Zero to hero: app keeps forgetful blokes lucky in love
There are plenty of apps that promise to help you find your life partner. This is the app that promises to help with the “happily ever after”.
When HeroBoyfriend founder Dan Groch started spruiking his idea for an app two years ago, Melbourne-based travel industry executive Andy Buerckner, 30, was one of those who was listening — along with his girlfriend Kate Fissenden.
“After a few (not so subtle) hints, I jumped on the waiting list,” Buerckner says.
Fissenden was pleased that her partner of two years took the hint.
“I thought he may be all ‘I don’t need an app to be a good boyfriend’ but it has actually been super helpful,” she said.
“He does love all things digital and time management so I guess this rolls it into one.
“He was always a good boyfriend but had dropped the ball a few times when it came to forgetting date nights and working late.
“The app has definitely enabled him to be better at remembering important dates and also giving him quick options for dinner or weekends away. It has definitely made him more aware to put in a bit of effort.”
Groch says an app that could help people focus on the important things in life clearly struck a chord when he pitched his idea, with 10,000 people quickly jumping on the waiting list.
Two years down the track, and after extensive testing with 700 people including Buerckner, the fully featured HeroBoyfriend app is launching today on the Apple App Store.
Groch’s inspiration for the app came from personal experience.
After a long-term relationship that ended after 12 years, he used a dating app to find a new partner.
And, having found love again with the help of an app, he wanted to keep that love going in the same way.
The core of HeroBoyfriend is a digital assistant that can prompt you to remember important dates, like anniversaries, but also take time to do little things, like go for a picnic together or send flowers or a gift.
The app will help you find a recipe to cook a special dinner for the night, buy flowers that your partner will love or book a restaurant that will suit her tastes.
It is the complexity of making a digital assistant that serves as a relationship counsellor that has been the reason it has taken so long for Groch to get to this stage.
“The concept of an AI personal assistant turns out to be a pretty ambitious, hard thing to do,” Groch said.
The app serves as an aggregator of ideas and items to buy, including 30,000 events, 4000 gift experiences, and 10,000 gift product lines.
Groch has further plans for the app’s development, including the possibility of a stand-alone app for the other partner in the relationship, so that the couple have a “social network” of two for their dating relationship that they can use to boost their communication.
Fissenden, 29, said the value of this technology tool was that it reminded her and her partner to sometimes turn away from technology and focus on the important things.
“Being that we both work so much, it has really reminded us to slow down and enjoy spending time together sans phones or computers,” she says.
“All girls love a bit of romance, even the smallest things make a huge difference. The surprise flowers or dinners are always a nice reminder that he’s thinking of me.”
Buerckner said as a business owner who often got caught up with work and travel, the best part of the app was the way it prompted him to focus on his relationship.
“I am both short on time and easily distracted with emails and calls, every day of the year,” he said.
“While I am incredibly conscious of not putting my work before Kate, at times it can be overwhelming and the stress of business and the accompanying travel can take its toll on a relationship.
“It’s the simple things like a reminder on my phone that our anniversary is coming up, or a quick idea for a gift to show Kate that I’m still thinking of her when I know I haven’t spent enough time at home that make this app a success in my eyes.”
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