Launching an app to develop your business is a monumental step. Amanda Ducach shares how she and her husband answered the call of a worried mother to give her free resources on their app Social Mama. Amanda takes us through bringing her workforce home due to covid, building boundaries between work and family life, and finding help to achieve her goals.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN LAUNCHING AN APP
When launching an app, there are many things to consider. Listen to episode five as Amanda shares the things she has learned along the way.
- Growing an app from start-up to Forbes in two years
- An app that brings women all over the country together to celebrate and connect through motherhood
- Being present in the moment, while it is happening
- Doing things that make sense, not just because you’ve always done it
Resources and links mentioned during this episode:
Call Me CEO Amanda Ducach
Camille Walker, Amanda Ducach
Camille Walker 00:00
I get it. You have everything pulling at you right now. And the one that pulls at you the most is your child wanting to spend time with you, but not wanting to play another round of among us or Pokemon. Well, that's why I created the time for us journals. They are a prompt journal meant for kids ages two to 12. For you to spend time with your child on something that really matters. You talk about the day ways that they've been creative, a unique prompt and even a special way to be creative together. And guess what? It only takes focused five to 10 minutes a day for your child to really feel like you see them and that they matter. And it frees you up to do the things that you need to get done, as well. Use the code CEO at timeforusjournals.com as a special thanks for me to you. Thank you for listening.
Welcome back, everyone to Call Me CEO. I am your host, Camille Walker, and I couldn't be more excited about today's episode. We are speaking with Amanda Ducach, who has created the app social mama that connects women and mothers all over the world looking for solutions from professionals and friendships. Social Mama was released in May of 2019, has already had a 20% growth engagement month after month with 40,000 downloads, and has been featured on Forbes. Pretty incredible, right? So how did she do it? Well, let me tell you, she tells us everything from pivoting during the pandemic and now working at home with her four year old son, as well as getting venture capitalists to believe in her vision. She dishes it all let's dive in.
So you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice? How do women do it, that handle motherhood family and still chase after those dreams? Well, listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know this is Call Me CEO. Welcome, everyone. I am so excited because today we have Amanda Ducach here with us from Social Mama, a new app that is released to connect women all over the world and connect you with experts, teachers, advisors, advisors and friends to help you get through this life as a mother the most beautiful way you know how So Amanda, thank you so much for being here today. I am so excited to meet you.
Amanda Ducach 02:31
Me Too. I�m so excited. And congrats on the launch of the podcast. It's awesome.
Camille Walker 02:35
Thank you so much.
Amanda Ducach 02:37
So much fun. It's such a joy to be with other moms and women that understand that it's just you know, you, you need a lot of us in your circle. It's why the app exists.
Camille Walker 02:48
I agree. I feel like our missions are very similar when I was reading what you're all about talking about supporting women that are working from home or outside of the home, and how we can create an environment where you can be an amazing mother. And also do things that fill you up and also bring in income like you can do both. So you can't have that so much. And I feel like our audience is going to love everything you have to say. So let's dive in and introduce yourself. Tell us about who you are your children where you live where you grew up. Let's just dig right in.
Amanda Ducach 03:22
Yeah, so I Well, thank you for having me. And so I was born in New York City raised in Boston almost my whole life. I was born to an immigrant father from Argentina. And then as American pie of a mom as you can find. So I was really lucky growing up. Because we had two religions in the household to ethnicities, it was a really great way to grow up. Because I think I was aware at a really young age that the more people that you could collect in your life from different ways of life, different places, would really allow you to see the world in such a brighter way. And it's ironic that now I have a product that brings in literally matches women together from all over the world that you maybe wouldn't think to be friends with just because it didn't look like the girl that was sitting next to you at the lunch table when you were growing up. So I was really lucky that my upbringing allowed us to see the world and my parents were huge travelers. So we went all over the world. And it was really a great adventure growing up. So Truthfully, I had the perfect upbringing. But then I met my husband in grad school, who's actually the CTO of our app as well. He's a technologist. And we moved all over the country after we got our master's degree. And then we ended up in Houston, Texas, which is where we live now. And it's where social mama app is headquartered here in Texas. And we have one son, his name is Leo and he's four years old. And we're just, you know, love in life. And we work a lot because that's kind of the nature of having a tech startup on. So really, other than work and time with my family. That's pretty much what what we do every day. So
Camille Walker 05:02
That's wonderful. And I have a four year old right now, it is the best. I feel like they're the best age. But they're also they can be a little they test your patience, right? So I know, you know, you said you work from home. So how do you balance time with Leo and creating space where he his needs are met, but you're able to also get your work done? What are some tips that you have for that?
Amanda Ducach 05:27
Yeah, so so ironically, this is one of the most asked requests I have to speak on is about balance as if, because I own a mom app, I know more about balance, which I don't, I think it all really comes from my experiences of working mom, which is why I think you were asking, and I did not work from home before the pandemic, we actually went remote posts the pandemic. So my company is out of a startup hub in downtown Houston. So we have desks that rotate, my whole team would come in and out. Now granted, a lot of our team is remote or is all over the country. Some of them are in India, some of our developers. So we were already set up for remote work when the pandemic hit. And now, which I'm sure you can imagine, a lot of the team, especially the millennial females that are on the team really love working from home and would like us to continue. So we have made the decision as a company that we are going to stay at least 50% remote forever or as long as we can sustain it while still hitting the same KPIs but But truly, that's what ended up happening was the company was exceeding the monthly KPIs which sorry, which are key performance indicators. For anyone who's listening who's not familiar with that term. It's like the company goals. And we were still exceeding them month over month, I said to the team, you know, if this is working, if you all like this, certainly, as a mother, you have better balance, because you can throw a load of laundry in during the day, you don't have to just cook in a crock pot, because you're in your house, you can spend your lunch break, you know, prepping the pot roast, or the Tikka Masala or whatever you're making that night. So I do think that working from home is is one of the ways that I managed to balance it as it definitely has made my life a bit easier to be honest, it also adds stressors. So one of the things that we did was, we really created workspaces in the home. So my husband, who's also now working at home, and that happened to him after the pandemic. And he also is planning on keeping his job somewhat remote, for probably forever. Now, he has a dedicated area in our bedroom, we actually put another office space, and then I put an office space into the guest room. And then my son has his own space in his room. And we are fortunate enough that we do have a sitter that's with us 40 hours a week that does help because truthfully, it would be really hard to run the business and have him home. So I say I have so much empathy for all of the moms who did not have helped throughout COVID. I don't understand how you're doing it. But I'm impressed by all of you. So
Camille Walker 07:59
because I think it is that facade that so often we see or we don't really know the details of what it takes to get there even to say I have a babysitter like that alone is something that sometimes will not be shared, you know, and that.
Amanda Ducach 08:12
But it's true. Like even even for me like I have my own my own self conscious behavior. So like, she's, she's a nanny, she's been with us since he was six months old. Like he calls her as nanny. She's a part of the family. We love her. And like but like when I do interviews, I call her a babysitter because I'm always worried that people are gonna think that like, a nanny sounds pretentious, or it sounds like we have more than we'd like. So it's funny that like, but like, why aren't we just more honest about it? Like, I'm honest, that it's a privilege that I can have that but also like, we don't i don't go out and buy Gucci I have a sitter like it's a different choice that you make. So yeah, not that I can afford a ton of Gucci either. Don't get me wrong, but like, you know, it's funny how we all do that. I think it's finding those little things that allow you to maintain sanity to be able to work from home. But really, like when it comes to balance, like I always tell everybody there, there is no real work life balance. I think what it's about is being present in the moment with what you're doing in the moment. So some days, I'm not as good of a mom and other days, I'm not as good, not as good as a CEO. But what I try to do is like when I'm in company mode, I try to really hyper focus and be just focused on company mode. And then when I'm with my son, I try really hard to not look at my phone and mind you I have a platform that's living in my hand 24 seven, so I'm not distracted by email or Instagram or push notifications, I'm distracted by my own product that's living where women are talking and I could be getting constant feedback. So it is hard sometimes but I think it's about staying in the moment when you're in the moment so and and letting go with a mom guilt. Oh, my God, we have to stop getting like, let go of the guilt. Like it's okay. If you weren't the best mom. It's okay. If you weren't the best boss or the best sister that day. Just do the best that you can keep your sanity, because it's hard. It's hard. It is. And I love that you say that about being present in the moment. Because truly, that's where we can, if we're investing our whole self in that moment, that will make up the difference when we do need to take some time away and focus on the business, which I think is really, I totally get that life of having the business right in your hand. And it's a constant.
Camille Walker 10:23
I mean, with social media today, even if you're not running a business that way, which I have been for years, it is it's really easy to get distracted or to want to even zone out for a minute. So
Amanda Ducach 10:36
especially with push notifications, like I mean, don't get that as an influencer. And I get that as an app owner, Push Notifications are meant to drive you into a product when you're not in there. So yeah, psychologically, they exist in this world to pull us in when we're not there. So it's so important that we just, you know, keep in mind and what we do on Saturdays, it's super simple. But on Saturdays, my husband puts the airplane mode, it's not your plan, it's like Do Not Disturb. It's that little moon that's in the settings of iPhone, I don't even know what it is to be honest. But he puts that on Saturdays until 4pm. So Saturdays, like I, I'm very hard to reach on a Saturday because that is our day to just be a family. And until 4pm, we don't really exist on Saturdays.
Camille Walker 11:17
Good. I love that. That's a hard, fast rule. And I think that's what it comes down to a lot of times is deciding what those hard, fast rules are for you, and setting those boundaries because that will then free you up to be more present where you say, No, I have that dedicated time. And I'm here to focus. So that 100% advice. I also love that you said that you allow yourself to have a babysitter and to use access to resources that are available to you and to not feel guilty about that. And that you worked it out so that you have your zones you have your time. It sounds like they asked you for a reason why you have a balance because it sounds like you've worked out some systems that work.
Amanda Ducach 11:58
Yeah, we've we've worked really hard to make it work, we were lucky enough that we had a small company before we started the tech startup. So I think we were able to build up a little bit slower because we had a smaller company before but but truly like, it's about weighing out your options. And we talked about this on the app a lot with moms that especially during COVID that can't afford full time sitters, and we're by no means super wealthy people, it's just we know that having a sitter is incredibly important to our family nucleolus working well. So it's one of the things that we we do and then we don't eat out as much or whatever else. But one thing we talked about is like you can be creative to help you find that balance. Like maybe it's that your husband, if you have a partner, maybe they get somewhat of an alternate schedule, and then you block your time, maybe you find a neighbor who can be in your little in your COVID pod. And on Monday, she has both kids and then on Tuesday, you have both kids. So there is a lot of creative ways you can do it, you just have to really take a step back and try to figure it out. And also shed shed this stuff that you're doing that you just don't need to do. It's amazing the things that we do week after week that we just keep doing because we've been doing them where they're not really adding anymore, or they just don't need to be done. And that's just you know, that's in motherhood in general, not just in work. I think we do
Camille Walker 13:15
have some examples of that for you that you I really, yeah, no, I those are the things I love to hear. Because I think I can see you're thinking of something specific. So what is that?
Amanda Ducach 13:27
Well, like so. So my husband grew up in India, and he grew up in a family that showered every morning and every evening. Like that's what they they didn't get in or out of the bed if they were not super, super clean. And that's very important. Like we believe in hygiene. But we were giving our son a bath every morning and every evening. And it took it was a lot of time. It was like two hours. And finally we sat down together. And I was like do we really need to do a bath twice a day for a two year old that's staying in the house, like during a pandemic This is that it just doesn't make sense. So those kind of things. And then I really, I really love to cook and we believe in healthy eating, and I enjoy cooking. But I definitely learned that I can cut down the meals from a prep perspective, like there is a lot of things that exist that are not highly processed that I could make my cooking time instead of an hour and a half, like 20 or 30 minutes every day. And that's been a big savings for me with time as well. Both of those things.
Camille Walker 14:27
Oh, I love that. Isn't that interesting? I had never heard of that cultural practice before of the morning and evening bath. I think I used to bathe my firstborn way more than I did my younger children. I have four children. And let me tell you I some days I'm like, oh has it? Are we getting closer to a week truly like that? It's so embarrassing to say. But I think that's normal. Yeah. And I think it just you know, but looking at those things and saying, Okay, what are some things that we can do to cut out extra so that's what that's
Amanda Ducach 14:59
non negotiable. like brushing your teeth has to happen every day or you, you at least want to make the intention to like, let your kids know that something that we know needs to be a daily practice. Like if we've been hanging out in the house all day and it's raining and nobody really was out like, do we really need a shower chair? Could we wait till tomorrow morning and get in that last 20 minutes of a family movie together? instead of stopping to go take a shower? What's more important, the family unit time or finishing up? You know, work deadline? Or is it getting in that extra shower that could happen at 6am the next day? So it's knowing the difference, I think between those non negotiables. And those things we just do out of habit. It's so funny how we do things like that.
Camille Walker 15:37
Yes, thank you so much for sharing that. I really appreciate that the non negotiables. So let's talk about your app a little bit. You had mentioned that you had a business beforehand. Did that feed into starting the app that you have now? Or was that totally different? What How did that come to pass?
Amanda Ducach 15:53
Yeah, so it it's actually still in existence. It's I call it a mom and pop I probably shouldn't, because we've worked with enterprise level companies. But But really, it is a mom and pop. It's a small organization. And it's a technology consulting firm. So we we just help enterprise level companies fulfill technical projects that they don't have in house talent for, it's called edge tech. It's small, it's mainly my husband and I and a couple other people that run it together. So it's still in existence. It's kind of like one of those well oiled machines that runs itself with within reason, of course, there's still a lot of administration, things that need to happen. But I think it helped because we learn to, to really live in risk. I tell people all the time that I think the only difference between an entrepreneur, and somebody that just has a good idea is that you're willing to focus on that one idea and live in risk. Like it's really either you're willing to mitigate the risk or you're not like and it tends to be two different camps of people. And I think we got used to living in those highs and lows of entrepreneurship, like in the morning, you're so high, and in the evening, you're so low, and then the next day, you're high again, like it's this crazy roller coaster. And really, it's what shocked me the most about entrepreneurship with the first organization or, you know, the second wall was social Mama. So it's it prepped us to believe in the project and stay hyper focused on the project and to go through those moments of risk and hope that you have success in the end. And and they don't all succeed. But I think we all leave with learning lessons that will prepare us to get to the next phase so that it is risky. So if you have if you have bills, and you have no other way to make income, like you have to be creative, don't just go quit your full time gig if you don't have a plan and process because it is risky. And it takes much longer than you normally think and not all businesses make sense for you know, raising outside capital. So I mean, you really have to get those those ducks in a row before I think you make the decision of can you handle the risk or not? So
Camille Walker 18:00
that there was a lot of good advice packed into what you just said, What do you think was one of your best lessons learned from the biggest mistake with your first business that you took into this one.
Amanda Ducach 18:12
So we and I've publicly talked about this before, I'm sure my my lawyer hates me. But we actually went through a lawsuit with the first company. And it was because we like my truly my and I don't say this to to make us sound like good people. But we really do believe in the in a moral compass of you do to others what you want back to you in life. So but sometimes, as a business owner, you can't do that. Like you can't just trust people, because you want to do what you think in your gut is the right thing, because the company has to be protected, the employees have to be protected. And truly, we were trying to help somebody that needed the help. And we helped her and it put the company in a little bit of risk. And we ended up going through a small lawsuit in the end. But it was an incredible learning lesson that there's some risk, I think that you can take in your personal life in your personal relationships that you can't do with a business because there's because you're you're protecting an entire ship of people, not just yourself when you have a business. And it's important to keep that in mind. And I do think that everything from going through the legal process to learning about you know, what is that line of when you can help somebody we have to say, okay, like we can't cross this line to help you even though it's morally the right thing to do, we have to take a step back and find another way to help you if that makes sense. And I do think like we learned so much during that process that really will help protect a company that's going to be at scale, hopefully, you know, with millions and millions of users and 1000s and 1000s of employees one day where a mistake at that, at that size would be a much bigger mistake than when it was just my husband and I were two employees. It was such a small thing then. So it was just a big learning lesson for me around you know, when helping people can put yourself at risk. When you need to draw that line, and that's it, it's tough to learn that. But that's I tell people time that that's what my 20s were for learning more when to trust people learning more when to help people, you know, like learning where to where to mitigate risk, I guess is really the theory just where to mitigate risk?
Camille Walker 20:18
Yes. Okay. I think that is fantastic advice. What would you say, for getting a lawyer involved? When do you think is a good time to start to get legal help and advice and all of the things
Amanda Ducach 20:32
right away, truthfully, but but here's the thing we go has lots of different payment structures. There's lots of different types of lawyers, there's lots of different stages, when you need lawyers and different types of lawyers, you have to be really, really smart about the payment agreement between you and a lawyer. I've had several for both companies for different things, like patent lawyers are different from startup lawyers, which are different from I've never had a prosecution lawyer. But of course, you know, we all know prosecution lawyers are different. So I think it's more about you understanding, what kind of lawyer Do I need right now? Is this something I can get free advice around? Or is it something that doesn't offer free advice, and then really making sure you work with the lawyer upfront around that payment structure, because you want all that in writing ahead of time, because lawyers are notorious for hitting you after with bills that are, you know, 345 $800 an hour, and you can get all that kind of figured out ahead of time. And really, I had to learn that the hard way to I definitely got some bills, we didn't expect to figure that out. So
Camille Walker 21:33
my husband actually works at a law firm. He's not a lawyer, he's an executive over a law firm, and there's so much about it, I did not understand or realize, and I think even trademarking and knowing to do that and, you know, look, taking the channels, it's good to start with it in mind when you're starting out. But I love that you say, to really get it nailed down what the cost will be, because it's like medical bills. It's like you think it's done? And then No, you have a surprise waiting for
Amanda Ducach 22:01
you. So you can have a surprise with the bill. But also, you can have the reverse of that, where if you didn't bring on a lawyer, the problems you could have in the end weren't worth the savings of not having a lawyer. So things like, should I be an LLC, or a C Corp? Should we patent this or not? Those are decisions that you can go to the internet for free advice. There's like Legal Zoom and stuff, you can get great lawyers that are a lot more cost effective, depending on what you need. But but I do think it's important that like, you don't just make those decisions willy nilly. The other thing is like, a lot, especially if you're in technology, there's a lot of technology startup hubs, there's accelerators, incubators, like trying to see what's out there that can give you a mentorship circle, because there's definitely lawyer mentors as well, that will help you through that. But like definitely things like if you need to change from an LLC into a C Corp like that's, that's a lot of paperwork, in the aftermath that it would have been worth, you know, paying the 350, to have a lawyer consult you on what kind of corporate structure Do I need for what I envisioned my business to be in 10 2030 years? So do a lot of googling, figure out what you need and find a free lawyer mentor to help you figure that out? I'm sure you can find one if you search hard enough.
Camille Walker 23:11
I love that. So would you say, I think what you're saying is the message of starting with the end in mind, and having a map of where you want to end up so that you put your pieces together the foundation the right way?
Amanda Ducach 23:25
Well, especially if you're a CEO, that's going to be starting a company, whether whether it's a lifestyle business, or a scalable company, so whether it's like a small retail, you know, pop up that you want in just one city, which should be considered like a smaller lifestyle business, or whether you're looking to build scalable tech, I think that you need to decide on day one, you need to figure out your What if like, what if we were all over the world? Do I want it to be all over the world? How would that change my family life? How would that change? You know, the legal liabilities? Like you need to really take a step back and build that what if and see what you want your company to be in 20 years? And is that what you want to build? Is that what you want for your life? And then you can start to look at is the market saturated or not? Is this a real problem? Is this a lifestyle versus a scalable company? Does this need outside funding? Or can it just be you know, self funded, bootstrapped or just live on its own revenue? That's when you can really sit back and start to build things like the financial model and look into the lawyers. But in the beginning, it's really the the what if? And is this what you want to build in your life? Because the one thing I can tell you no matter what is that this will not be a six month project, and I think a lot of people start their own companies and organizations really thinking like this is going to be such hard work. But in a couple of years I'm going to be there but you're probably not like most things take 1020 years like the Airbnb s of the world, the Ubers of the world, which you know, those are all tech scalable things. They all took 20 You know, 1020 years before we all knew their name. So remember the seven to 10 years before we knew their name, like they were doing stuff, and none of us knew they were there. Like, it was not a one year process. So
Camille Walker 25:11
I love that that is such a good perspective. Because I think a lot of times, it's more about the marathon mindset, you know, to really put in the consistent daily grind. And is it? Is it worth it? You know? Are you ready to take that on? So with Social Mama, what was your vision? And how did you get how did you get to that place of knowing that that was your vision, this is what you wanted, and tell us more about how it works.
Amanda Ducach 25:35
So we, it wasn't something and it's amazing, I think the the people that go to school for entrepreneurship, and they're always looking for their big idea, and they know that like this is what they want. And in the industry, that's great, but that that was not what it was for my husband and I at all like our other company was doing. Well, he was he was a technologist. It was a logical thing. He was a contractor himself, and he decided he wanted to have his own company. So we could contractor himself and he was doing well. And I had a really great job in luxury hotels and sales and marketing. But really like we got a phone call in the middle of the night. And it was our best friend who was hysterically crying in an emergency room sitting next to her child who received a new medical diagnosis. And she really needed support and friendship. And we just had the idea that if we could just match her with moms that were compatible, that it could really help save her life like helps save her mental sanity. So we knew it was a thing. I was like, I have no interest in doing this to my husband. I was like what like we'd love our lives. Like, I don't want to go on like a Facebook or a Bumble like that sounds like a nightmare. Like Mark Zuckerberg is constantly with Congress like Whitney Bumbles, always fighting for rights. And I was like, This isn't what I want. But then when I looked into the market, and when I learned that so many moms need this, that you know that seven out of 10 moms feel friendless that 85% feel unsupported, and that the market wasn't saturated. I just looked at him, I said fine. What we'll do this and really, we spent the next year doing that, what if we literally had these massive, massive maps that were like, our beginning idea of match, you know, a mom that was compatible with another mom? And then and then there was these spider webs this brain map that went off of like, well, what if we connected them with postpartum pregnancy products? And then what if we worked with hospitals that connected them with mental therapists? And what if we end it was this massive? What if, and we started to realize that like, this is not just a friendship matchmaking app, women would come in for friendship, but they would stay for the support. And when we realized that, to solve the loneliness, we needed both the idea was a lot bigger than we thought it was. And then basically, I figured out, okay, this is probably going to be scalable, it's not a saturated market, it's a real problem, we're gonna need outside funding to be able to compete in technology, then we knew we had to be a C Corp, we knew we needed a lawyer. So then like, that's kind of when everything started to fall in. But we needed to do that big What if like, and still to this day, it pivots and it changes. So every day we have changes, but really, the missions, the same the visions, the same. And I know that in 20 years, we're going to land where I knew we would three years ago, because we follow that Northstar, and we keep that in hyper focus. And we make sure that we use insight technology to deliver that mission to women. And as long as we do that, and we get the funding, which is a whole nother thing, which of course is you know, like my second job getting funding for the company, and we stay true to it. So I think it's really about the what if Is it a real problem. And then Is this the life that you want, because it's very different, you know, to start a small daycare in your house versus creating the next, you know, Uber, or Airbnb or whatever it is that your dream is, they're just different life paths. I mean, I'm consciously not having a second child, because my company is so demanding, then I know that I would be not focused enough on the second child. But that's a big decision. I made that decision years ago, like, I knew three years ago that I probably wouldn't be able to have children during hypergrowth, you know, during the first five years of the company, so it's a big deal to make that decision. Like, do you want your first child to not have a sibling till he's eight or nine years old? Like that's, that's a big fat family dynamic. So you have to sit down and have those conversations when you're ideating. And that doesn't sound like you should but really, you need to, especially if you're a mom, because what you do as a mom impacts the family in such a in just such a great way that it's not just you, it's your kids, it's your husband, it's your you know, your mother, it's everybody. Moms take care of everything, they spend all the money and they take care of everyone so it's different.
Camille Walker 29:39
It's true, man I love that that you had a physical map work and you went after it and you're doing this so tell me where we are. You said three years ago So was that first one you had the idea? And then now you've you have achieved the funding or you're still working towards that or were you in that process?
Amanda Ducach 29:56
So fundings ever evolving. Um, so it's a constant fundraise. Seeing effort will be fundraising for years and years, we've raised a friends and family round and a pre seed. And then we are now in the middle of our seed round. And it's really exciting. We've been able to fulfill all of our rounds, which is such a blessing. It's very hard to raise money, especially when you I mean, statistically, we know this, especially when you're a female, especially when you're a mom. And it's just more difficult. I mean, I've investors that tell me, you know, you should go find investors who are moms, well, that would be less than 1% of total investors in the world. So just statistically, I can't do that. But But it's interesting that people still think that that's an option. So you definitely have to fight through it. But funding is great. It's like a game. It's very, it's up and down. Like it's very overwhelming. That's exciting. But not every company makes sense for venture capital money. So you really have to understand, do you meet these qualifications before you understand if, if venture capital money or Angel money is the right thing for you, there's also there's loans, there's credit cards, there's bootstrapping, where you make your money. So you really have to figure out does your company projection, or even like makeup projection, because a lot of the times when you're raising capital, you don't even have revenue yet. So you have to determine that. So that's where we are in the fundraising process with the actual app about three years ago, we started ideating it so we had the idea, we got that phone call from my best friend in the hospital. And then it was a year and a half ago that we released the minimal viable product. So you can download the app totally for free on the App Store, Google Play. And today, you can come on the app, and you can find women in your area to meet up with and to chat with, you can do all that on the app. And then you also can chat globally, with women. And we have over 50, licensed experts, OB/GYN, pediatricians, mental health therapists, that all live on the app that facilitate a lot of these conversations and add to the community. And then most importantly, ensure that everything shared is is non judgmental, no mom shaming, scientifically evidence. So it's a really special community because you don't just come to find a mom, friend, you come for support. So it's an incredible ecosystem. And we do we have downloads all over the world now.
Camille Walker 32:12
So Oh, it's brilliant. So tell me how does it work with these experts that you have? Are they considered employees of yours? Or is it you set up contract work between the mothers and the professionals? Or how does that work?
Amanda Ducach 32:25
Yeah, so so it's actually neither they operate as like ambassadors on the app, of course, they sign NDA and you know, legal paperwork, a lot of that there is some liability, paperwork that has to be done. But we are not HIPAA compliant, we are not a medical product. We made that choice for lots of different reasons, which would be a whole nother podcast on its own. Yeah. But really, the experts exist on the app to help women but their motivation is that they really believe that there needs to be an ecosystem in this world that connects experts and moms together. So there is no mom shaming so that things that are shared our scientifically evidence so that we're supporting each other in a rosy and supportive way, not in a negative and mom shaming way, which is how a lot of the internet unfortunately works today. So yes, they're they're really just incredibly qualified ambassadors. And the coolest part is like, these women are amazing, like they are, these are Harvard graduates. These are women that are chiefs of their departments. These are women that have patents that have massive influencing you know, followings on Instagram and YouTube that, I mean, one of our experts has her own fertility methodology that's positively incredible. Like I, I'm still so humbled and amazed that these incredible experts are just sitting in our app completely for free to help women. But truthfully, the majority of moms really need the help, and most of them can't afford it, they really need a mom ecosystem to be able to get that help from so we are, we're really proud that we're able to fulfill that for so many of the women in our community.
Camille Walker 33:59
This is such an incredible resource. I went and looked at some of the experts and I am shocked that they do it for free, because their credentials are enormous, like they really are really impressive. So that is shocking to me, and what a wonderful service and way to serve mothers all over the world. That is really amazing.
Amanda Ducach 34:19
Thank you. Well, and I honestly and I appreciate women like yourself, too, that have an influence circle, just with moms, because it is important that we're all sharing this resource because like this resource is free. And we keep it free because we know that the majority of the women that need the support side of it really can't afford it, it would really be difficult for them. So I think it's important that as women and especially as influences, which which I know women like you do, because I follow you that we're sharing products that we believe in that we're sharing products that will help each other because women are 90% more likely to adopt a product or buy something if a woman that they trust recommends it so it's simple. poured in that we're sharing the stuff that we believe will help each other just just more as moms and women, we need to do a better job of that. I think so.
Camille Walker 35:08
Yeah. I mean, we are like you said, a lot of times the decision makers, the ones actually purchasing and making decisions for the home. And it's the nucleus really is when
Amanda Ducach 35:18
mothers are. So it's amazing. To me, they're so powerful when they are moms are the most powerful purchasing group that exists. And honestly, they're fairly ignored. It's, it's really, it's an amazing, statistically, it's really amazing how the world somehow is still doing that. But it's changing. Thank goodness.
Camille Walker 35:37
Thank goodness, that's actually what this is all about. So I am like, yes. So when you said, if we can circle back, if you don't mind, you talked about venture capitalists who were saying, well, you need to find moms to invest, how did you turn their nose into yeses, so that you were able to get that investing from venture capitalism. So
Amanda Ducach 35:59
I'm just I'm just trying to think of who actually did go on to our capital table, who was able to really turn around so like, it's, you know, it's interesting. So working with, I have found that working with angels is very different from venture capital funds, because angels are independent people that tend to be wealthy, I mean, this the system is, is definitely full of some disparities on its own, where like, you have to have a certain amount of wealth, and it cannot include your home, which is interesting, a certain amount of wealth to be considered accredited and be able to even make an investment of this type. So not everyone's able to just make it unfortunately, hopefully, there will be some legal changes with that, which will allow, you know, wealth to expand outside of the typical circle. So I'm actually a huge advocate for that. But so angels are independently wealthy people that typically on their own, make decisions on who they want to invest to, and they have their own thesis, they kind of go more with their gut. So it's very different talking with an angel, because an angel, I have a bit more of an opportunity to be like, Well, let me explain to you why you should invest in this, let me explain to you how much I know the data, let me show you how profitable this company is going to be. So I just go back to the data like, look at my growth numbers, look at my engagement numbers, look at the financial projections, look at the fact that these 50, licensed experts have joined us for nothing other than they believe in this in this, this, this mission like that. That's proof of why this needs to exist. So you have a little bit more leeway with angels. With venture capital firms, it's a little bit harder, because they all have like investment thesis is that are very stringent normally. So it's like we only invest in this stage, this type of company, this type of whatever. So it's a little bit harder when you work with a VC to try to change their mind. Because a lot of the times, they're kind of stuck in their belief system. And I'm not saying whether it's right or wrong. But a lot of the times we're just not a portfolio fit for them or honestly, personality wise, we're not a fit. Because like, I mean, I have, I have been very lucky in my life, I'm very aware of my privilege that I really haven't felt a lot of traditional bias as a person just because my skin is white, right? Like I mean, I have those forms of privilege. But it's been really interesting raising capital with a mom company, the first time in my life that I frequently can predict the bias when I walked in the room, and it comes out. It really does. It's been so interesting to be a part of this project. Because of the things like well, you know, your app talks about too many things that are gross. I mean, like, bleeding nipples are not gross to women who breastfeed like that's what
Camille Walker 38:38
yeah, that's reality.
Amanda Ducach 38:40
That's right, exactly. And on this platform, when it's all females, and when you have experts, it's the place to talk about vaginal discharge, like, yeah, it's not gross to any of us. And we all know how to unfollow somebody like, you can also not see that on the app if you don't want to see that for some reason. But so those are the kind of conferences that I have is like, you should go find a mom to invest well, less than 2% of venture capitalists are female. And trust me, very few of them are mothers on top of that. So like we things like what does this app really need to exist in the world? None of my mom and you know, none of my female friends are depressed Well, just because they're not telling you that they have postpartum doesn't like we know what the stats are. So none of it's intentional. Everybody I talked to in general is a wonderful person who's doing their best to take their personal capital and invested in very risky organizations. So I love what they do. And it's incredible that they exist. But I do think sometimes they're not aware of the bias that they have that they really invest only in companies that they're interested in. That's great. But when the majority of people that are in the VC world when 98% of them are male, well, if every if all the dollars only go to organizations that they're interested in organizations, they understand, obviously, there's going to be not a great distribution of wealth when it comes to female founders. Right? So I think it's important that we just keep that in mind and that we just, you know, try to look at things differently sometimes and try to point those things out to them. And that's what I try to do. I try to point out that like, Yes, I get that you wouldn't use this product, but go home, and I've done this before, I want you to go home, and I want you to call 10 women who are mothers, and I want them like, I want you to explain to them what our product is, and see if they need it. And then they'll come back to like, Oh, my God, eight of them told me that they would join today. So I'm interested, you know, in seeing your terms, so I'm like, Okay, great. Yeah. So it's not ideal that I have to tell them to do that. But hey, if that's what gets the cookie to crumble, I'll, I'll take it so
Camille Walker 40:38
well, yeah, I mean, what a good idea to say, Well, have you ever asked a woman? Or have you ever asked a mother, you know, those questions that just don't wouldn't even cross their mind? Have you involved your husband at all in that pitching? And has that affected it at all? Yeah, so we so
Amanda Ducach 40:58
my husband's pitched with me a couple times, we've definitely spoken before, together, like we've done panel talks, those kind of things together, especially because really, he's such he's such a brilliant technical mind that he can answer questions and go into things with technologists that I couldn't even you know, even begin to do, I would butcher it so bad, but, but in general, I think I really try to do it on my own, because truthfully, I'm the best one at the pitch. And I'm the one that knows the business the best. And he's highly involved. He's the CTO, he's, he's on the board, he's one of the majority owners like he is, it's not like he's sitting on the sidelines. But really, if you don't want to hear from me, then you're not going to want to invest in us because this company is, it is like, it's me. And if we can't get along, or if you can't really get on board with me, it's going to be hard, really, for you to be a part of the company. But But one thing that has been beautiful, is when I have other team members pitch for me, or if they pitch with me, I learned from them every time like, you know, the way that they pitch is different. So I adopted into my pitch, or, you know, it's always interesting to see how they explain things. Because some of them like my God, like they're explaining it so much better than me. Like, sometimes I'm so knee deep into the trenches that you don't realize when you're you're not explaining things well, like, like what I was talking before. And when I said KPIs, if that's if you're in this world, that's so simple of a term. But if you're not in this world that's so foreign. And sometimes you forget, you know, it's that lingo that you just get used to day after day. So yes,
Camille Walker 42:25
and I think when you're so close to a project, sometimes you get so in the weeds that a bird's eye view of saying, This is what it does, this is who it serves, and how, and you're like, oh, why couldn't I just said that, but you're so in it, that a lot of times, it's getting that other perspective that really helps to, to sell the product and to share what it is. So I think that's why as women sharing each other's message and voice is so powerful, because we can help share that from our own perspective, which helps create a greater whole,
Amanda Ducach 42:54
it's, it's always it's about keeping your ego in check and always listening. For me, in particular, like you said, the women around me like, the feedback they give on the actual product is life changing to the product, the feedback they give on the pitch is life changing to the investing the feed that they the feedback that my employees give to me on how I'm a leader is life changing. Like, if you just if you just shut up and stop thinking that you know everything and just listen to the people around you. It is amazing how your own growth can just accelerate. And I just think a lot of the times, leaders don't do the best job of that, I have to say.
Camille Walker 43:33
But you have characteristics that push it forward. So yeah, it's amazing. This has been so interesting to me, I could talk to you forever. I just thank you so much for taking the time to share your journey with us. And how can people find you and really dig deep in social Mama, what would be where would Where can we find you? Yeah, so
Amanda Ducach 43:58
so for the actual app, it's Social Mama Ma-Ma. And you can find us Social Mama on Google Play or the App Store totally for free. We have Instagram and Facebook and all of that like company pages. But really, for myself, the spelling of my last name is DUCACH it's a very rare name. So you can find me on everything from LinkedIn to Instagram with my last name. I'm sure that if you type it in, and you'll find me and I'm happy to help in any way, just please reach out to me and I'm here to help so
Camille Walker 44:29
well, I can tell that I mean, you're an open book. And you have taught me so much today. I'm just it's been such a pleasure to talk to you.
Amanda Ducach 44:37
Thank you, you too. And congrats again on the podcast, all the new ventures and really like being a mom of four and doing what you do. It's incredible. It's not an easy task. And we tell people all the time on the app, you do not have to lose your identity as a mom like you can do it. You just gotta find that that balance to make it work. So congrats to you for standing up for all the moms and doing your thing.
Camille Walker 44:58
Thank you Appreciate that. All right. Well until next episode, we'll check in with you then. Thank you for listening today.
Hey CEOs, thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and then five star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. continue the conversation on Instagram at calmly CEO podcast and remember you are the boss
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