Wow. I am now a father.
My wife and I welcomed our son last month, and it has been tiring. Sure, there is the whole joy of welcoming a newborn, but it is downright tiring.
Nothing has gotten me prepared for parenthood unlike experiencing it myself. In the span of thirty days, I have learned a lot about diapers, hunger cries, gripe water, the miracles of breastfeeding (and how to use the washing machine). Things I never knew before.
There have been many moments where my wife and I have turned to each other, feeling unsure and not knowing what to do:
How many times should he be pooping?
Is it OK to mix bottle feeding and breast feeding?
Which diapers work best?
Why does he have acne?
In many of these moments, we have turned to the Internet. Babycenter, Kellymom, Dr Sears, and even the aging Yahoo Answers. All this, to get some comfort from social proof. That feeling of conformity, knowing that other parents have experienced it too. And let me tell you this – it works.
My guess is that social knowledge sharing is the next big area of growth in the quest to make search even better. What we called “forums” way back, but simpler and more genuine. Services such as Quora are defining this space, and I believe there are more opportunities to provide Q&A services for other “real world” segments such as parenting.
There is a wealth of untapped information sitting in the minds of real world heroes. Mothers and my parents for instance. They have experienced practical and useful anecdotes of life and are unaware of the positive value it can bring to others if shared within the right context.
What our real world heroes need either does not exist or has not been communicated to them, and that to me is a gold mine of an opportunity for startups looking to pivot.