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Q&A with Charlotte Startup: Podanize

If coordinating your children’s calendar with other parents often feels like a mammoth task, then Podanize is the app for you. Developed by Charlotte-based parents Nikki and Steven Sacks, the program prides itself in being a “powerfully simple way for you to manage kids’ activities.” Wheel Media chatted with them about their challenges and success as a startup; read more below:

Podanize is an app that helps parents coordinate their children’s schedules with other parents. Can you tell us a little bit about how this idea was borne?

We’ve always been frustrated with the limitations of using email when trying to keep a group organized.  It’s difficult to keep track of multiple topics of conversation and annoying to search through email to find one small piece of information you need for an upcoming event.

We have young kids who were just starting to be involved in kids’ group activities, such as soccer, tennis and their school classes. We realized our frustrations were only going to get worse by having to keep on top of more groups, and in talking to other parents we quickly confirmed this was a pain point for them as well.  So we set out to find a new method of managing a group.  We used our experience in online product development to create a website that helps moms, dads and group leaders easily manage all the groups their kids are in.

For many entrepreneurs, it can be a challenge to turn concepts into realities. Do you have any words of wisdom?
Ask, ask, ask.  We have found that people really like to share their opinions, and while we may have already thought about much of the feedback we get, it is helpful to have it reinforced, and there are sometimes new nuggets that help us to continually improve the product. Most importantly, don’t be defensive when receiving criticism – the best feedback can sometimes be negative feedback.  If someone is engaged enough with your product to give you negative feedback it’s probably an opinion that is worth listening to and it may make your product better.
Also, we suggest that you get feedback on exactly how the product works, not just on the overall concept. Bring forth specific ideas, whether you love them or not, and get a reaction.  People react to hearing specifics by providing specifics back. Having these perspectives early in the planning stages allows you to achieve a better product than you would otherwise.

What is the most valuable thing that you have learned through this process?
We’ve learned that parents have strong opinions on the entire process of managing kids’ activities, and we need to listen closely to ensure Podanize is meeting their specific needs.

Can you tell us a little bit about the greatest challenge you’ve experienced as a startup?
Our greatest challenge is one of the most common challenges for startups – not having enough time. We have so many ideas and so much we want to do in terms of our product, marketing and partnerships, and the challenge is prioritizing what to work on first.

If you could pass on one nugget of advice to fellow entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Driving the business forward yourself is only slightly more important than getting others to collaborate with you on building the business.

Thanks for the insights, Podanize! And thanks for checking out this Charlotte startup. Are you an innovative and inspiring startup, small business, or nonprofit in Charlotte with an experience to tell? Then please get in touch with Wheel Media to tell your story; we’d love to share it with our readers!

Categories: Charlotte News , Featured , Startups


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