This is an extract of an interview published in forworkingladies.com and written by Lizbelle O.
One of the life-changing moments for a woman is giving birth, not only does it take a toll on her body but even her social life. While a new mother is busy searching the internet looking for baby advice her friends may be out at the clubs, who can she then relate to? Who can she turn to for advice? Well, that’s where the amazing app, Peanut comes in. The app saving all mothers from the nightmare of being lonely.
Michelle Kennedy is the CEO and co-founder of Peanut. She started Peanut after struggling to meet other mamas she could relate to while also working. Michelle started her career as a lawyer at leading international law firm Mishcon de Reya. She later joined dating app, Badoo, where she transformed the internal legal offering within Badoo, and eventually rose to the role of Deputy CEO at the $100m+ revenue generative market leader. During her time at Badoo, Michelle played a big role in the launch of Bumble.
Having worked in the dating apps industry for five years, Michelle has a bank of experience and understanding of the safety and growth elements of building a social product.
Most importantly, Michelle gets all things motherhood as she is also a mama to her 3-year-old Peanut, Finlay.
What was your first job and how did you land it?
I started life as a corporate lawyer. I was working crazy hours, and I wasn’t sure that I loved it. I mean, you’re getting to know the warts of all of these companies, but then you don’t get to do anything with that company. I was assisting with the sales, acquisitions and much more. BUT if I really take it back to my first ever job pre-corporate life, it was actually working in a department store on Thursdays after school and Saturdays when I was 15. I haven’t stopped working since!
How did Peanut come about?
Peanut was born out of two main issues.
Firstly, there was the emotional aspect of becoming a mother. My girlfriends weren’t at the stage in their lives where they were having children yet, and even if some of my wider friendship group were, we all lived in different parts of the city (and leaving the house to go anywhere further than 10 minutes from home with a newborn felt like a military operation). I suppose what I felt most prominently, which isn’t particularly comfortable for a 30-something woman to admit, is that even though I had lots of friends and was successful professionally, I felt quite isolated. This was further compounded by the fact that I was working in an industry (dating), where it was my day-to-day to produce products people could use to find a match or a date, and I was struggling to find a woman who was like-minded to go for a coffee with.
The second was my frustration with the existing products on the market aimed at mothers. I didn’t recognize the tone of voice the products used, or the UX/UI being used. They felt outdated, old-fashioned, and in some cases patronizing. To me, I didn’t feel like I’d suddenly aged, or become less modern, less cool, just because I’d become a mother, and yet, the products seemed to have that expectation. I found that confusing. I still had an expectation of great user experience, from products like Uber, or Instagram, but I wasn’t getting that from the products for mothers that were out there
Read the full interview on forworkingladies.com
More info on Peanut, the app.