We put together a slideshow that gives you a peek inside our iPhone app.
So we flipped the switch on RedRover last Friday night. It was a big moment for many reasons not the least of which was that I was in the operating room at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary with my daughter Loulou as she was about to undergo adenoid surgery. My daughter is one of the two great loves of my life (the other being Henry, my son). She is a gift to me and every day she brings me a joy I’d never known before her birth.
I was in scrubs, holding her little six-year-old hand as we sat in the waiting room to be summoned in. My team, meanwhile, was in our office by City Hall, doing last looks on the beta version of the product we’d been working on for months. We knew there were bugs and that the beauty of software is in the dynamism, in the iteration, in the feedback and the constant improvement. We understood this and knew we were in for a rough ride, but the moment had come.
The nurse came to get us. As we were walking down the hall my iPhone buzzed in my back pocket. “We are live,” said the text from my CTO Vineel Shah. We pushed through the big double doors of the OR. I helped Loulou up on the operating table. As they were giving her the laughing gas, she stopped them to clarify that she preferred purple to pink, as a rule.
Watching your child go under general anesthetic is one of the scariest feelings on earth. In fact, there may not be a more helpless feeling. She is so small and so sweet. And she was just taking the day as it came. She was like, okay this surgery is going to help me and I’m open to seeing what’s going on at every turn.
When she was under, I was asked to leave the room. Even in the most routine surgery, I’m sure every parent asks (however irrationally) if that’s the last time they’ll see their child alive and are they making the biggest mistake in his or her life by leaving.
She made it through in the brave and beautiful way that is her.
In the recovery room as she was coming to, I was seated next to her, holding cherry jello (her favorite) for when she was ready for it. She looked over at me and saw that I was pretty much a wreck. We started talking.
I told her, “You know what? RedRover launched today.”
She said, “That’s good. Why do you look so worried?”
I didn’t answer, feeling all the weight of the day and the task and so much love for this little person.
She reached over and patted my hand and said, “Don’t worry, Mom. It’s going be great,” in that preternaturally adult way she sometimes speaks. My heart swelled up and I cry-laughed, because she is amazing and it is all about her.
As a working mom of two, I was overwhelmed by the challenge of coordinating all our schedules. I found myself making mistake after mistake — endless email threads I couldn’t keep up with, unreturned calls, scheduling mix-ups, missed opportunities, hurt feelings.
There had to be a better way.
What if I could know where my friends are and where they plan to be, and make plans with them on the fly without emailing or calling? What if I could have some quick, fun, private conversations? What if I could know the best kid-friendly places and activities near me wherever I am? Is there anything I could do to make my kids safer?
And what if I could have all this on my phone?
So, here’s what I did. I started RedRover. I put together a team (mostly parents) who wanted the same tool for themselves. We designed RedRover for the iPhone and the web (and coming to other phones soon). This is our first version. My team and I are thrilled to share it. We hope that RedRover improves your and your kids’ lives in little ways every day just as it has ours.
Like I said, this is the first version, so it’s going to have bugs, there may be hiccups, and it will certainly behave erratically sometimes (just like kids!). We apologize in advance and thank you for your patience.
P.S. We’d love to know what you think. Please send us your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.