Steve Jobs said “You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
It’s been over two years, but I can still recall vividly the conversation I had with my technical cofounder about naming the app Alfred.
“What is wrong with ‘Web Of Cam’?”
“You are the only person who thinks this technology can build a web of cameras. The husbands and dads downloading our app want to build a home security system that they can rely on, not a web of cam.” I took a breath and carried on, “Do you think our users downloaded the app because they want to connect the cameras and create a web? No, they download the app because they want to connect with someone, with somewhere. There is a person on his mind, and seeing that person gives him peace of mind. It’s sweet if you think about it.”
Fast forward to after he agreed to name the app Alfred, and we had a new icon and a clear mission. I received an email from Carlos, a husband in Brazil. Carlos told me that over four months ago, his wife had a brain surgery, and to everyone’s dismay, the surgery failed. His wife fell into a coma, for 42 days. Forty-two restless days and sleepless nights later, his wife woke up, and her recovery was slow but steady. In the four months, she stayed in the ICU, hospital wards, and finally, when he wrote us, she was at home.
His message melted me, and I replied to him right away and asked if we can have a call. Carlos told me, "from the first day since she fell into the coma, Alfred has been my only connection with her."
A mixture of emotions overwhelmed me, as Carlos kept saying “there is no way I can set up a webcam in the ICU. Wiring and IP setting was impossible, but with Alfred, I just leave an old phone on her bedside table and connect it with hospital WiFi.”
All of a sudden, everything that we’ve been doing made sense. It was when I realized why this app deserves our prime years. No, it is not our goal to produce a security camera alternative. Our goal is to give everyone the accessibility. We already have phones. We already have WiFi, almost everywhere. Why doesn’t everyone have the ability to see the ones and the places that they care about on their phone?
I talked to Carlos in January 2015, and in the last two years, we didn’t think the market was ready for phone-turned nanny cam or granny cam. That is why we focused on home security, but I have been told by more and more superheroes that Alfred is watching over their loved ones who need attention and care. As it turns out, the dots are always connected. I just have to trust them.
I am not going to sit here and pretend that I understand caregiving, but that doesn’t stop my aspiration to help caregivers. If you like using Alfred as your care camera, please give us five stars or share with us your story. If your demands are not met, we are more than grateful for your feedback. If you know someone who is a caregiver, please be our superhero and tell them about Alfred.
Building a reliable video monitor app that runs on old phones isn’t easy, and we are spending every dollar on app development. Having no budget for advertisement, Alfred relies on your word of mouth. Thank you so much!