Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots

520: Breaking New Ground in Maternal Mental Health with Mevi

April 11th, 2024

Hosts Will Larry and Victoria Guido are joined by Zamina Karim, the CEO and Founder of Mevi, a community-driven motherhood wellness app designed to address the unique challenges of motherhood, especially in the context of the pandemic. Zamina shares her journey from experiencing postpartum anxiety and depression to founding Mevi. She discusses the lack of understanding and support for new mothers, especially during the pandemic when traditional support structures were unavailable. The conversation also touches on parenting challenges in the current era, underscoring the need for community and support.

The app aims to revolutionize maternal health by fostering connections among mothers and providing support for the challenges of motherhood beyond medical visits. Zamina's approach to building Mevi is rooted in empathy, aiming to address new mothers' emotional and practical needs and fill a significant gap in current maternal health support.

Zamina also talks about the broader implications of Mevi's mission, the evolving startup funding landscape, and the importance of pivoting and adapting in the entrepreneurial journey. She emphasizes the role of empathy in building inclusive experiences for parents and the potential of technology to improve maternal health outcomes.

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 WILL: This is The Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Will Larry.

VICTORIA: And I'm your other host, Victoria Guido. And with us today is Zamina Karim, CEO and Founder of Mevi, the first-ever community-driven motherhood wellness app. Zamina, thank you for joining us.

ZAMINA: Thank you so much for having me.

VICTORIA: Well, outside of founding Mevi, what keeps you going? What's exciting for you right now in your world?

ZAMINA: Well, I have a toddler. She is two turning three, and she keeps me incredibly active and stimulated throughout the day. And I have my hands full with her throughout the day. And outside of that, I've just jumped into the business full-time. So, I'm navigating solo foundership and recognizing how different of an experience that is when you have been working in a team environment for the last 15 years or so. So, that's kind of what's been keeping me busy the last few months.

WILL: You mentioned your daughter. When you became a parent, I know there's something surprising; there's plenty. But what was the most surprising thing that you went through when you became a parent?

ZAMINA: Oh my gosh, there were so many things. You're totally right, Will. But I think, for me, it was a really big emphasis that I noticed on the products that I would need to have. And if I had all of those products, I would be ready and I would be well on my way, and parenting would be a breeze. And it kicked me on my butt when I realized that having the perfect car seat and the perfect stroller was not setting me up for success.

And there was a lot that I didn't know and didn't realize, even though I had done so much research and had a lot of other parents in my network. I think it's one of those things that you don't truly understand until you have experienced it yourself and you are living through it.

VICTORIA: So, then, what led you to start Mevi?

ZAMINA: Mevi was started because my baby was born during the pandemic, and I experienced a ton of challenges during that time. I struggled with symptoms of anxiety and depression for over a year. But I didn't really need any clinical diagnosis, and so no one knew how to help me in my family. And I did not know how to help myself either. And I really felt the Western sort of pressure of having to do it all. And I was quite frankly embarrassed by the struggles that I was experiencing.

And, you know, you never really go back to your old self. But once she turned one, I started to feel a little bit more balanced. And I came out of my shell, and I started speaking with other women from all over the world really. And I learned very quickly that my experience was the norm and not the exception. And that really was the inspiration to go ahead and try to solve that problem.

WILL: Yeah. I remember we had my middle child at the very beginning of July 2020. And the first thing that was rough is that was whenever they were like, "If you have COVID, we may have to separate you from your child when you have birth," and it was terrifying. And they ended up not doing that. We didn't have COVID or anything. But I remember, because we have three now, and I remember thinking, like, if I was a parent of a single child, it would have to be rough because, like, the child is not playing with anyone, and you're also by yourself. So, I totally relate with what you're saying.

ZAMINA: Yeah, absolutely. And then, beyond that, all of those kinds of traditional childcare centers or places where people would congregate were shut down. And up here in Canada, a lot of those places haven't really opened back up, and so there was no real bounce back to a pre-pandemic norm. A lot of families are now just navigating with this as the new normal. So, I think it's really important to recognize that parenting in 2021 and beyond is really different from what it was pre-pandemic.

VICTORIA: So, you had this acute need yourself to build a community to survive [laughs]. What in your background led you to think, oh, I could start a company around this; I could build the solution for this problem?

ZAMINA: Yeah, it's actually a really interesting mix of personal and more technical and career-driven. So, on a personal level, I was born in India, and my parents are from East Africa. So, that cultural element really bleeds into my perspectives and my values on life, as well as what's missing in healthcare today, so this idea of taking a prevention-focused approach or addressing root causes rather than addressing symptoms, which is a lot more common in today's kind of healthcare context.

And then, on a more career-based side, my background is in consumer tech, growth marketing. And I studied psychology and human development when I was in school. So, all of these areas really came together as the perfect combination for starting Mevi because I had this hard tech background. I know how to code. I self-taught Ruby on Rails about ten years ago. And then I'd worked in this consumer space, kind of selling things for companies like Masterclass, and Uber, and Lululemon, and Aritzia. And I had this experience on the paid acquisition side as well.

So, all of those things really came together for me to feel equipped to step into this journey of building Mevi. But I think no matter what technical or kind of soft skills you have, it is still a huge climb when building a company from scratch and, in particular, when you're doing it as a solo founder.

WILL: Wow, that's so amazing. I love your background, and I love especially talking to founders who have a technical background and kind of seeing how their journey was. Did your technical background help you in anything, or did you code your app?

ZAMINA: I did not code the app. Because I was on the tech side over a decade ago, so I was building apps about ten years ago; it's one of those muscles where it can very quickly atrophy. And things now are developing at such a rapid pace compared to when I was in the space that I'm no longer someone who would be best suited to actually code the app. I would be spending a lot of time relearning versus just delegating that to somebody else.

But I do possess the ability to talk to engineers and to be able to navigate some of the architecture and the fundamentals with them and that, for me, has been a really big game changer because I'm not completely lost when chatting with technical folks. And I can kind of navigate my way around with a little bit more ease than I would be able to if I didn't have that background.

VICTORIA: Yeah. I want to talk about how you're thinking about building your team for the future and filling in those gaps that you may have since you have such a well-rounded background. But first, I wanted to go back to, what stage do you feel like you are in your product life cycle? Are you still in the discovery phase or you have an MVP? What's the phase you're at right now?

ZAMINA: We are getting our MVP built right now. So, I've done about a year's worth of user interviews, research, chatting with folks all over the world, and really doing my best at validating the concept, and the idea, and the problem space. And one thing I will say is that the problem space is super clear. Famtech and femtech are places where there's a lot of capital being invested, and there's a lot of incredible innovation happening. But the solution is something that I think is always going to be evolving as needs of parents evolve. But right now, I have a pretty solid idea of what the product should be in its first iteration, and that is what we'll be launching with in 2024. And we'll be testing with some select partners.

WILL: I'm so excited for you. Can you explain what is Mevi? What's the problem that you're looking to solve with it?

ZAMINA: We are rooted in this belief that all of the negative symptoms, the stress, the mental health disorders that are experienced by moms stem from the isolation and lack of connection that they have to their communities. So, our mission is to really revolutionize maternal health by caring for the life that happens in between doctor's visits. Really, that is where life happens. And in doing so, we want to solve for those two specific root cause factors, emotional support and social isolation, that contribute the most to postpartum disorder.

So, from a practical standpoint, what Mevi is really going to do is connect moms to their personalized support networks so that they can delegate things like critical care tasks, activities of daily living, support with things at home, as well as emotional and mental health support to their support network so that they can basically show up for them in the way that they most need.

VICTORIA: That's really exciting. And to play that back a bit, it's interesting from your research and from your own experience that the thing that was missing was that element of community and connection to other people. Can you tell us more about that?

ZAMINA: In today's world, moms are expected to do it all, and we're kind of conditioned to that regard in every aspect of our lives. And there's a lot of support lacking for moms from a childcare perspective, from a systemic support perspective around things like maternity leave. And, ultimately, I think we're kind of given these signals that we should be able to do it alone, so we should just go ahead and do that.

And I think, for that reason, a lot of women really struggle because when they do ultimately step into parenthood, particularly in a post-pandemic context, they are incredibly overwhelmed, but they're getting all of these signals that they should be able to do it. And so, then they feel incredibly isolated and really struggle with those feelings.

And so, what Mevi and what I, as a person and as a founder I'm really trying to address and bring attention to is this idea that women absolutely cannot do it alone. And that over the last, you know, 10,000 years, we have raised children, and we have also raised mothers with the support of villages. And those villages look different for different people, but that's really the case across the entire planet. And so, what I really want to do is to bring attention back to the fact that it's important to build your personal village and to be able to request support from them in the ways you need.

WILL: Yeah. So, I was looking at your website when I was doing some research, and the very first, I guess, banner, you can call it, with a text message in it, there's a text message that's sent to the mom, and I'm guessing it's AI-driven. It's asking, "Hey. Out of these three options, what exactly do you need help in?" Can you walk me through what that looks like? Is it AI-driven that sends the text out and it has a list of friends and family that sends the text to, or how does that work?

ZAMINA: Yeah. So, first big disclaimer is that what you see on the website was actually our alpha product that we tested up here in Canada with a cohort of new moms. And that was really built to validate the problem space and to understand if a solution like this would be impactful. And that was actually not AI-driven, believe it or not. It was largely built through automation tools and a database of text messages that yours truly wrote and connected with Twilio. So, it was really kind of strung together on the back-end prototype that we used to understand if getting help on tasks like this would be beneficial.

We also were sending regular kind of positive reinforcement messages, just like, you know, resources, notes, things like that, to those moms just to give them kind of a daily positive reminder. But those text messages were also being sent, yes, to their support networks that they would sign up, so their partner, perhaps their mother, their mother-in-law, their sisters, their friends, so on and so forth. And we would determine which messages would go to whom.

And through that test, we realized that there was kind of a really positive response to what this was trying to achieve but that it was quite limited in its functionality because it was hard coded on the backend, and there wasn't really a lot of AI leveraged. So, we are now moving into building out an MVP, which will be a mobile app.

WILL: Wow. I can definitely see how this is beneficial because we have three kids, and my oldest and my youngest share the same birthday, so three kids in three years. And it seems like, oh, why are you asking that simple question? Sometimes, the simple question is exactly what you need. "Hey, how can I help?" And given choices, that is huge just to nudge what you need help.

Because, like, I love my sleep and [chuckles] with kids, you don't really get sleep sometimes. And I used to remember everything, but my youngest has been dealing with earaches probably over the last month, and I am forgetting a lot just because [chuckles] I haven't been getting sleep. So, I love what you're doing. And the purpose and the problem you're trying to solve, I think is much needed.

ZAMINA: Yeah, thank you so much. That point that you made about giving options is really important because, especially when you're encountering motherhood for the first time, it's quite daunting, and you don't really know what you don't know. And so, people will say, "Oh, you know, I'm here for you. Let me know how I can help." But that in and of itself is a huge barrier because you don't really know what to ask. You don't want to infringe on them. You don't want to make it inconvenient for them. And there's also boundaries that you want to set in terms of who you want to let into your home and let into your personal space and that kind of thing.

So, I think it's really important to provide a little bit of education for new mothers around what kinds of things they can typically benefit from getting support with, particularly in the home in those early days. As an example, a lot of moms feel hesitant about letting others come into their home to hold their child. They actually would prefer that others come into the home and support them with the dishes or making a meal so that they can stay close to their baby, particularly in those early days when babies are feeding around the clock, and skin-to-skin contact is really important.

And so, it's really important to provide that guidance, especially to new moms, so that they can share that with their support networks. But then also sharing that information with their support network so that they don't feel insulted or they don't feel bad when their requests for support are directed in a different way. So, through Mevi, we also hope to provide that education and that guidance to everybody that's in the network so that they understand how to be helpful. Because I think at the end of the day, a lot of our friends and our families genuinely want to be there for us, but they just don't know how. And so, we're really there to be those coaches for them.


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VICTORIA: I'm curious about...I think it's a hashtag on your LinkedIn profile for empathetic tech. Based on what you're describing, how does that relate to what you're building and how you build empathy into the technology and products?

ZAMINA: I am so committed to proving that we can build great businesses that do good in the world, that support women's health outcomes but are still businesses at the end of the day and make great revenue and great profits. When I came out into the space, and I kind of said, "Okay, I'm here, and I'm building this thing," particularly because I'm solving a problem for mothers, I often got met with this question of "Well, is it a nonprofit?" And no, absolutely not. It is not a nonprofit. It is intended to be a scalable business.

But I think a lot of people have a misunderstanding that if you're building something that is good for the world, that it won't generate revenue and profit. And so, from an empathetic tech standpoint, that's really something that I am kind of on a mission to prove through Mevi and through my own kind of personal endeavors. It's something that's really close to my heart. And I really, really want to put femtech on the map for that reason. And from a product standpoint, I mean, we have lots of ideas about how we can build that empathy directly into the product.

But I think the biggest thing is coaching moms to be vulnerable in ways that feel accessible to them. Again, back to this idea that women are expected to do it all and moms are expected to do it all, I think if we can start to nudge moms to sharing with their closed private networks of, you know, the handpicked people that they've put into their support networks about how they're feeling, what they need help with, you know, their mood day to day, those kinds of things, we can start to build more empathy, both in the context of that particular family, but in the broader context of motherhood as a whole.

WILL: Why do you think they automatically go to, "Oh, it's a nonprofit business," when you're talking about the mental health of women and anything in that category?

ZAMINA: I haven't figured it out yet [laughs], but in part, it feels like it's a social endeavor. "Oh, you're here to solve your own problem." And yes, I'm here to solve my own problem, but really, this is the problem of women across Canada, and the States, parts of Europe, and in Australia, and New Zealand. And so, it's not just a small niche problem.

But I think a lot of people who I've encountered, particularly in the earlier days of when I had just kind of come up on the scene, I was talking with a lot of people who didn't resonate because either they were male. They didn't have children. They weren't familiar with healthtech or femtech. And so, for them, they were like, "I don't understand this space. It must not be very big. It must not be very important," but it's quite the contrary.

VICTORIA: What other challenges have you faced so far on your journey?

ZAMINA: The other big one, honestly, is the fact that I'm a solo founder. For the last 15, 20 years, I have been working with people day in and day out, and, you know, whether it's in office or remotely, I had the option to kind of jam with them throughout the day on different problems. And in this particular journey, I don't really have that in the same way that I have been familiar with for, you know, my entire career. So, that has been a huge learning curve for me.

And I have really recognized that the journey of entrepreneurship is just as much of a mental one as it is everything else, and finding ways to cope with the kind of emotional ups and downs as you get lots of wins. But you also get doors closed in your face. All of those things require an immense amount of grit and resilience. And when you are going at it alone, it can be a little bit harder to navigate that.

But I'm slowly starting to really find my rhythm. And I've really managed to do that, I think, in large part due to an advisory board that I have built of people who are really looking to support me, who are bullish on the mission, who believe that this is a really big problem that deserves to be solved, and are helping to clear roadblocks and obstacles, both, you know, in the environment, but also for me when I get in my own head about things. And that has been really, really powerful for me is, kind of building that advisory board of people.

WILL: Since we're talking about hurdles, what are some of the hurdles you see in the future? Since we talked about your past ones and your current ones, do you see any on the future—on the horizon?

ZAMINA: Yeah, I mean, obviously, there's the kind of traditional ones of finding product-market fit and landing the product with that ideal customer. And so, I'm really excited about the work that's being done right now to get there. But, obviously, it's going to be a constant, you know, road of iteration and evolution on the product space. And that is one that I'm really excited about.

But I think the other bigger one is just the consumer landscape right now is a tough one to be in. Capital is drying up from an investment standpoint. And I've seen a lot of founders who are farther ahead in their journey, who have incredible results, that are growing rapidly year on year, and they are struggling to raise money. And they've got traction, really, really great traction.

So, at this stage, it's really important for me to find ways to self-fund and bootstrap through this period, which ultimately, I think is going to give me a competitive advantage. It's going to give every founder who's doing the same thing a competitive advantage in the long run because I believe that if you can get traction in this environment, you're truly building a really great business. But I do see that this area of capital being one that founders are really going to have to navigate for the next year or two.

VICTORIA: That resonates with some stories that we've heard as well. And I'm curious to hear you talk about the discovery process a little bit more. Was there anything that you discovered early on that caused you to pivot in strategy?

ZAMINA: So, I joined a pre-accelerator in San Francisco late 2023. And we built this vision of the MVP that I was really excited about. And as I was getting ready to think about actually building it out, what I realized was that in the feature set that we had built out, we were trying to do way too much. I had this vision of what Mevi could be ten years from now, and I was almost trying to build that in in an MVP.

And so, one of the big pivots that I made from a product perspective was really, really dialing it back and simplifying the feature set to really what I believed and what I had heard from folks would be the most impactful for them rather than, you know, squeezing in a bunch of other things that would be kind of beneficial or a value-add in the long run. I really wanted to ensure that when we did launch and when we do launch that, people really understand what we're here to do. And then, over time, as we get more and more consumer feedback, of course, we can continue to build the product in the direction that folks are desiring. But that was an early pivot.

And another one was more on the business model side, and this is one that I'm still kind of workshopping and working through with different folks. But this idea of going direct to consumer versus actually going to other companies and other businesses who serve this population of new mothers and actually selling the product to them, and then having them use it in their different contexts as they serve their clients.

And so, we've kind of pivoted our business model from B2C to B2B2C, which, even in doing so over the last month, has really, really gotten a lot of very positive signals that that is kind of the right approach to be making in the short term. And then, of course, you know, again, once we launch and we get that consumer feedback, we will continue to explore and expand other business models. But early on, I was just trying to do a lot. And in both of those pivots, I found some focus, and I'm really, really excited by that.

WILL: That's awesome. I love how you said pivoting. I think that's probably the core to having a successful business, knowing when to pivot, knowing when not to. What does success look like for you in, like, the next six months, you know, five years, especially when...I know you have a launch coming up. You're talking about raising capital. You kind of pivot on your business plans a little. What does it look like to be successful in that timeframe?

ZAMINA: In the next few months, success is really just going to be doing what we say we're going to do and putting an app out into the market and having it really be tested with some hand-picked partners who are also innovating in the maternal health space. I really believe in aligning with people who believe deeply in solving this problem. And I think that's just the low-hanging fruit as well from a business standpoint. And so, over the next six months, that's really what I'll be prioritizing.

And then, over the next, gosh, five, seven years, I really want it to be a full suite of features and tools that moms can leverage through a mobile platform. I really want it to be kind of, like, the Flo app [chuckles] for mothering, a household name that is doled out, you know, from OBGYNs who are saying, "Oh, hey, you should check this out now that you're pregnant," used by doula practices or midwife institutes, circulated among friends as the must-have app to have on your phone when you find out that you're pregnant. Obviously, that is a really, really lofty goal. But I do believe that there is a pretty big gap in this market, and I'm excited to try to fill it.

VICTORIA: How do you balance having ambitious goals against also needing to maintain your life and your life as a parent?

ZAMINA: I have a really incredible support system. My husband is an entrepreneur as well. And really, my career over the last ten years allowed him to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams, and he's absolutely killing it. And so, he kind of said to me, "Hey, it's your turn. I really want to give you the space to try this thing out and see where it can go. I really believe in it." I have him kind of in my corner every day, cheering me on and giving me a lot of space to learn and, grow and pivot from time to time.

But I also think that he's really great from a financial standpoint and helping me kind of navigate, you know, these goals and understanding kind of the revenue potential of the business and those kinds of things. And so, I have a really great balance of, you know, me being kind of pie in the sky, head in the clouds, really, really aspirational about what I'm building. And he does two things really great. He kind of brings me back to earth sometimes, but he also has a really, really great financial acumen that he lends to the business. And so, he's really kind of my champion and has allowed me to pursue this.

WILL: I'm so glad that you have a supportive partner. That could be a make-it or break-it a lot of times. It's just someone in your corner that you can trust and know that they have your back. I think that's just huge.

ZAMINA: Yeah, absolutely. I'm super lucky.

WILL: What motivates you? What makes you...because being an entrepreneur is not easy. It's a lot of long hours, a lot of sleepless nights at times. So, what motivates you to want to be an entrepreneur?

ZAMINA: I really want to leave the world in a better place than I found it. I spent a lot of time in my career, particularly on the marketing side, selling people things. And some of those things were great, and some of those things were absolutely things that they did not need. And I think once I became a parent, my perspective on life really shifted. And I realized that I wanted to spend my time doing something that I could be proud of but that would also, you know, do good in the world.

I'm fueled by this idea that I'm building in a space that has kind of been underserved for decades and, that I'm solving a real-world tangible problem, and that I have a lot of people who have provided some incredible guidance, feedback, support along the way, who are validating the journey that we're on. And so, all of those things kind of, you know, fuel me in that way.

And then, I think from a practical standpoint, just being able to build and design my life in the way that, you know, excites me, being able to spend time with my family, to have that flexibility. You know, in these early days, I don't have a lot of that because I'm spending a lot of time in the business, but I'm excited by the opportunity that it will present in the long run.

VICTORIA: That's really exciting. And it reminds me just about what are your core values, and what values drive your everyday decisions?

ZAMINA: I think it's really the one around the desire to leave the world in a better place. Again, when my daughter was born, I just saw things in a really different way. You know, I think I had been largely ignorant to a lot of that and not to the fault of my own. I think it's just one of those things that you don't really understand until you become a parent.

You see how difficult it is to obtain childcare. You see how predatory it can be when it comes to consumption around toys, and products, and nutrition. And there's just a lot of things that become apparent to you that you don't really realize. And so, anything that I do and anyone that I align myself with is really centered around this idea and this desire to leave the world in a better place than I found it.

WILL: Yeah, I totally agree with that. And I wish there were so many more resources out there because it's a hard thing to do. So, I really am glad that you're doing this. And it kind of leads into my next question. Do you have any advice for building an inclusive experience for parents?

ZAMINA: If you spend any time on social media, you will see that people are very quick to dole out advice and to have comments on how other people choose to do things in their families, particularly in the context of, you know, female and motherhood-based content creators. And, honestly, the biggest thing that's missing when those kinds of things happen is empathy.

A lot of the times, we feel maybe a little bit insecure, or we feel worried that decisions that we're making are not good, or we feel worried about being judged. And so, maybe we shift that onto other people. We project that onto other people. And what I've just seen come up time and time again is if everyone could just see the fact that everyone's struggle is very unique to their individual context. You never know what other families might be dealing with. You don't understand, you know, what difficulties they might be having at work, what difficulties they might be having with childcare, what their financial situation is. And all of that informs their decision-making, and everyone's just doing the best that they can.

You know, when it comes to how we engage with other parents on social media, how we engage with other parents in real life, at work, in products, it's really just about trying to bridge the gap through empathy. And that's obviously way, way easier said than done. But I think it's really important because sometimes we just need that window to get the glance into other people's lives to really understand, oh, I should maybe, you know, keep that particular opinion to myself or maybe not be so judgmental in this particular context? And so, yeah, I think that's the biggest piece of advice that I have just for anyone that is navigating life in any context with a parent.

VICTORIA: That's really helpful. Thank you. And it's, like, leading with empathy again, right?

ZAMINA: Absolutely. Yeah [laughs]. The commonality here is absolutely leading with empathy.

VICTORIA: Well, wonderful. I've really enjoyed our conversation so far. Is there anything else that you would like to promote?

ZAMINA: Two quick things. Like I said, we are getting ready to launch in the middle of the year, so I'm really excited for that. And if anyone listening is excited by the mission, you can sign up for our waitlist at Again, disclaimer, the website is a little bit out of date. It needs some work. But the wait list is very much active and works just fine. So, it'd be great to capture your intention there. And then, you can also follow us on Instagram @getmevi.

VICTORIA: Wonderful. And also, do you have any questions for me or Will?

ZAMINA: Gosh, yeah, I mean, I would love to understand kind of what patterns are you seeing in terms of what founders are building right now? Have you noticed kind of any underlying trends that you think would be valuable to share?

VICTORIA: Well, I can talk about my experience connecting to the San Diego community, startup and founders community. So, it is interesting. I think what you mentioned earlier about trying to bootstrap as much as you can and do it yourself as much as you can. I've seen founders show an interest in learning more about low-code tools and using those to prove out their MVP and prove out their concept and go from there.

There's always shifts in the investment, right? So, people, I think, are even more going to fall into their similar patterns for what they choose to invest in and take less risks. It's trending upward again, and we're starting to see some signs of investment picking up again.

You know, being in San Diego is an interesting place because we're right next to Tijuana, and you can be in Mexico in 30 minutes from my house or 45, depending on traffic. And there's just a lot of opportunity to do all different types of startups around here: biotech startups and startups that help you predict if breast cancer is going to come back. And there's also just all kinds of interesting things going on with actual physical products as well and treating products as more of a startup-type model. So, that's what I see going around here. But, Will, what do you think?

WILL: Yeah, I was actually thinking about probably the last two or three podcast episodes that I recorded, it was around parenting and motherhood. So, I think that's a good thing because, like you said, it's an underserved area, but it's amazing to see what that community is doing. And I think it's going to be so good, especially in the next couple of years. After talking to those founders and even yourself, the pandemic, I think, encouraged a lot of that growth in that area. So, I think we're going to see a lot of growth in that area, and I'm excited about it.

ZAMINA: Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree with both of those things. And I think the no-code one is one in particular that will fuel a lot of innovation, not only in this industry but across tech as a whole. I'm seeing some really, really great advancements happening and making it a lot easier for solo non-technical founders or just non-technical people in general to prototype things very, very quickly.

VICTORIA: Absolutely. And then, the tools to build products that are really compliant and mature and ready for healthtech and FinTech. There's also so much more out there available to give people the resources they need to do it right. So, it's really interesting. And yeah, I think, like you said, with COVID, too, the acceptance of virtual healthcare and the need for virtual communities, and that's not gone away [laughs]. There are still some people who won't want to re-engage in-person events and community building, so...

ZAMINA: Yeah, this is kind of the new normal for us, and we've got to figure out how do we maintain our well-being and how do we maintain different types of social connectivity in this world that is becoming increasingly interpersonally independent? So, I think even AI and, you know, the Apple Vision Pro has really sparked conversations around what's going to happen to in-person interaction if everyone is wearing these massive devices on their faces? And I think, at this point, we can only imagine. But I do think it's a very practical and real thing that we should be solving for today and not just be waiting until we're all wearing these massive devices to recognize that we need to solve for that connectivity between all of us.

VICTORIA: Have you tried out a Vision Pro yet?

ZAMINA: I have not. Have you?

VICTORIA: No, I haven't tried it. And I haven't ever talked to anyone who is using it. So, I'm curious. One of these days.

ZAMINA: I've met a few people, or I know a few people who have tried it, mixed reviews. Obviously, the cost is a big prohibitive factor at the moment. But I think that there's the novelty around the device, which makes it really exciting right now. But I don't really see, like, in my life any practical use cases. You know, even if it was cheaper, if it was the product that it is today and the price was even half of what it is, I still don't really understand how I would benefit from it, but I'm definitely curious to see where it goes.

VICTORIA: Yeah. Like, I want the ability to, like, have a big screen without having a physical screen, but I don't want to wear goggles.

ZAMINA: Totally.

VICTORIA: I also get nauseous. Like, I actually tried to do a virtual hangout during COVID, and I got some 3D, whatever, virtual glasses. And I got so [chuckles] nauseous so fast. I was like, this isn't...why does anyone enjoy this? And apparently, that's something that happens to women more than men because of hormones.

ZAMINA: Oh, that is so interesting. I did not know that.

VICTORIA: But I really enjoyed our conversation today. Thank you again so much for joining us.

WILL: I'm so excited for your launch and your product. I think it's going to make a huge impact in that area. And I just can't wait to see where it goes. And thank you for building it and stepping out and taking that leap to do it.

ZAMINA: Oh yeah. Thank you both so much. It was a really great conversation, and yeah, I'm excited to get launched and excited to stay in touch and see what we do from here.

VICTORIA: Yeah, we'll have to bring you back in a year and see how things have progressed.

ZAMINA: Yeah. Let's do it. Let's pencil that in [laughs].

WILL: You can subscribe to the show and find notes along with a complete transcript for this episode at If you have questions or comments, email us at You can find me on Twitter @will23larry.

VICTORIA: And you can find me @victori_ousg.

This podcast is brought to you by thoughtbot and produced and edited by Mandy Moore.

Thanks for listening. See you next time.


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