Recently we were interviewed by CEO Blog Nation to talk about story behind our brand Planned Departure. After sharing our story with them, I realised that I should share this story with you all as well – to help you understand how we came up with this idea and what motivated us to pursue it.
My partner Komal and I moved from our home country India to UK around 6 years back. Few months after coming to UK, my uncle passed away in India and that triggered first chain of thoughts. We started thinking, how it is to die in this digital age? How technology is changing our life and how people can be remembered in this digital age? We discussed this issue for few days – I was convinced that there is a need for product in this space. However, we did not progress beyond discussions and carried on with our life after few days.
Unfortunately, after 2 years or so, my father-in-law expired suddenly and that brought us back to the same questions. This time, we were more involved in the process and experienced the pain of managing accounts and affairs of deceased accounts first hand. We thought, technology should be able to make this process a bit smoother and less painful for people who are probably experiencing their worst time.
After coming back to UK, I spoke to many traditional organisations (such as banks, utility providers etc) I was dealing with and asked them one simple question – What will happen to my assets if I die tomorrow? All of them were unanimous in their response – we will follow the process and release your assets if someone get in touch and provide appropriate legal proofs. I started wondering how many people know about my assets, how will they get relevant information, how will they claim it if something happens to me.
More I thought about it, more challenging it became. I continued my research on emails, domains, facebook, twitter and many other online services – none of them had ability to keep users in control of information user is creating.
Many people thought sharing this information with partner or someone close is enough. I wasn’t convinced – sure my partner knows everything, but hey what if both of us are gone? When I researched more, I found that there were billions of pounds of unclaimed assets in every country – and I asked myself – do I want my assets to be ended up in this pile of unclaimed assets? Answer was clear.
Planned Departure was our response to this problem. We created it to ensure that information reaches to the right people – to our family, to our friends and to our colleagues.
I wouldn’t want my hard earned assets to be ended up in unclaimed assets – would you?
What motivates us is the feeling that system we are creating would be able to help people by giving them useful information when they need it most. We feel satisfied – because we are giving users control of their digital life, even after they are gone.
We feel it’s a worthwhile goal to pursue. What do you think.
Please feel free to share our story in your network.
Image source: http://caseprint.co.uk/2011/07/06/our-story-islington/