Your name: Dan Meader
Your business name: Allowance Manager
Years in business: 3
Website address: www.allowancemanager.com
Business ideas and inspiration can come from anywhere, but the best business ventures are those that seek to solve a problem that many people face. Businesses that make everyday life easier are often poised for success because there's a demand for their products or services. And sometimes, entrepreneurs find ways to solve these problems without even realizing they've got a successful business on their hands.
When Dan Meader created Allowance Manager, he wasn't trying to start a business; he just wanted to solve a problem he faced in his own home. In fact, he was inspired by his two teenage sons, and the struggle he faced in keeping up with their allowances.
Thanks to his background in technology, Meader was able to assemble a team that helped him bring his vision to life: an easy-to-use platform that runs on mobile and desktop devices and can help both parents and their kids be a little more responsible with their money. The final product, Allowance Manager, automatically gives kids their weekly allowance, lets parents credit and debit their children's accounts to reflect additional earnings and purchases, and tracks what the kids spend their money on. [5 Money Tips for Kids (Of All Ages )]
We spoke to Meader about his business as well as his ideas about entrepreneurship and the importance of technology.
Dan Meader, CEO of Allowance Manager
Business News Daily: What problem were you hoping to solve when you started your business?
Dan Meader: We actually didn't intend to make it a business. We were trying to ensure that the kids got the money they needed to develop and hone their money skills. It was only after we realized how well the solution worked for our family that we decided to share it and see if anyone else would find it useful. It turns out that many people did find it useful, and that is how the business started.
BND: Could your business have existed 20 years ago?
D.M.: Absolutely not. Our solution relies on widespread availability of the Internet and particularly the ability to connect from the point of sale via a mobile device. Without this ability, the task of tracking kids' allowance money easily slips through the cracks.
BND: What technology can't you live without?
D.M.: The Internet and the ability to search the Web quickly and reliably. To be able to find what we need when we need it is like oxygen.
BND: If you could hire one extra employee right now, what would you have that person do?
D.M.: I would hire an employee for customer service. We are growing very quickly and have a great need to answer customers' questions.
BND: What technology do you wish existed that doesn't?
D.M.: This is related to business and beyond, but I wish I had an empathy machine. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all had access to one of those?
BND: What technology do you think is most overrated?
D.M.: I think it's amusing when we invent new words for old concepts. I'm not sure it's overrated, because technology is very powerful, but I think that it's worth noting that a few decades ago, computers only worked in a fashion similar to what we now refer to as "cloud computing."
BND: Where do you see technology in your industry going over the next three to five years?
D.M.: I believe that it is rather obvious that we are moving quickly to a cashless society, so my (less than visionary) prediction is that in three to five years we will carry and use far less cash, and transact almost entirely electronically.
BND: What's the most valuable nontech skill an entrepreneur needs?
D.M.: An entrepreneur needs the ability to advance the cause as a leader and a champion, even through brief periods of doubt and uncertainty. Conviction and perseverance in the face of skepticism and misunderstanding are other vital skills worth having.
Originally published on Business News Daily