Wow, am I ever finding myself in a straight-up weird place right now in my attempt to save Single Dad Laughing from all the forces that have come together to destroy blogging as a profession.
About ten months ago, as I sat contemplating any way that I might save Single Dad Laughing (a situation which has not changed much at all), I had this thought… Make Single Dad Laughing available as an app instead of just as a webpage. At the time, I decided to do it without too much excitement because I thought it would help things, but I didn’t have too much vision of what the app could actually become outside of a vessel for the blog itself.
I hired a developer (in India since my savings account looked like it was something that I would probably be needing very soon), and his team got started on the app. It was supposed to be done in 30 days on iPhone and Android no problem. That was 10 months ago. The problem? I started realizing that I do not just have a blog. We have an entire community together here at Single Dad Laughing. It is an amazing and unique community at that. We are so individual yet we are so similar in the way we all view the world and the people in it. We laugh together. Not just at what I share, but at the things we all share. A good percentage of the blog posts I have shared have been blog posts created by all of you! Creepy Kids, The Truth Box, Weird Confessions, Bad Date Stories, Hilarious things said by old people, and so much more. On my side I have my blog posts, and I have my Wrong Numbers, my favorite videos, my Podcast (currently on hold) and so much more. And together, over on Facebook, we have our silly and sometimes intense fun. Selfie contests, contemplative questions whose answers are so thought-provoking to read through, and so much more.
And that got me to thinking… why not create one incredible app which let’s us all do that if and when we want to do it. Why only have creepy kid stories every couple months in one giant post? Why not share a bunch of my favorites every single day in an app section dedicated just to that? And why not give a place where we can all share our Truth Box posts and go read other people’s Truth Box posts every time we need a dose of humaning instead of only reading one giant list every couple months. My mind started spinning at the possibilities. Soon I had designed an app that would do it all and have it all. It would let us all choose our favorite parts of Single Dad Laughing and fill our app with only those sections. It would give readers easy access to my blog posts and the other things I share.
So far the plan for the SDL app has grown to more than 50 sections, some of which are fun and interactive and new. Oh, I can’t build them all now. It’s a process, for sure. But I’ll be launching the app with a bunch of them built and functional, and will be building the rest over the next several months. Ohmagoodness. I am so excited for the Single Dad Laughing app. I believe that it will save Single Dad Laughing. So much so that I did the hardest thing ever and dipped deep into my savings to build it. Well, it and three other apps.
Gosh. Things escalated quickly.
At the time Flappy Bird was such a big thing, I was neck deep in the development of the SDL App. Noah was so fascinated with the fact that Dad was building an app, and he said, “I wanna build an app with you Dad!” I asked him what he’d build and he said, “I’d build a Flappy Bird where you and me are the Flappy, and it has way cooler stuff to make the game more fun!” Hmmmm… I thought. Why not tinker with his idea for a moment? Noah and I sat down and started brainstorming together some crazy things that would make Flappy incredibly more fun. He had some ingenious ideas! Rocket ships, space warps, crazy obstacles, and so much more. And I thought, why not?
So, long story short, that has been in the work for four months now.
It is turning out so friggin’ fun. Noah and I have had a royal blast having it built, and he is so excited for you all to give it a spin. Every day he asks, “is it in the App Store yet, Dad?!”
It was supposed to take 30 days to build. And like I said. It’s been four months.
Then gosh. Things escalated quickly from there, too.
I had a certain really cool section planned out and designed for the Single Dad Laughing App’s initial launch. I can’t tell you just yet what that is, because I think a lot of people are going to say, “Wait. Why does this not exist yet?!” when they see the concept.
But the more I thought about that section of the app, the more I realized it was something that should be an app all on its own.
Do you all remember Tobi and AJ? Tobi is my dear friend, mother of seven with MS, and we all pitched in to help her and AJ in a moment of life that was too big for them and for which they would never have asked for help on their own.
Wow. I am still so floored by all of your generosity when we did that. Your contributions made them want to shrink into the proverbial corner forever with uneasiness, but those contributions also helped them start a new life. They helped AJ finally bring the ridiculous custody battle for his kids to a successful end. They helped Tobi quit the serving job which was crippling her more by the day. And those donations helped them move to Phoenix, a place where winter can no longer incapacitate her as she tries to raise her kids. The gift you all gave Tobi and AJ and their family was incredible. It gave them a new start at a new life. And for that I will always be thankful.
And so, as I got more excited about this third app and how incredible it would be, I thought… why not bring Tobi and AJ into it as partners and let’s build this one together. The thought of my friends possibly having what they needed in the future without donations and without killing themselves to survive just took over and without much thinking I started pitching them on it. They were sold on the idea of the app before I even finished explaining it. And for the first time in a long time I heard so much hope from Tobi and AJ about the brightness of their future when it came to their ability to give their family what their family needs financially long term.
The app we are building is going to be so good. You will love it. It was supposed to be done a month ago. It’s still not done.
And things escalated from there once more before I finally slapped myself upside the head and said enough! Finish these before you add on anything else!
That came after I started the fourth app and had to wonder what I was truly getting myself into.
Once again I designed an incredibly fun section for my SDL app and realized that it once again had to be its own app. You all know and love my “Big Fat Day of THAT” posts. But did you know I originally got that idea from my good friend Lilly? She sent me a text one day pointing at all these things saying “See THAT?!” and “See THOSE?!” Oh my gosh, I never laughed so hard, and from that the blog series was born. But see… what I wasn’t expecting was for so many of you to start sending me your own See THAT pictures in response. I have laughed with so many of you over your own little findings in this crazy world we live in.
So yes. That idea. On steroids. Times a thousand. That is the app we are building, Lilly and I. She anxiously partnered with me when I showed her the design. I’ll introduce Lilly more when I announce the app. Just know she is one awesome and hilarious single mother of four.
And that app was supposed to be done, by the way, last week.
You know how I told you I am finding myself in a weird place? I am. With all of these apps and with all of you.
As I started each app, the timeline to share them with all of you was spread out over months! As you know, if you’ve followed me for long at all, I really hate feeling like I’m ever flooding you with marketing or sponsorships. I have always been so careful not to over commercialize Single Dad Laughing even though with the size of readership I have I probably should. It just never feels right to me. Yeah. I take on sponsorships once in a great while with brands that I really appreciate and want to work with. But for the most part my outbox is one giant flood of “NO” replies to businesses and companies who want me to use my platform to sell to all of you.
If you need further proof, look how many times since the first time I announced my first book four years ago that I have mentioned it to all of you or sent you the link to buy it. The answer is zero. BLAH! I just hate self-promotion so much.
And now… knowing all this… this is where things are getting weird for me. I don’t know what to do.
Three of the four apps are going to be finished up (by the looks of it, though we all know how that goes) in the next 14-21 days, and the fourth app will be right on its heels. Within a few weeks I will be launching all four apps to you guys.
It was not supposed to go this way. It was not supposed to be this way.
And I guess I am giving you a heads up that things are about to get way too commercially up in here for my tastes. Each app deserves its own blog post and at least a few shout-outs. They are all turning out SO awesome. I have worked so hard on them. And I have risked so much on a leap of faith. And my partners are all counting on me. And the future of Single Dad Laughing is riding on them. For sure.
So, I guess what I’m asking all of you is… can you be cool with that? Can you try not to think too much into the super fast timing of them all? I promise they’re not. Will you give me a pass for the next month or so in the “pitching my own stuff to you” department? Will you let me share these things with you as quickly as they all finish?
And gosh. Can you tell how worried I am about the timing of this? My superhero name is Captain Projection, I guess.
I am fighting every temptation to throw this entire blog post about it out. But being honest with you about what is going on has always been a formula that works around here, so I’ll share it. Gotta have faith in how awesome you all are. You have never been anything but supportive and awesome to me.
Single Dad Laughing will survive this scary time and it will thrive. The Single Dad Laughing App will change and enhance this community in such fantastic ways forever. I really believe that. These other three apps will be incredible. You will love them. Love, love, love them. I have banked everything on it.
It’s do or die time.
Thanks for having my back, super peeps.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing