mintedJOY: Gift Giving Platform for Kids

A gift giving platform for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to gift experiences instead of toys for kids


I had just become interested in minimalism, and my nieces and nephews just had loads of toys every year that they never played with and barely remembered.

Any had been giving great gifts of experiences for our nieces for the last few years and loved figuring out different experiences for different ages and kids interested.

Amy, Erin, and I (the same team from Canopi) set off to make a side business out of Amy’s ideas.

We created a website in a weekend, spent a few hundred dollars to advertise it and saw how many people signed up (we got about a dozen) and then started creating ideas for them to see if the process would work.

We sent 3 ideas for each kid for their birthday or Christmas and then wanted to see how many people would follow through with those ideas.

Many buyers of experiences wanted more than just the ideas, they wanted us to make the appointments, and then give them how the day should go.


Children’s gifts


October 2016 - Dec 2016

How did it work out?

We landed on a $49 per year business model for access to a database of ideas, as well as 3 personalized ideas per kid.

With that pricing we spent a hundred more dollars on advertising to see if anyone would buy and no one besides family did.

We didn’t want to build the relationships with vendors to take a portion of the profit and the generalized ideas better served as a blog posts and monetizing via ads.

We weren’t interested in building that business and audience, so we shut it down.

What did you learn

We were way faster at invalidating the idea than the first time we built something

We built a marketing site in a weekend, and within 6 weeks we had a business model and could fully execute on the operations of the business. We could deliver what we were selling.

Giving physical gifts is too easy

Most people don’t plan well and even fewer execute on good ideas. It’s easier to pick something up at Target on the way to the party.

Value in the value chain

We provided the stimulus but weren’t fully executing on the promise of delivering a gift to the child. There were too many points of failure. And people didn’t want to pay us for ideas.

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