babble Soft and eMail our Military are partnering to offer free subscriptions to Baby Insights and Baby Say Cheese for active duty service members with newborns. 

“We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with Babble Soft.” said Trish Forant, Founder and President of eMail our Military. “My husband was called into service only one week after our first child was born.  I had very few friends and family to turn to for support where we were stationed and it was difficult for me to convey to him what I was going through with our new baby.  I would have loved to have the online tools Babble Soft provides to communicate to him how often and when our baby was feeding, sleeping, etc. as well as important picture milestones!”

 ”Our goal at Babble Soft is to help strengthen and enhance connections between family members during that wonderful, yet chaotic time after a baby is born.” said Aruni Gunasegaram, founder and president of Babble Soft. “We support our troops and know how important it is for new parents who have to be away from their newborns to feel connected to what is going on at home.  Partners can share experiences and photos with each other through Babble Soft’s unique web and mobile applications. As an added bonus, members of eMail our Military will have access to a discount code to purchase gift subscriptions for their other family members who may or may not have military ties.”

Baby Insights helps caregivers keep track of baby’s breast & bottle feeding, sleep periods, diaper changes, medicine doses, immunization records, as well as mom’s breastfeeding, pumping and medicine intake. Having important information stored in one location makes communication between parents, their nanny, babysitters, grandparents, or doctors seamless and reliable and gives new parents insight into their baby’s patterns to help with crucial baby care decisions.

Baby Say Cheese lets you create a wonderful online baby’s first year photo album with milestones such as ‘first crawl, first smile, first word’ and family tree that you can share with friends and family.  You can even send a fun, cute picture postcards of any of your baby’s milestones to anyone with an email address!

About eMail our Military, Inc.
eMail Our Military was created in 2001 as a response to the DoD’s cancellation of the “Any Service Member” and “Operation Dear Abby” mail programs. As a safe alternative, eMOM picked up where these programs left off. eMail Our Military is composed of volunteers from all walks of life who understand that regardless of our political views, our military service members deserve our respect, support & encouragement. Website visitors can join and take part in a number of support projects ranging from sending eMail on a one-on-one basis with a service member to year round support projects that are open to the public. For more information on eMail Our Military, please visit http://www.eMailOurMilitary.com

About Babble Soft, LLC
Babble Soft is based in Austin, Texas and creates products that help make the transition into parenthood babblesoft-babyeasier.  Whether you need breastfeeding support, are experiencing baby sleep issues, are expecting twins, or taking care of a premature (preemie) baby and would like to create your baby’s first year album, Babble Soft offers unique, easy-to-use Web and Mobile software solutions that improve communication between caregivers.  Babble Soft makes a great baby shower gift that you can easily send via Email to any new parent anywhere in the world!  To learn more and purchase Babble Soft applications, please visit http://www.babblesoft.com.

For more information, please contact:

Trish Forant
eMail our Military, Inc.
(786) 228-7096
Info(at)eMailOurMilitary(dot)com

Aruni Gunasegaram
Babble Soft, LLC
(512) 961-6002
aruni(at)babblesoft(dot)com                                                                                   

 

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby, baby insights, baby say cheese, baby sleep, breastfeeding, diversity, entrepreneurship, father, FYI, national holiday, parenting, twitter, working father, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

7 Tips for Successful Breastfeeding
Apr 26 2008

babytips.gifI babble about business, babies, and parenthood on this blog, so those of you who come here to read my posts on entrepreneurship but do not have babies, please forward this post to your friends and family who do have babies. For those who have babies and dabble in business, these tips might be right up your alley.  If you have babies and no interest in business, then send it on to the folks you know who are knee-deep in business and encourage them to have a baby!  To check out more baby advice, check out the baby tips category

7 Tips for Successful Breastfeeding
by Aruni Gunasegaram

My now 5 ½ year old son was born by emergency c-section making my post birth recovery time challenging because a) I was exhausted, b) he didn’t seem to sleep very much and c) I developed a breast infection.  Now a) and b) are par for the course when having a baby but c) knocked me senseless.  I didn’t want to take any more medication given that I had just come off of several after the c-section so I waited to see if the pain would go away.   When I reached the point where I would wake up from a restless sleep with tears in my eyes from the excruciating pain and I began having thoughts like “I wish I could die right now, but I can’t because I have to feed my baby,” I began a round of antibiotics.  Within a week or so I felt sane again.

Now part of the reason I contracted the breast infection was because I wasn’t breastfeeding correctly.  It took about 7 to 10 days for my milk to come in and then because of the infection probably 10 weeks for me to quit wondering how the human race survived before bottles and formula!  I ended up breastfeeding our son for about 7 months and our daughter about 9 months when it was apparent to me that we were ready to move on to the next phase of our mother/baby relationship.  Here are some tips that helped me establish a successful breastfeeding relationship with my children.

1. Mentally prepare yourself that it can take up to 8 to 12 weeks. Some insightful person…maybe a nurse or my lactation consultant, told me “Give it 8 to 12 weeks before making a decision on whether you want to quit breastfeeding.” So I told myself ‘this is a marathon, breastfeeding is important to me and my husband, and I can’t quit before 12 weeks.’ I remember saying that to myself almost every day and when I was 10 weeks into it I realized “Wow, this isn’t so bad. In fact it’s pretty darn neat!”

2. It’s OK to supplement! I know I will be chastised by the pure breastfeeding advocates for saying this, but in my opinion it is OK to supplement with formula especially if you feel something is wrong with you or your baby. I was so afraid to supplement because I was repeatedly told that supplementing was the worst thing I could do, which of course made me feel like an awful mom. But let me tell you, if you are exhausted and your baby isn’t gaining weight, it is one of the best things you can do. After feeling guilty for a week because my milk wasn’t coming in and my baby wasn’t gaining weight, and trying to survive a breast infection, I decided to supplement just a little bit and what a relief because it helped me gain my confidence back. I had more confidence when our daughter was born 2 ½ years later. I smiled at the nurses who said I shouldn’t supplement and did it anyway for the first few weeks of her life.  UPDATE: Based on a reader’s comment below, it wasn’t clear that even though we supplemented in the first several weeks, I also continued to pump.  It is so true that if you quit pumping, your body will think you need to produce less milk. So I pumped and I took time to rest a little longer to build up my milk supply and that’s why my milk came in! Supplementing is not for everyone but in my opinion the sanity and health of the mom and baby are of utmost importance!

3. Don’t be afraid to take that baby off! Some well meaning nurses told me that when the baby is finished he will fall off. They didn’t know my son. He would stay on for over an hour on each side just suckling half asleep if I let him. I remember breastfeeding sessions that would last 90 minutes which when I had to start over again in an hour and a half reduced me to tears. I believe not pulling him off when I thought he was done contributed to my getting the breast infection. With my daughter I produced so much milk that after 8 to 10 weeks I was able to take her off sometimes at 7 to 10 minutes!

4. Keep a breastfeeding log. So that you have an idea of how much time you are breastfeeding and maybe even what position you are breastfeeding in, keep a breastfeeding log. When our son was born I used a form I created in Microsoft Excel to jot down often illegible notes. Fortunately when our daughter was born, we had an alpha version of our mobile software program, Baby Insights, available. I could easily keep track of my pumping and breastfeeding schedule which helped me understand her feeding patterns and how much milk I was producing.

5. Drink plenty of water. Drinking plenty of fluids, eating well, and getting good rest is a huge contributor to successful breastfeeding. In fact a vast majority of breast milk is water. Keep a bottle of water next to you when you breastfeed.

6. Ask and/or pay for help. Whether it’s a lactation consultant, a post-partum doula, your significant other, or a friend who has breastfed before, ask for help. A good lactation consultant can give you great tips on how to get your baby to latch on and feed properly. If you can afford a post-partum doula a few hours per week, they can be a god-send with both household and breastfeeding support. Ask your spouse to help you keep the breastfeeding log, bring you water, fresh fruit, snacks, and the baby!

7. Relax. I know this is easier said than done, but I found the more relaxed I was, the more my milk flowed. Lack of sleep and stress actually reduces your body’s ability to create breast milk. And worse you may start to resent the process and maybe even your baby! Watch a funny show or movie. Take a nap. Take a leisurely walk. Chat with a friend. Or just bawl your eyes out…we all know what a stress relief that can be!

Once your milk flow is established consider donating to a Mother’s Milk Bank near you.  I donated to the Mother’s Milk Bank of Austin with my daughter and it was a wonderful feeling knowing that my milk was going to help sick and premature babies.

______

If you like this tip, you might be interested in these too:

Increasing Breast Milk Supply by Carole Hayes at Alias Tex

15 Tips for Surviving The World’s Youngest Insomniac by Rose at From the Park Bench

Why Keeping a Daily Journal Is Important for Moms and Nannies

How To Properly Swaddle A Baby 

Tips on Co-Sleeping and Ways to use a Co-sleeper

Keeping a Baby Food Journal by Neena at A Mom’s Life at NeenMachine.com

Note to new readers: these tips are based on our experiences, as well as those of our friends and readers. Please always consult with your doctor before implementing any tip that might impact the health of your baby. If you have a tip you’d like to submit please send an email to blogger at babblesoft dot com.  Please check the ‘baby tips’ category to make sure your tip (in some form or fashion) hasn’t already been posted. If it has been, feel free to comment on that post and support the tip. We also welcome respectful challenges to the tips because as is noted in our inaugural baby tip ‘everything is relative!’ We will, of course, give anyone who submits a tip we publish credit and lotsa link love!

Author: | Filed under: baby, baby advice, baby care, baby insights, baby tips, breast milk, breastfeeding, breastfeeding schedule, milk banking, nursing, pumping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Gear Daddy Video Review – Sweet!
Jan 31 2008

I’m so excited to say that the first official video of Babble Soft Applications went live today on DadLabs – Gear Daddy.  I have wanted to do a video demonstration of our applications for a long time now but I was cycling through my entrepreneurial hats so fast, that I didn’t have the time or money to do a really nice one.  So now thanks to all the cool dads at DadLabs we have our very first one and it cost me some beers was relatively free! 

Go to their site and please Digg/Stumble the post if you like it.  They are fellow entrepreneurs and the more hits/visits they get to their site the more loved they feel and more importantly the more cool advertisers they can attract.  Sitter City is their sponsor this week.  Plus they always make me laugh which is one of my 2008 goals!  If you for some reason you need even more incentive to go to their site, I’ve embedded the video below:

I also just found out that it’s on YouTube also.  So you can check it out there too:

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby insights, blogging, dad, entrepreneurship, father, Just For Fun, parenting, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Is Software Hard or Soft? Please Tell Me.
Dec 21 2007

babysleep-200w-150h.gif

I’ve seen companies doing soft launches of software products which makes me wonder what a hard launch is.  So far the main difference I’ve noticed is that the official press release about the new application or new feature doesn’t go out until after the ‘hard’ launch.  My guess is that a lot of bug fixing is going on between soft and hard launch.

So, I’m happy/thrilled/ecstatic to report that we just soft launched our new sleep and immunization recording features of Baby Insights Web!  We are still working on some development issues on Baby Insights Mobile and plan to hard launch that app in January 2008.  The mobile app is not web-based (yet) so we don’t have the luxury of a soft launch.

Babble Soft is offering FREE 3 month gift subscriptions valued at $19.95 until March 15, 2007 to anyone who discovers a software bug in our NEW Baby Sleep and Immunization features of Baby Insights Web. Gifts are transferrable!  Sign up for your FREE account today. Happy hunting!

So far the soft launch has been uneventful (i.e., no major bugs), which is nice.  Thanks go out to our development team Cressanda and especially our project manager.  I recommend them highly.  The smoothness of the soft launch is also because we don’t have thousands upon thousands hundreds upon hundreds of users yet.  I’m banking on our foray into SEO to help get us there.  I mean if the “right people” (a.k.a. target market) don’t know we exist; it’s not surprising that we don’t have thousands of users yet.  Even viral marketing takes a bunch of upfront work because you have to get to the right early adopters who have major Internet influence.  I need to figure out how to do a video and get it in YouTube.

Given the fact that over 4 million babies are born in the US each year then include Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan and other Internet savvy countries, I’m anticipating that once those new parents and nannies find out about us, the floodgates will open.  Babies and floodgates…not sure if the analogy works but I think you get the point. :-)

I’ve been spending my time the last couple of days doing website updates to reflect the new features. And I’m working on pulling the pieces together of a business plan for some potential angel investor meetings that I have scheduled for early next year.  If you know an angel investor (or you happen to be one) who likes the baby/new parent/web application/social networking space, please send them my way!  The applications we have now are only the tip of the colossal iceberg.

Now for a short SEO break:

Whether you need breastfeeding support, are excitedly following your pregnancy week by week,  are experiencing baby sleep issues, or are already under way creating your baby’s first year album, Babble Soft offers unique, easy-to-use Web and Mobile software solutions that improve communication between caregivers about baby’s and mom’s schedules.

Baby Insights helps caregivers keep track of baby’s breast & bottle feeding, sleep periods, diaper changes, medicine doses, and immunization records, as well as mom’s breastfeeding, pumping and medicine intake. Having important information stored in one location makes communication between parents, their nanny, babysitters, grandparents, or doctors seamless and reliable and gives new parents insight into their baby’s patterns to help with crucial baby care decisions. Baby Say Cheese lets you create a wonderful online baby’s first year photo album with milestones and family tree that you can share with friends and family. 

If you are interested in reading about how I cope with manage software launches, fundraising, and SEO consider subscribing to this blog’s feed.  If you are an entrepreneur, it will be worth your while…even if I crash and burn….which I won’t…because I said so, that’s why.   Now go play with your Power Rangers.  Sigh.

Author: | Filed under: baby insights, baby say cheese, baby sleep, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, fundraising, seo, sleep, software, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Jacob’s Family and Baby Insights
Dec 11 2007

To help illustrate how different people use Babble Soft web and mobile applications, we have created family user stories.   I am grateful to the families who are willing to share their time, pictures, and energy to write/edit these case studies with us! To see our other user stories please check out our Testimonial page or click on the user stories tag.

Jacob’s Family: (pdf)

jacob334x222.jpgMother:   Lea (Financial Reporting Manager)
Father:    Chris (Partner/Marketing Consultant)

Baby:   Jacob
Born:    September 2007
Place:   Newport Beach, CA

Browser Used: Mozilla Firefox v2.0.0.11
Website:  http://www.fullmixmarketing.com/



Situation

Jacob, Lea and Chris’s first child, was born via unplanned C-section after a long and arduous labor.  While in the hospital, Lea was asked to keep track of Jacob’s feeding and diaper activities using generic paper hospital forms.  She had planned on entering the information into Baby Insights, which she had already set-up prior to Jacob’s arrival.  Unfortunately the papers were lost in the shuffle between the hospital and home, so she started entering information into Baby Insights four days after Jacob was born.

Prior to leaving the hospital, Jacob’s pediatrician recommended formula supplementation as Lea was concerned about breastfeeding following the c-section.  Lea’s milk did not fully come in for over a week, and with breastfeeding, pumping and formula feeding, using Baby Insights was tremendously helpful in keeping track of Jacob’s feeding schedule and intake.  Baby Insights was also very helpful in tracking Jacob’s diaper activities.  A feature of Baby Insights that Lea wasn’t initially aware of, but came to use extensively, was medicine dose recording.  She was taking three separate pain medications to aid in her recovery from the C-section.

Lea’s Experience

The information I got from using Baby Insights was so helpful!  I really liked the fact that I could go to one place and see all of Jacob’s information at a glance. In hindsight, I wish I had bought a PDA or smart phone before Jacob was born to make entering the information easier!  Some of the benefits I gained from using Baby Insights are:

  • Since we were supplementing with formula, it helped to see how much formula versus breastfeeding time he was receiving.  It’s been fascinating to see how the two amounts have changed over time.  The Daily Summary report was beneficial as it calculated the total amount of milk we gave to Jacob.
  • It was great to see how much I was pumping to get an idea of how much he was getting at each feeding.  Knowing this helped me make decisions about how often and how much to supplement.
  • As a first time mom, managing my time throughout the day can be quite challenging.  Baby Insights helped me see how much time I was spending breastfeeding and pumping so I could better plan my day.
  • Tracking my pain medication using Baby Insights was particularly helpful during my recovery from the C-section. I was taking 3 different pain medications at varying times and being able to view my medication schedules became one of my favorite Baby Insights tools!

—End—

If you are interested in participating in your very own user story, please activate a FREE Babble Soft Account. If you find that Babble Soft applications work for you, you want to tell the world about your great experience, and you are interested in being a part of our media campaign, please email us at info at babblesoft dot com for more information and a hook-up!  :-)  We plan to do a family story every one to two months so please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested.

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby, baby care, baby insights, breastfeeding, breastfeeding schedule, pumping, user stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ah the Joys of Software Testing
Nov 16 2007

In case you haven’t heard, I am not fond of software testing.  If you want proof, just check out the following posts I wrote the last time when I had to test software.

Software Testing – DOH!!

Speaking of Software Testing

So now I’m at it again because we are about to release a new feature for Baby Insights…which is very exciting because I’ve wanted to release one of these features pretty much since we began Babble Soft.  In fact the pain we experienced from this particular issue when our son was born 5 years ago was the single driving force for creating Baby Insights.  Hint: the lack of this much needed activity (or inactivity) in our lives was often used as a means of torture back in the day.

Erin (my husband who works full time elsewhere and couldn’t help me with this particular issue) strongly suggested we do this feature with an expert in the field.  I slowly realized that given that I’m wearing a gazillion different hats, finding an expert (who is super busy but would still somehow want to partner with an unknown company) was not going to happen.  So I figured I’d do it backasswards and build something and then let an expert discover us and tweak the feature later.  Doing this violates pretty much most of what I’ve studied, been told, and read about when starting a business which is “This ain’t the Field of Dreams honey…you can’t build things and they will come.”  To them I say “Um…well…we’ll see about that!

Now for a couple of great comics from Blaugh which I discovered from a post written by Pelf on Pearl’s Interesting Observations blog.  The first is funny and it’s even funnier because I can’t fire myself for being honest about my distaste for software testing and my ‘build it they will come’ frowned upon strategy. :-) The second is funny (to me) because when you test software you are pretty much glued to your computer and dream about anything endorphin related!  But oddly enough, I don’t drink coffee.

Business Blogging Blunder

Endorphin Flow

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby insights, entrepreneurship, software, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Mom’s Best Friend and Babble Soft
Nov 7 2007

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How are the two related?  Well my company, Babble Soft, recently partnered with Mom’s Best Friend (MBF Agency), an Austin, Texas based nanny agency with offices in 5 markets in Texas, to offer their clients and nannies Babble Soft web accounts of their very own!  Yay! 

I have personally met and had great conversations with Kathy Dupuy, the founder/Owner of MBF Agency, and Jessica Sjolseth, their Marketing Director.  They are fabulous people!  They are amazing to work with and in true partner style, they are helping open doors to new opportunities for Babble Soft.

It is so nice to work with people who understand what you are trying to do and that the goal of your company is to help new parents with childcare.  As an entrepreneur with a new technology product in the brave new, online, connected world of parenting, sometimes it can take a lot of education and question answering to explain to people why someone would want to use your products/services.  This is especially true when the experienced business community tends to be comprised of older people with grown children or grandchildren who survived parenthood without the Internet. :-D

I’m sure many tech entrepreneurs before me fielded questions/comments like ‘Why would anyone need a computer at home? Why would anyone go to the Internet to get information?  Even if they went to the Internet why would they search it to find stuff?  No one will use the information on the Internet to make decisions, let alone share their pictures.  People won’t spend time on their computer at home when they have a TV just around the corner!‘  In hindsight, it kinda makes you chuckle a little, doesn’t it? ;-)

What I really enjoy about working in this industry is the genuineness of the people who are a part of it.  It’s clear from meeting with Kathy (who has 4 children) and Jessica (who has 2 children) that their goal is to provide the best childcare they can for their clients!  If you are looking for childcare and/or household help in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas or Fort Worth, check out their site.  And remember, their infant care nannies and baby nurses now have access to Baby Insights and Baby Say Cheese to help you communicate about childcare!

To view the full press release click here.  To see our growing list of fabulous partners, check out our Partner page.

About Mom’s Best Friend

Mom’s Best Friend is Austin’s most established household staffing agency. Since it was founded in 1994, Mom’s Best Friend has been referring the highest quality nannies and sitters, with only 10% of applicants making it through a detailed application, an extensive in-person interview, reference checks, CPR training, a criminal background check, and more. This commitment to quality has resulted in a “Best Nanny Service” award by the Austin Family Magazine reader’s poll on six separate occasions, including most recently in 2007. Placements range from temporary to permanent, with offices in five major Texas cities. Mom’s Best Friend is a member of the Alliance of Premier Nanny Agencies (APNA) and the International Nanny Association (INA). For more information, visit http://www.momsbestfriend.com/ or call 512.346.2229.

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby insights, baby say cheese, entrepreneurship | 1 Comment »

Is The Name of Your Product (or Blog) Working For You?
Oct 21 2007

Some of you may have noticed that we have changed the name of one of our web applications from Baby Manager to Baby Insights.  Well at least one of you noticed because she (Carole) emailed me asking me when that happened and wondering if she missed a blog post about it and I’m just now getting around to telling the name change story…

So here’s how it all went down.  For the last year or so Erin and I have been wracking our brains trying to figure out a better name for Baby Manager.  My intent when coming up with that name was to imply that the Baby IS the Manager and not that someone could actually Manage a Baby.  However, looking back, it was probably not a good idea to pick a product name when you have been operating on little to no sleep for quite some time!

The topic of changing the name came up every few weeks in our house and then whammy!  The Austin American Statesman ran an article called Gadgets for new parents can ease baby’s first month on September 22, and the reporter wrote “Austin-based Babble Soft LLC’s Web-based program Baby Manager (babies can be managed!?)…“  Ouch!

We were out that same evening on one of our not-frequent-enough date nights and of course the topic of the name came up again.  We now had proof in print for thousands to read that we needed to come up with a new name and do it asap!   I’m sure the waiter at McCormick and Schmick’s wondered if we were crazy.  Erin threw out the name Baby Insights and in that instant I knew that was it because it encompasses what our application does: helps caregivers gain insight into their baby’s patterns so they can make informed decisions about baby care!  Since we spent practically the entire dinner talking about business, I wrote off the meal as a business expense.  It’s good to be married to an entrepreneur!

After we got home, I did a quick search on the Internet and here’s what I discovered:

I wasn’t too worried because we wanted to change the name to Baby Insights with an ‘s’ at the end.  I spoke to the owner of http://www.baby-insight.com/, and he was in the process of deciding what to do next with his company.  He told me that he would let me know if he planned to sell the name.  I didn’t bother contacting the Dutch company because I don’t know how to speak or type in Dutch.  The guy who owned http://www.baby-insight.com/ said he had tried to contact the Dutch company before and they really weren’t interested in selling.

I then discovered that http://www.babyinsights.com/ was taken, but it was parked.  I dug through the domain records and found some contact information for the owner.  I sent an email and left a voice message asking them if they were planning to sell the domain.  A guy replied saying he wasn’t sure what their plans were but that he would get back to me.  After a few days had gone by, he told me they would be willing to sell for what seemed to me a very large sum of moola.  Since I have only bought domain names directly from Go Daddy or Network Solutions, my jaw dropped at the price.  I told him I was too embarrassed to even give him a counter-offer because it would be so far away from what he was asking that he’d probably laugh (or cry) right then and there if I tried.  We could build an entire web application or maybe even two small ones for that price!  I told him I would get back in touch if things changed and we got overrun by millions of paying customers at once or happened upon a ton of money, knowing full well if either of those things happened, he would probably increase the price. :-)

Fortunately, I had speculatively purchased http://www.baby-insights.com/, http://www.baby-insights.net/, and http://www.babyinsights.net/ from GoDaddy.

Add a little time pressure because we had just issued a press release on Baby Say Cheese to the intensity of the whole process and voila a new product name was born:  Baby Insights.

Now if we were AT&T, we would have spent millions of dollars coming up with the brand name Cingular only to change it back to AT&T Wireless soon thereafter.  Since we are currently bootstrapping, we don’t have the luxury of billions of dollars behind us.  Sometimes I think that’s a good thing and sometimes I think it’s a ‘how can I take this company to the next level on my piggy bank’ thing.  That’s a topic for another post.

So what do you all think of the new name?  I hope you like it!

How did you come up with your product or blog name?

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby insights, entrepreneurship | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »