Meet my grandma! She's the inspiration behind this week's idea. I'm lucky to have both of my grandmas around. I try to be with them as often as I can, and we often get to talk about some interesting stories from their life. Major world events from their perspective, embarrassing stories about my parents or just their life wisdom. Every time I talk to them I feel like once they pass away, a large part of their life story will go with them.
I wish there was a way to capture this for me and for future generations in our family.
A service that does a professional interview with a loved one.
🐣 Idea genesis
I was listening to one of my favorite podcast - My First Million (episode #154), and they talked about a service called StoryWorth. Once a week it sends a meaningful question to someone from your family and after a year they publish it as a book. I thought that’s a neat idea. Shaan from the podcast then mentioned he is planning to record a podcast episode with his mom. Not for publishing, just for keeping it in the family. That got me thinking - the audio medium is very powerful and a recorded interview is more valuable to me than a printed book.
- People want to keep a memory of their loved ones, even after they are no longer with them.
- For a long time we’ve relied on stories told in the family from generation to generation, but these lose fidelity as time goes by.
- We have pictures or family VHS, but they only capture a person on the surface.
- Asking good questions is hard - not everyone is a good interviewer (I know I’m not). It takes a lot of practice to know how to ask deeper questions.
- People don’t have the skill to edit and produce a good audio/video memory.
💵 Possible Monetization Streams
👍 What are the benefits?
- Fee per interview
- Premium packages (pick an interviewer, rent out and send a professional audio setup, video…)
🤑 Are people currently spending money on this?
- A memory that captures the person, their character, their story, their life learnings in a relatable audio/video format.
✅ What do I need to validate?
- StoryWorth charges $99 for their service.
- Saga, an app to ask and record questions for family members is planning to charge $99/year for their premium service.
🧰 How I'd validate?
- Are people ok with a stranger interviewing a family member?
- Can you design an audio setup that regular people can operate and achieve good audio quality?
- Are people going to pay for this?
🤔 How will I get first 10 customers?
- Build a portfolio - you need to have some interviews behind you so people know you are serious.
- I would learn as much as I can about becoming a good interviewer and interview my own family member and than friends family members:
- I would generate a list of questions (Saga is a good source).
- Out of those questions I’d pick a set to send in advance as prep questions.
- I would design the interview around this.
- You can also find an interviewer on a service like Fiverr (but I think learning a bit about interviews yourself is a good investment anyway).
- Build a landing page, post your demo interviews and start selling.
- By the way, here’s a cool domain that’s still available: memories.so
📈 Will it be sustainable?
- Tap into your network - friends of friends.
- Become active in forums related to genealogy (ie. r/genealogy).
- Start conversations with people following genealogy companies like @myheritage.
- Communicate this as a gift for birthdays and holidays.
👉 Am I the person to build this business?
- If you can validate this, and prove you can pull of the technical execution, yes.
- You can expand this into video recordings later on.
- You can expand into other languages (e.g. Spanish)
- You can offer the choice of interviewers as an add-on etc.
- If you are good at asking questions and you are comfortable to conducting an interview with a perfect stranger.
- If you are interested in people’s life stories.