I have built a lot of products in my career:

  • search engines
  • blogging tools
  • podcasting tools
  • online learning systems
  • hypertext authoring tools
  • email marketing aka spamming tools
  • Even a web UI to calculate radiation doses for prostate cancer

But the one thing that I’ve stayed resolutely way from is gaming. And, despite that, three days ago, I launched a product named Game Nanny so what happened?

The short answer is life happened or as I refer to it with my wife, When Life Gives You Lemons. Here’s a snippet from the home page that tells the tale:

Hi,

My name is Scott and I'm a parent, I bet a lot like you. I recently discovered that one of my children has been using my credit card to purchase things in the XBox store -- a lot of things. That $347.82 bill I mentioned above, well, that's true -- and it was just the tip of the iceberg.

I'm also a software developer and I'll admit that while I realized immediately that I had a parenting problem, this was also an opportunity -- and the very next morning I started building Game Nanny.

As parents, even if we don't like video games, we should admit that our kids love them -- but they can be addictive and lead to crazy bad behavior. I'm not the first parent to be surprised by his kid's gaming spending and I won't be the last.

Use Game Nanny to take control of your kid's XBox bad habits. Don't be surprised again!

And that’s the honest to god truth as how Game Nanny came into being. To summarize:

  • I saw my kid had made a mistake (and, yes, a big one)
  • I realized that this wasn’t just a parenting problem, that it was an opportunity
  • That realization took about all of a minute.
  • After that first minute, I had a pretty good idea of what the product was
  • Two weeks later I had a functional product

The bottom line for anyone that either perceives themself to be an entrepreneur or wants to be is that when life gives you a problem, you can look at as just that. Or you can look at your problem as “Is there an opportunity here?” and then, if you think the answer is “Yes” then build a business around it.