Go back 10 years, I had recently met my girlfriend Sarah (now wife). I had started my first job as a Product Manager for a leading New Zealand shed manufacturer where I still work currently as a Structural Engineer. It’s interesting looking back on the path taken unclear at the time and still unclear of where it leads but hopefully toward fulfilling dreams, spending time with family, friends and most of all hoping the ones you love stay safe. Not that the “younger me” would write such words, nor any. I didn’t do that well at English, dreaded school speeches and yet have recently taken on an MC role at our National & Regional Conferences in front of an 80+ audience consisting of franchisees, work colleagues and suppliers – I’ve actually enjoyed it. It was a challenge that I accepted and was always going to give it 110%.
I think this is where my competitive nature kicks in – dad, Michael Eggleton had been involved in motorsport his entire life, rallies, hill-climbs and was influential in Possum Bourne’s initial career (a famous NZ rally car driver, my idol, good family friend and top guy tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident). Dad was his co-driver for several years in the early days, until kids started to come along (I have 2 younger sisters) and eventually I got in to racing Karts at age 10, we managed to achieve a NZ Championship Title and in 2008 moved on to Speedway running a 850hp Sprintcar. Like most motor sports they take a lot of time, motivation and effort – we carry out the majority of the work ourselves with many hours spent in the shed. We’re there to win ultimately for our sponsors, team and fans but it’s a thrill either way! A real special part about the racing as I have a lot of time for kids is seeing the smiles on their faces when they sit in the car and you take the time to talk with them. The amount of young followers we have is pretty cool!
From a very young age I had a strong interest in computers, for 10+ years I played soccer as well as the Piano (I wish I had continued with the Piano the most, but I might pick it up again sometime in the future). Anyhow, I was set on being a software programmer an enrolled in a Bachelor of IT course after 7th Form, however a year in and a job opportunity presented itself. Weighing up a few things, I ended up taking the job where I still work today. A large part was dealing with engineers, IT, factory personal making sure projects were introduced smoothly whilst having a clear understand of the varying stages to ensure nothing was overlooked. I found myself constantly trying to work out how engineers came up with their answers in their calculations which led to being put through a Diploma in Civil Engineering, this is where looking back the job path I decided to take looked clearer. Maths was my favourite subject at school and I loved technical drawing, it seems odd I didn’t look or perhaps didn’t know of a career in Structural Engineering prior and do a Bachelor of Engineering after College… However I’ve also always been an “idea’s” person, “this would be cool”, “what about this”, to then find out most idea’s had already been thought of or outside of my budget and expertise.
With Sarah recently finishing a Nanny course, I prompted a question “what about a website which connects nannies with parents?” To which Sarah replied, “It already exists”. Back to the drawing board, or not so much – what did exist was a far stretch from my imagination including extending the “care” categories offered, except… It would cost well over $100k to get a firm to develop an initial “decent” product (there’s so much more that goes on behind what you see in the mechanics of such websites). My passion for computers and learning to code had never stopped.
And so it began…
Countless hours (est. 10,000+) to date. I’d get home from work, jump straight on the computer until 1-3am for days on end (I couldn’t do that now I’m older, at least not more than a few days in a row. I do however remember still being reasonably tired during the days), really this continued for over a year self-teaching myself how to code, etc whilst developing the site. Finally I released Carefinder, we’ll call it ‘Version 1’. Although along the way there were a lot more, never completely happy but I had to quickly learn being a perfectionist in programming that you will never release anything and so a line was drawn. From here I knew the functionality didn’t meet my expectations but it was at the limit of my knowledge at the time, so in the years following I have been working away tirelessly but only till midnight-1am now, continuing to learn among work, racing, time with family, my wife (she’s 1 in a million to be so understanding) and now our first child, Austin whose 8 month’s old (I was meant to get this redeveloped website out before he was born! Good things take time I guess). Did I mention I’ve found a whole new level of “worrying” being a Dad! I cherish every moment with him and know just how much parents love and look out for their kids now.
We now have over 5,200 members which I’m proud to know a lot have found care for their loved one’s including pets through the site, not to mention we do cover gardening and house sitting but without the site generating a revenue it’s pretty hard to advertise all we offer. We continue to have the site free of charge for individual caregivers and parents, hopefully we can recover “some” running costs in future.
With any software, with literally millions of lines of code typed one by one, we’re going to have a few bugs to be ironed out BUT the site will never be finished – I have more big idea’s, but finding time is hard among other priorities. Ultimately it would be great to be able to develop the site, my absolute passion, full-time but I need to earn a living at present. We hope everyone appreciates the enormous effort that gone in to Carefinder behind the scenes. Please take the time to share our website with family and friends who you think may benefit from the service, we’ll hopefully be writing a few blogs on an array of different topics and/or products related to our site, and members interests. Please let us know what may interest you!
Well, I think I’ve rambled on enough so that’s my first blog post done and dusted. It’s time to get a little sleep!
Thank you for being apart of our site, otherwise welcome to it and our blog!