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  • Writer's pictureRachel Drapper

๐Ÿ โณ #18 | Pivot and sprint

Updated: Mar 7


Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash

TL;DR Executive Summary

  • We finished the Stanford-affiliated Galvanizer summer programme

  • We have started the UK Centre for Entrepreneurs NEF+ founders leadership programme

  • We have beta tested our tracking & timing app, to a very lukewarm reaction...

  • We are therefore pivoting! Read on to learn more

  • Customer discovery continues - we sent out 51 cold outreach Instagram messages, analysed 31 survey responses and conducted 22 customer interviews this month

  • Our survey revealed cognitive cooking tasks such as monitoring groceries and meal planning were the cooking activities couples struggled the most to share

  • Our latest beta test involves systematically uncovering you and your partner's chore preferences - comment below if you would be interested to try

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๐Ÿ“Š Statistic of the month

90% of couples Fairshare surveyed have experienced conflict or disagreement over how to share cooking responsibilities

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๐Ÿ“ข Updates This month Fairshare wrapped up with Galvanizer, the Stanford-affiliated female founders summer programme. Despite not making it through to their pitch competition final, we are very happy to have met some truly inspiring and wonderful women, who we very much hope to stay in touch with. We are also excited to have started the UK Centre for Entrepreneurs 6-month NEF+ founders leadership programme, which feels like a new and exciting chapter for Fairshare. The programme kicked off with a two day in-person bootcamp and our first Apprentice-style challenge to make ยฃ1,000 in two weeks - watch this space for what our team manage to come up with. Meeting 30 fellow aspiring (or in some cases, already highly successful) entrepreneurs was awesome, and it is lovely to have finally found a UK start-up community 10 months after returning to the UK post-MBA. I can already tell the cohort are going to do some amazing things.

We are continuing to test our tracking & timing app with beta testers, but sadly early indications suggest a lack of demand for this kind of intervention. We are therefore pivoting to a more positive product to help couples constructively divide up tasks ahead of time (rather than provide ammunition for people to berate their loved ones about chores post-factum..!). Continuing on our constant quest for feedback, we sent 51 cold outreach messages to potential users, analysed 31 survey responses to confirm that we are heading in a sensible direction, and held 22 interviews, to ensure we keep couples' needs at the forefront of the product we are developing.

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๐Ÿ”Ž Learnings from the month

Besides the tracking & timing tool, we are focusing on cooking and food-related activities, for 3 key reasons:

  1. Cooking is the most time-consuming chore

  2. There are a huge number of less visible, cognitive preparatory tasks that go into making a meal e.g., learning and recalling people's dietary requirements, researching and deciding upon meal options, ensuring ingredients are available etc.

  3. The job description drastically changes if a couple expand their family. What may have started as a leisure activity can easily transform into a daily grind, feeding multiple people, multiple times a day. If one person falls into becoming the designated meal-planner, chef, and general navigator of the kitchen, this can be difficult to change after years of practice

Of the couples we surveyed (n=31):

  • 90% have experienced conflict or disagreement over how to share cooking responsibilities

  • 81% have experienced conflict or disagreement over how to prepare or provide dinners

  • The top dinner priorities were: 1) taste and 2) health

  • The priority that caused the most conflict or disagreement was variety

Within cooking, we are looking at 13 activities within 3 buckets:

Planning: meal planning, monitoring groceries, grocery shopping, online grocery ordering, unpacking groceries, managing meal subscriptions

Cooking: food preparation, cooking

Cleaning: washing up, drying up, loading or unloading the dishwasher, wiping surfaces, cleaning appliances


When asked how they are feeling about how they and their partner share the above tasks, perhaps unsurprisingly, the cognitive tasks such as monitoring groceries and meal planning came out as the activities with the most room for improvement

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๐Ÿ’ก Current idea Trading on differences. It is extremely obvious-sounding, but speaking to hundreds of couples has confirmed beyond doubt that people don't like doing what they don't like doing, and people don't mind doing what they don't mind doing. A question from a Fairshare follower inspired our latest thinking: "Do chores have to be chores?" We think not necessarily. If we can help couples identify what chores they like and dislike, we can help optimise the distribution according to people's existing preferences. If you are interested in our latest beta test relating to systematically uncovering you and your partner's preferences, please do comment below and we will be in touch for you to try it out

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๐Ÿ“– What we are reading A bit late to the party, but we are finally reading Eric Ries' The Lean Startup

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๐Ÿฅ… Next month's goals

  1. Onboard 5 couples to the latest MVP idea

  2. Plan and prepare Fairshare's next ideation sprint

  3. Re-vamp Fairshare's landing page

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๐Ÿ”— Media links MIT Technology Review Better Life Lab Interview Harvard Business School Harbus article Dr. Allison Daminger Dispatch interview

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