About Picabook Team
Posts by Picabook Team:
Reading is not just about our family time – well, that is the most important part of it, but there are other benefits of it too. Personally, for me, spending time with my kids, after a long day at the office (or the home office now), gave me the much wanted rest and the opportunity to unwind.
I bet all you parents are thinking – Yeah, right. How do you unwind with two kids hovering all over you?
But seriously, it gave me a chance to completely change focus and take my mind away from the stresses, the trials and tribulations at work. When I am with my kids, it is purely about them… purely about fun and games.
Well, have you ever listened to a kid – have you truly listened to their imaginations go wild… to their thoughts… to their creativity? It is almost inspirational. In this fast-paced, highly complex and often difficult world, theirs are words and thoughts to cherish. They are not only refreshing, but also encouraging. If you listen to a child speak, if you listen to their reactions and their responses, you would think, just about anything is possible. Or as Adidas would market it – Impossible is nothing.
You want to build a massive house with a garage and an airport – no problem! It can be done.
Airports closed; can’t fly anywhere because of COVID – no worries; I can build you a plane that fights COVID and gets you there.
Can’t get to space – no problem; jump on to my spaceship and I can launch you there right away.
Need an idea for a business – no worries… have you thought of just drawing us into story books?
You see, there is a solution (and a positive one) for just about anything. So, what’s not to love about spending time with the kids?
If you have been following along then, the other advantage came about when my little guy offered me the creative, genius idea that led to the foundation of this business. So, when you buy that Picabook, and pay up at checkout, I can’t help but attribute that all to my son! I’m just waiting for his next million dollar idea now. And, who said anything about kids being a nuisance?
I’ve already told you a bit about our reading routine and how the idea of Picabook came about. Let me tell you a bit more. My wife and I are avid readers; we would spend at least a bit of our time every evening winding down with a book and some quiet reading time. Personally, I am a voracious reader and will devour newspaper articles, magazines, books and blog posts at any and every opportunity.
Therefore, when our son was born four years ago, it was only natural that we would instil the reading habit in him. We wanted him to develop his vocabulary quickly, to foster his imagination… but most importantly, to spend that undivided, undistracted quality time with him every evening (at least for me post work). He took it in his stride and it became part of his routine. So much so that now, four years later, he ensures that he picks up a new book and brings it over to us to read every evening before bed.
My wife and I enjoyed this whole experience; this bonding time with our son and we were hopeful that when our daughter was born, we would be able to carry the same tradition over with her as well. A year into it and I have to say that it has not been the same. The little one has the attention span of… well, a little one. She’s easily distracted and so it is hard to even finish a single story with her. Maybe it was too much to expect both kids to be readers. Yet, we are hopeful…
But then, if not, just like her brother, she will develop another interest that may down the line facilitate another entrepreneurial idea. One can only hope…
So, now we have the idea. What’s next? We need people, we need resources, funds… there’s so many things to do to actually get this idea off the ground. And if we don’t then unfortunately, it will remain just that – an idea! Over the years many an idea had come and gone and I had briefly dabbled in them. This one was serious and I didn’t want to let it go. There may have been a variety of reasons for it including some free time, the COVID-19 enforced lockdown… a desire to finally do something of my own just like so many of my other friends and colleagues were… it was all of it. But most importantly, given the idea had come from my son, I was keen to see his vision come to light here.
With that, off we went to the races. I have a co-founder in India who shared the same vision as me. With two sprightly kids of his own, he knew the feeling of wanting and needing to change this market of customised books, offering kids and parents something they could really relate to. We brought on board our Creative Genius who has an absolutely magical touch with designs, graphics and artwork and you can see this for yourself, when you order your very own Picabook. And to top it all off, we were lucky to be introduced to our extremely helpful, engaging and supportive website developer – Ranjan.
All the pieces were falling into place, but they all had to be acted on. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Picabook going to be done in a day. So, while balancing a designer, bankers, website developer, I also had to cope with the distractions of “Papa, I’m hungry.” “Papa, can we go to the park.” “Papa, I don’t like this show on the TV; can you change the channel.” If that wasn’t enough, every Zoom call and Google Meet of mine had the pleasure of guest appearances from my two executive decision makers, my board members, my kids… and so, I genuinely would not be able to answer the question as to what has been harder to juggle – my kids or the needs of the business?
All said and done, it has been an enjoyable ride and we are excited to be on the verge of launching something new, exciting and revolutionary that will ultimately change the way stories are told!
Everyone seems to coming up with a new business idea or a new venture these days. Some ideas are just out of this world, barnstorming genius ideas. Some others are just modifications of the way we already do things. Many of the ideas rely heavily on technology these days – an app, a click and voila, an issue is solved. How can you compete with this pace, this activity, this creativity… I always wondered. And till I didn’t have that idea come through or strike me, I was not willing to venture into this world of entrepreneurship.
People always said to focus on something you like doing, and that will bring the ideas. And so… what do I like – reading, writing, eating, drinking, sleeping. What ideas can one create from sleeping that would earn money…? A mattress? Good enough to sleep on, but not my cup of tea, I guess. What about the other simple pleasure of life… reading? Can that be made better? Can that be improved? Does it need technology? Or do we leave that one out?
Reading is a regular habit in our household and so it was only natural that something innovative or new came out of what we did daily there. And did that come from me? No, hell no. The idea was the brainwave of my four-year old boy… as we sat reading one of his customised story books one evening, he pointed to the pictures in the book and said, “But papa, that doesn’t look like me. And neither does that man look like you.” And that’s when I knew – if my son has that reaction, how many other kids out there think the same? Can we make these kids’ imaginations, pictures and visions of themselves come to life in these customised books? Can we create something truly personalised, that they can relate to? With that thought, Picabook was born in 2020 (2020 vision after all).