The key for our next project came from two instances that happened within a week of each other.
Sitting down with Daniel and talking over a couple of beers, we started to talk about simply visual (although we didn’t have the name yet) and what we should be doing. As usual for what tends to happen in such conversations, you start talking about the great successes and ask each other, whats going to be the next big thing?
Now I don’t have a crystal ball, otherwise I – like millions of others would have invested in amazon, apple, Facebook, google & co over a decade ago. On top of that, In the mean time disruption as a word seems to be now so commoditised that I have to physically stop myself from rolling my eyes whenever I hear it now being mentioned. But disruption still happens. Every. Day. So whilst sitting down with Daniel we’re talking about this and that and I say the standard sentence, that all these things are obvious in hindsight – so what really we need to think about is the obvious. What is sitting in plain sight, what do we do every day, and just don’t see?
Ha! A simple throwaway comment in a conversation with a good friend over a beer. Nothing special, everyday occurrence, no longer thought about.
A few days later something else happened. I got into an argument with my wife. But before I go any further a few things.
First and foremost:
- I love my wife and my children to bits, have done, still do, will continue to do for all my future.
- I travel, a lot, Currently this means i’m away from home one week in two
- I’m not an easy person to live with. I have issues (alot), like everyone else.
- Somethings drive me nuts and others I simply can ignore. Even with the people closest around me.
So this particular argument, like arguments often do, began about something small, but escalated quickly.
It starts about cleaning something away, probably a throwaway remark from either my wife or me. The remark though is taken with offence and deviates into how little the other does in the house. Ending somewhere around how not enough respect is given for the amount of housework done.
Knowing I should be better, but still not able to keep my mouth shut. I repeat the stupidest sentence in worlds history.
„I do just as much as you do!”
Oh – God! No!! I didn’t just say that now out loud did I?
Its a miracle that I wasn’t thrown out onto the pavement right there and then.
Afterwards when cooler heads prevailed, I went to the kitchen whiteboard and created a list of things that are our household chores. With a simple afterhought added the days of the week to make columns. The idea was simple, if you do a household chore, add your initials to the board. So make what you do visible for the others to see. Count up the initials at the end of the day and you can see who did what, important for my wife, and who did more (a big ego thing for me.)
Then looking at the board, satisfied with such simple solution, I knew this was an ‚obvious thing’. I think lots of partnerships suffer because of what people do, or do not do around the house. A quick call to Daniel was all it took to confirm my theory. Subsequent conversations with other partners gave me a real insight to how widespread these feelings are shared.
A couple of weeks and 100 iterations later we’re getting ready to produce our first app. The name has changed repeatedly, before getting something derived from my wife. I can’t wait to show you all and hope that the understanding for what housework actually is, and who does what is finally visible for all.