Pinar Parry- founder of Playdate Australia

Pinar Parry is an entrepreneur, mother of two and co-founder of Playdate Australia, a responsive web-app that helps Australian parents get together in neighbourhoods. Born and bred in Melbourne with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics & Finance from Monash University, she is currently based in sunny Queensland.

Prior to taking the leap into the start-up world, she wore a suit for the likes of ANZ, CBA, Bankwest in the Corporate & Institutional Banking space.

However as a self confessed eccentric, ‘push the boundaries’, risk taker it was as obvious as daylight that the conservative banking environment was a bad fit. So after having 2 kids and at a pivotal moment in her career, it was decided that she was ready to launch her own venture and solve a very real problem that affected not just her, but parents across the world. A year later the Playdate brand was born.

Her interests are many. She enjoys contemporary architecture, science, philosophy, design, business and technology, and when she’s not working on her start-up you can find her hiking, swimming and surfing.

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Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?

The story that led to my idea is not very exciting, if anything it’s a little depressing! I was a stay at home mum in a new neighbourhood looking for some like-minded company, which was hard to find. After some investigating, it was obvious that many parents felt the same. The concept was validated and I was ready to take it on.

What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months? 

We are rolling out new functionality sought after by users, improving the user experience through intuitive design and getting some mobile apps under way.

How do you make ideas happen?

Working hard, day in/day out. Delaying gratification without getting demoralised.

I’m a planner. I write down my goals for each day, week, month and year end – and list what needs to be done, by whom and by when and I track my performance against these targets.

Finding trustworthy people to brainstorm ideas with (outside of the founding team) has also been important as you can get very myopic in your vision. My dad has been amazing support and I speak to him almost daily for feedback.

What does your typical day look like? 

My typical day is hectic.

I am up at 5.30am and will start off reading the news, attending to emails and prioritising my daily objectives. Once the kids are up, from 7-9am it’s the rush hour. I will get them ready for childcare and school followed by a 1 hour round trip shuttling them to their respective venues.

By 9am I am home and ready to dedicate the next 5 hours to Playdate – specifically product development, social media, marketing & PR and everything else that needs doing.

At 2.30pm I am back on the school run.

3.30pm – 6pm – It’s time for dinner prep, bath and homework.

6pm – if my husband is home I will hit the gym for a 1 hour kickboxing or weights session.

8pm – Back to work on Playdate until late.

workspace (1)

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?

There have been plenty of challenges. Entering the tech space with a business background and the need to outsource development has been one. A critical factor in your start-up’s success is getting the care factor as close to 100% by everyone involved. I am the first to admit I can get a little agro when things aren’t up to scratch, however I am responsible for ensuring the funds we are investing are generating the best possible results – all feelings aside.

Dealing with mounting costs are another challenge. Our intention was always to bootstrap Playdate all the way to the finish line – because who really wants funding if you don’t need it? The fact of the matter is everything in Australia costs exponentially more than the rest of the world, so whilst funding may not necessarily be desired, you start to look at it in a new light after some reflective number crunching.

What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?

I’ve got lot of ideas. But I may decide to take them on at some stage, so I will give you my worst one. Drive-through sushi.

What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment? 

Not in my industry, but Canva. It has made my life exponentially easier as a founder from a non-design background.

What about internationally?

I’m a big fan of Tesla Motors.

Speaking of affecting social change, we’ve teamed up with Shout for Good to encourage readers to ‘shout a coffee’ to charity by clicking the button below. Is there a particular charity you’d like to support?

Save the Children Australia

Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers.

Quora

Flipboard

ArchDaily

Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?

We are always on the look out for quality people – tech, marketing and investors. We are currently seeking mobile app developers. If you are one, or know of any, please get in touch.

We’re aiming to build a community of Australian idea makers helping each other. If you could have one question answered about startups, marketing, social media, accounting, monetization, product development etc. What would it be?

There is an obsession in the start-up world with user feedback (which is important of course) however if you expect users to drive the evolution of your product, are you really innovating?

What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?

Favourite restaurant is La Fontaine – Hayman Island.

 

Learn from over 100 Australians making ideas happen.

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