This week we are chatting to Ari Last…dad to Zeb (6), Thea (3) and Ethan (1) and Co-Founder of Bubble Babysitting App. Ari’s mission is to make parents’ lives easier by building the world's safest and smartest childcare platform. We are big Bubble fans at Mum’s the Word because it is such a brilliant way to connect to the best, most trusted babysitters around. Bubble started over a paper cup of coffee somewhere in central London when two new Dads realised they had the same problem as every other parent – rediscovering some kind of social life and now has over 80,000 users and was voted by Apple as ‘App of the Year’. Impressive stuff. Take a read of our blog to find out how Ari is building his business whilst raising three little ones…
What time did you wake up this morning?
What was your very first thought of the day?
Did all three of my kids sleep through? It never happens, but we live in hope!
What are your 3 essentials for getting up, out and at 'em?
These all get infinitely harder when you’ve got little kids in the house, and I confess there are periods of time when I’m not doing any of them, but the benefits in my experience are really great.
1. Get a good night sleep
2. Exercise first thing
3. Don’t check your phone till you’re dressed and ready for the day – preferably keep it outside of the room at night. It was a New Year’s resolution of mine and I can’t recommend it enough.
Describe a typical working morning?
I’m lucky that my working morning starts with taking my 6-year old to school on the way to the office. Once I’m in, the first thing I tend to do is go through our numbers from the day before and see how we’re tracking. As a start-up you never get time to rest on your laurels and sometimes it feels as though you are only as good as the previous day. I’ll also check in with our customer support team to see if there are any issues that have arisen which need discussing. We place a massive emphasis on customer service. We know what we do matters and is hugely important to the people using the service, so their happiness is always front of mind.
Why did you decide to set up your business?
After having my first child it hit me quickly just how much of a problem access to childcare was for me and millions of other parents. I thought it was crazy how under-served we were in solving what was such a major issue for us, and I felt strongly that we could build a service that offered real value. What we do has a hugely positive impact on the lives of our customers and that makes us proud and also really determined to reach many more people and constantly improve what we do.
What's the best part of your job?
Getting great feedback from parents and sitters who use the service. Hearing how we’re helping them and having an impact on their lives give us a great feeling and inspires us to work harder.
#1 tip for juggling work and family life?
Get good at switching off and being present in the moment. Too many times I’d be spending time with my kids but checking emails at the same time, and in that scenario everyone suffers. I’ve been trying much harder to properly switch off during family time. Even if it’s for 1 hour during bath/bed time – properly switching off in those moments is important.
The happiest moment in your day?
When I make it home in time to put the kids to bed. Starting a business is hard and stressful and there are days when things go wrong and you feel like the world’s going against you. You need perspective and my kids give me that better than anything else.
The hardest moment in your day?
Thankfully it doesn’t happen often, but hearing from a customer that they’ve been let down in some way by the service really really hurts.
Most overused word of the day?
I’ll choose a phrase if that’s OK. “We’re working on it”. As a startup there is a never-ending list of things we want to do for our customers, and it’s great when they get in touch to ask us for new features or certain improvements. Prioritising these smartly whilst resources are tight is a constant challenge.
Once the kids are in bed I...
Tend to cook dinner. I love spending time in the kitchen and find cooking to be a real stress-release. We’ll try our best to spend a couple of hours together eating and catching up and I’ll usually go back to work for a bit at 10pm.
Best piece of advice for fellow Parents...
Teach your kids to pour their own cereal and set their breakfast stuff up the night before – it’s a game changer.