Does the world need Kinship?

June 2018

The Myth Of Happily Ever After

Most of us have not seen a happy, functioning relationship up close. We measure relationship health by what we see on television or social media: a happily-ever-after highlight reel that has been heavily curated and edited. We compare it to our day to day messy lives, leaving us feeling worse and confirming our fear that something must be wrong with us. The predominantly held belief regarding committed relationships is that we are to blame if we cannot handle ourselves or our relationships, and that the “correct” way to be in a relationship should come naturally despite none of us ever being taught how.

From childhood on we have learned ways to protect ourselves, to survive even under the stress and mess of everyday life. We armor up by shutting down, numbing out, or lashing out. Our emotional defaults have been set a long time ago and most of us aren’t even aware that we have them. It’s hard to see our own patterns unless we intentionally choose to slow down and notice them. Research has empirically measured that feelings are more than just thoughts, that they evoke physiological responses in our bodies, and that most importantly they must be felt in order to be processed.

But this research isn’t taught in schools and isn’t prevalent in the broader society, and especially not in the social media primed worldview.

Where then are the tools, the help, and the knowledge that we all need in order to be successful in our relationships?

Therapy is a great option. But therapy can be expensive, time consuming, and inaccessible to many with busy lives or limited budgets. Research shows us that the average couple waits six years before seeking counseling.

Enter Kinship. Kinship is a platform built to help you solve the mystery of building and maintaining a relationship, a true life partnership, through learning and cultivating ways of relating that promote emotional health and connection in an accessible, easy to use app.

 

The Kinship App Challenge – begins now.

While it feels a little silly to be throwing down the gauntlet at myself, I know I need a deadline to work backward from or else it’ll be too easy, too convenient to let the days slip by without delivering.

The goal is simple: by the end of 2018, launch the Kinship app and validate it by signing up at least 200 paying subscribers.

  • Kinship is a mobile app that will offer its services to couples via a subscription model. Only one member of the couple pays for the subscription, meaning 1 user = 1 couple. Individuals can use a subset of features to work on themselves for free.
  • This is a part-time, weekend warrior side hustle. We still have our day jobs and children to tend to, so whatever we’re scheduling can’t come at the expense of those other priorities.
  • Budget cap of $5,000 for the entire process, meaning all other money spent must come from paying customers!

We’re going to be transparent and authentic every step of the way. The deadline is January 1st, 2019. I can’t wait.

 

A little help. A lot of talent.

Using the “inversion” concept, I ask myself how can this project fail? The answer to that is trying to do too much myself, taking on more than can be done at once, and not finding great partners to build with. Between myself (software engineer) and Jazmin (couples therapist) we have signed up two incredibly talented individuals specializing in design and data science. This fantastic four is really set up for success.

 

Questions I Asked Myself

Who is Kinship for?
Kinship is for committed partners in long term relationships. We’ve got plenty of apps for hookups, but how do you stick together (and grow together) once you’ve found the one!

What language will the app be built using?
Our first build of the mobile app will be for native iOS (and possibly Android). Our serverside code will be determined once we get going.

Are you going to code it all yourself?
Definitely not. Three of us will all work on various aspects of the codebase and application to stand it up as quickly as possible and iterate to the point where it’s really an effective tool in your relationship.

How much will it cost?
Kinship will be free for individuals and offer a paid monthly subscription for linking accounts with a partner and unlocking features designed to help your relationship.

How will you get customers?
We’re going to start with recruiting from our own social circles and plan on launching a Kickstarter campaign later in the summer. From there we’re quite confident we can hit our goal of 200 subscribed couples!

While Kinship won’t launch on the app store until later this year, everything starts now! Hit the button below to be the first to find out when our crowdfunding efforts launch. Let’s go!

 

The Journey to Build a Magic Mirror – Part 1: The Dream

This article series attempts to capture the journey from invention to completion (and beyond!) of building my family our own Magic Mirror.

I’m unsure which happened first, the need to remodel my bathroom or the desire to design and build a smart mirror in that bathroom but once both became apparent they were inextricably linked. Of course, I still had the challenge of convincing my wife that I, a computer programmer, with no woodworking background and experience to speak of, was trustworthy and capable to not screw up construction of what would become the visible centerpiece of a major, expensive remodelling job. If our family was going to spend all that money gutting and completely redo-ing our main upstairs bathroom, I better not screw up the part everyone sees front and center everytime they step inside.

Given the layout of the bathroom and our desire to go from single-sink to double-sink vanity, and there would be limited storage space, I realized that I would need to build twin recessed medicine cabinets. One would be a regular shelved medicine cabinet for storage and inside the other would sit the raspberry pi, cabling and monitor to power the Magic Mirror. This then presented a challenge of how to get electricity to the cabinet…

But first, let me show you a few pictures of the “before” so you can get a sense of the layout and what we are working with to start this renovation…