The Ins and Outs of a Family-Run Startup With DogLog


Summary of Episode

#4: Lynn Marks and Gideon Marks, a daughter-father duo, join Annaka and Ethan to share their story building DogLog, a family-run startup that allows users to log their dog’s activity and daily health data with their smartphone. Lynn recalls how her family’s own struggles lead them to develop the app which now has 100,000+ downloads. Lynn and Gideon walk us through the process of starting a company with your family, building organic customers, bootstrap funding, and finding a way to monetize your product. 

Lynn Marks is the President and Co-founder of DogLog, a data-centric app that helps pet owners track their dog’s daily activities and health information. Gideon Marks is a serial entrepreneur who has mentored and launched numerous startups throughout his career.  Lynn combined her background in project management with her fathers’s entrepreneurship experience and her brother’s software background to build Doglog and empower users to log their pet’s data in order to better manage their furry friend’s health and schedule. 

Full Episode Transcript

Podcast Episode Notes

Who is Lynn Marks, and where did the idea for DogLog come from? [0:54]

Working with family and building a team that allows you to create solutions to pain points [4:00]

Is it better to start a business with your family? [10:05]

Growing a user base at the dog park, on Reddit, and with social media [12:03]

Using local media like the local newspaper and television station to promote your product [15:20]

Leveraging user feedback to create new features and evolve [17:08]

People can have more than one dog? The importance of listening to your users and understanding problems from various perspectives [21:03]

Monetizing DogLog and creating a strategy for revenue generation  [22:15]

How do you get people to pay for premium features of an app? [26:45]

Bootstrapping a business and using your own funds to create a sustainable business [31:01]

Supporting your children and encouraging kids to achieve their goals [34:02]

Scalability and the future growth of DogLog [35:50]

Lynn’s biggest surprises: How much you learn about users and the challenges of marketing [38:20]

Encouraging passion and setting an example for your family [41:30]

Navigating problems and finding tech solutions as a non-technical founder [46:00]

A benefit of a family-ran endeavor — It’s easy to feel comfortable working through struggles and creating a support system [52:00]

Utilizing customer data and finding trends that can help you entering the industry  [53:55]

Lynn’s advice for entrepreneurs: Work on something you are passionate about, and find a pain point that you care about solving  [57:52]

Gideon’s advice for entrepreneurs: Build a team that complements each other [59:10]

Check out DogLog! [1:00:42]

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