Remembering the 'Why'

August 27, 2020

This post was written by Lauren Longo, Founder & CEO of Village startup, Talli.

I’ve gotten a lot of great advice over the last couple of years building a startup. But there’s one piece of advice that’s risen to the top time and again and kept me going even on the hardest of days. It came from David Lightburn, President of Atlanta Tech Village. David and Karen Houghton, VP of Atlanta Tech Village, were kind enough to take my call a few months ago on a day when everything seemed especially hard. The world had turned upside down from COVID, our Talli Baby launch was delayed (COVID again), and my team and I had taken a chance on releasing a reworked version of our app as a symptom tracker. The weight of all the uncertainty was feeling especially heavy that day. They helped me immensely in that call, but one particular piece of advice has become almost a motto for me since then. David said, “Building something from nothing is hard. The entrepreneurs who make it through are the ones who stay connected to their ‘why.’ The ones who stay rooted in the purpose behind whey they’re doing this crazy thing. Remember your ‘why’.”   

I know firsthand how it feels to be overwhelmed as a new mother trying to juggle it all. The story of Talli® began with me sobbing face-down on the nursery carpet when my daughter was 2 weeks old. She wasn’t gaining weight, she was crying all the time, and I felt like I was failing. My husband and I were working with our pediatrician to get things on track, but we were struggling to get a handle on the information she was asking for at each visit. Starting in the hospital, doctors ask you to track feedings, diapers, and sleep to monitor development. We were sleep deprived and overwhelmed, and going through multiple steps in an app each time we wanted to log something wasn’t working for us. Care of an infant (or any loved one who relies on you) is 24/7, and being able to log care with one press of a button really reduced friction at each event. That reduction adds up over the course of a day or a week or a month - and makes a huge difference in a very stressful time. 

I’ve heard now from hundreds of other parents who also feel the mental and physical burden of caregiving: The new mom who saw her doctor write “failure to thrive” on her daughter’s chart and dedicated herself to tracking and finding a solution for feeding that worked. The new dad who was told his son had to gain weight quickly or be re-admitted to the NICU. The new parents who want to document their child’s early moments that pass so quickly or to stay connected to their babies when they go back to work. Talli® is giving all of them tools to more easily capture the information they need and stay connected to what matters most. 

We opened pre-sales of our one-touch logger for parents a couple of weeks ago, and we’ve already almost sold out our first run. As we’ve spread the word on social media, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with parents across the country to answer their questions and hear their thoughts. And, wow, has it been motivating. David was right. I can make it through a tough day here and there knowing we’re helping to reduce the mental burden of caregiving for other parents. 

We’re starting to hear from caregivers of all kinds who want to ease that burden. From adult children caring for aging loved ones, often from a distance, to parents with older children with special needs. Even from those caring for aging pets or managing their own health issues. The specific needs of caregivers can be different, but all caregivers want peace of mind that key activities are happening when and how they should. Our platform can help all of them. And that will keep me going for a long time to come. 

I definitely have days when I think “What is wrong with me? Why am I putting myself through all this stress?” And on those days, re-connecting to my ‘why’ as David suggested has made all the difference. I believe that caregiving is some of the most important work out there. And that our platform can make it easier. And that makes me proud. We’ve come a long way, and there’s so much to come. 

If you have a baby, are going to have a baby, or have EVER MET A BABY, check out our Talli Baby solution. It makes a great baby shower gift! First devices deliver in December. And if you’re interested in reducing the mental burden for caregivers of all kinds, stay tuned! We’re closing our first round of capital now, on the heels of our successful launch, and have big plans for the future. We’d love to have you join our mailing list as we continue to expand the ‘why’ of our business. 

Keep calm and care on!

August 27, 2020
Hilton Thompson