Let’s meet Startup, DieHappy:
In a few sentences, tell us what your start-up is all about!:
DieHappy is a private social media app that is centered around your most important people. DieHappy enables you to quickly make plans with friends and family through an easy to use date polling feature that syncs to your calendar! With easy group messaging capabilities, all of your planning is stored in one spot. Once those plans are in action, users can privately share photos with whomever they choose and participants can all upload photos into one, central location! (And delete them off your phone – yay for more storage!)
The end result is a timeline of your life’s moments, that also includes advance notifications of important dates such as birthdays, anniversaries or even custom dates such as the passing of a parent. Gone are the days of disparate text strings with photos and plan making conversations. Plan it. Do it. Share it.
When was your startup founded? And what stage is your startup currently at?:
DieHappy was started in early 2016 and launched into public beta in July of 2016 and quickly grew to almost 3,000 users. We are officially in the App Store!
Let us know a bit about your team, who are the key team members and what is their role?:
Shawn is our Founder and CEO and DieHappy is his 2nd start up. He started his first one in 2000, Snagajob, and grew it to over 300 employees, won a number of awards (National Small Business Person of the Year, #1 Best Small Company to Work For in 2011 by Fortune and the GPTW and on list for 8 straight years, D&T Fast 500 for 5 straight years, raised $50m+ in venture capital funding, etc.).
Nick Jester is our VP of Product and a former Snagajob employee who spent over 10 years in various Product Management roles.
Marissa Beatty is Head of UX and responsible for how the app flows and looks.
The team is rounded out by four brilliant and fun engineers…two Dans, a Dallas and Ryan!
If applicable, what is your growth like? And what milestones has your startup achieved so far?:
We have experienced consistent growth and are very excited about the niche we are in. We have facilitated the sharing over 50,000 photos!
Why did you choose this particular idea and concept to build your start-up on?:
So, rewind the clock to about 11 years ago – December of 2004. I was planning goals for 2005, and I was 4.5 years into running a company I started called Snagajob. And, for all of you who have had any involvement with a start-up, you know it’s all consuming. It was somewhat of the typical story where I’d bootstrapped it with my own savings, credit cards maxed out, parents ended up putting in basically their entire life savings, college friends, sister, uncle, aunt, friends of friends, etc. etc. As is often said – it’s one thing to lose your own money; it’s a whole other thing to lose someone else’s. Especially when that’s your family and friends (or who at least you hope are still your friends!).
Net/net, I felt overwhelmed with making Snagajob successful. It just had to be. Not just for me but for all of the people who had invested in it. And, who worked there.
As a result, of feeling overwhelmed, I was pouring every ounce of time and energy I had into Snagajob. And, I had nothing left for any other areas of life. Fortunately, I wasn’t married at the time and didn’t have kids (no time for that!). But, because of that, I felt very off-center. I knew other areas of my life were suffering. I wasn’t in contact with my friends. I didn’t make time to do things with family (I didn’t even go to my childhood best friend’s mom’s funeral because I was “too busy”). I had pretty much become one dimensional. And, I felt it. So, as I sat there getting ready to plan my 2005 goals, my theme for that year was going to be “Balance”.
I broke my goals into 2 buckets: “Personal” and “Snagajob”. I started cranking on my Snagajob goals first. I had several pages of them. I then did my Personal goals, and I had about a paragraph. Then, the irony of it him me that my theme was “Balance” and yet I had boiled my life down into 2 buckets, seemingly making Work just as important as every other area of my life combined. And, in this case, the work bucket was much bigger (and thus more important!), and I was a heck of a lot more intentional about it! That obviously didn’t seem to work.
So, I started reading everything I could on living more intentionally and in a more balanced way, and I started planning for the most important areas of life to me and the people who were most important to me in a much more intentional and fun way.
I got married in September of 2006 and started doing this same “planning and living” with my wife; much to her chagrin I think at first, but now she really likes it (I think at least…:)). Life started to get more complicated and busy (and a lot more fun) when we had our first child in December of 2007, then our second in 2010 and our third in 2012.
And, as things got busier on the homefront and at work, I found it even more important (and a heck of a lot harder) to be planning for the life I wanted because when I wasn’t doing that, I was just “reacting” to whatever was finding its way onto my calendar. We had grown Snagajob from about 15 people in ‘04 when I first started doing this to over 300 people in 2012. We had taken on several different vc rounds and things were busy at work. Very busy.
In 2013, I went through a big transition at work. I transitioned out of the CEO role and into just a board role. I stayed through the end of the year for a transition, but I started to think about what was next. By the beginning of 2014, I started to manically focus on what I wanted the next 5 years of my life to look like. Specifically, I focused on near-term for 2014, as I was going to take that year pretty much “off” and just spend with family.
As I was doing that, I wanted to find a more robust and efficient way to plan for and live my ideal life. Something that wasn’t as manual as what I was doing now – putting ideas and plans/goals into Google docs, needing to then put them into my calendar, remembering to come back at the end of a month and checking things off, remembering to share certain ones with other people who I needed to share them with, etc. And, I wanted to see new ideas – what were other people doing to live this way? And, ideas of things they were doing in these various “buckets of life.”
So, I started searching for tools to help me do that. But, none totally hit the mark for me.
By the end of 2014, I had started to work on a prototype of what this could look like. What I wished it could do. I started meeting with a ton of other people and picking their brains about what they wish they had to help them live that ideal life for them. And, by March of 2015, Nick Jester joined me as the first full-time team member, and away we went working on the beta. At this point, it’s evolved quite a bit from that initial idea. Maintaining that initial core idea but hopefully improving upon it a lot based on our learnings.
So, the point of DieHappy is to help people live a life they love – whatever that looks like to them. One that’s Intentional. Balanced. Fulfilling. And, a heck of a lot of fun. So that they live happy. And die happy.
Do you have any customer feedback on your product and/or service that you could share?:
Here are a few snippets from our App Store Reviews!
“This is a social app for real life.” –DaveNYC344
“A perfect app to share photos and moments with exactly the right people.” –Ticasa14
“I love to use the planning functionality so it keeps all the back and forth about an upcoming event in one place…” –Tnelson2005
Are you looking for funding or are you open to partnership opportunities, and if so, what’s the best way for people to get in contact with you?:
Yes we are open to any partnerships that fuel the growth of our company and mission! The best way to reach is us via email – [email protected]
Finally, do you have any other comments or information about your product that you would like to add?:
We hope you download it, use it and love it! Like anything new, it needs to become a part of your routine. We promise that once you start using it, you won’t want to stop!
Social Media Profiles: