By Nick Petros—oversees Growth at Wallit
While it sits at the core of our societal structure, discussion of family often takes a back seat to other shiny, new topics these days. Especially when it comes to the world of tech.
Small societal pillars like foundations, businesses, and industries, take center stage as businesses cater to their problems. Family—the bedrock of all of it—tends to remain an afterthought. But that’s where all of this ‘other’ we enjoy comes from.
I learned to work, play, solve, trade, and compete at home (as I’m sure you did too). Sometimes it was all at once, too:
My family moved to the southern coast of Rhode Island when I was about four years old. Our new house had a large two-car garage we quickly filled with ‘stuff’. One of our least favorite family activities was spring cleaning. Sometimes we’d do it in the fall, too, if ‘stuff’ accumulation was outpacing the previous years’ average (my family doesn’t talk like this—I’m the nerd).
We’d start by pulling the cars out, and all of the ‘big’ things we needed the whole family to handle: my dad, two younger brothers, my mother, and me. This would be things like bike racks, tables, yard tool racks, etc. We’d even find things that we completely forgot about—and those would have to move, too. This was work.
Once cleared out, Dad would delegate different projects to my brothers and me. Sweeping and vacuuming the garage were two of the least popular tasks. They were also often assigned at the same time—this is where I learned to solve and to negotiate. I’d make a fuss about the noise the vacuum made and offer to take on that role if one of my younger brothers would sweep and help load things back into the garage for me. It was quite a profitable deal—vacuuming a clean garage isn’t so bad and as the oldest brother, I was always expected to ‘load in’, so the extra help was a bonus.
When we finished with the garage, we’d generally have mandatory playtime. It was good fun when we were kids, but rather sadistic in hindsight. Dad would throw three balls at varying distances, and my brothers and I would sprint to them and back in an effort to ‘win.’ It was basically human fetch, with an added speed component. But we were so focused on winning we were none the wiser and would go until the activity lost its entertainment value for Dad. That’s how we learned to compete.
We also learned a little bit about money at home. By the time we were old enough to really earn any, the onslaught of communication was a little overwhelming. Everything was ‘free this’ and ‘bonus that’, and what the heck was ‘interest’. I was interested in sufficiently alternative music and Quake 4—same thing, right?
We’d been doing work for $5-$10 here and there (I got $20 per week for mowing the lawn—not bad for a few hours of work). But none of this new stuff made sense. And that is why Wallit’s such an exciting thing to be a part of.
Everything we’re already doing at home, as kids, transitions naturally to the app. That’s who it was built for, and how it was built. And as a bonus, it doesn’t have room for mindlessly chasing tennis balls for no apparent reward.
The habits we learn from our parents, in our homes, stay with us for life. It should be much more practical to bring those with us. From my perspective, anyway, that’s why we built Wallit: To fit the way we’re already learning to work, solve, negotiate and compete.