12. Wish I’d Known

Company: Wish I’d Known

Founder: Emily Kucharski

Website: https://www.wishidknown.co/


About Wish I’d Known

Wish I’d Known is a digital community for big-picture parenting insights. Users answer weekly questions across a range of everyday parenting topics, to unlock data visualisations of the previous week’s answers.

There’s also a library of past insights, with a ‘fast-forward’ age slider to see how children might develop over the coming months.

It isn’t another forum: it’s a place to discover what other parents are experiencing and feeling, anonymously and democratically. We think of it as the web 3.0 of parenting platforms. Everyone is valued equally as contributors, without the loudest voices diluting others.

We built it because we know how common it is for mothers to feel anxious and stressed. 20% of women develop mental health problems during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth. One driver of this is feeling judged. Research suggests 70% of parents experience this, with almost half saying it takes an emotional toll, lowering self-esteem and driving feelings of inadequacy. The traditional internet – particularly forums – can amplify this, by presenting a subjective view of a “good parent”*.

The impact of such struggles can span decades: mothers suffering from anxiety and stress tend to be less responsive to their child’s interaction, and use stricter forms of discipline, which can negatively impact social, emotional and cognitive development. This increases the chances of government interventions later in life, the annual cost of which LSE has estimated as a staggering £16 billion.

Our platform tackles these problems by providing a judgement-free, objective resource. We want to help parents gain confidence around everyday topics in order to feel more relaxed and happier. Because that also leads to healthier, happier children. Our vision for the next 5 years is to curate a billion data points of collective wisdom and experience, accessible to every parent in the world.

Our beta site has already gathered thousands of data points, growing organically at an average of 20% per week. When we asked our community for feedback, 84% said the insights had reassured them that what they’re going through is normal, and 60% said they satisfied their curiosity. We’ve had unpaid endorsements from experts in breastfeeding, postnatal health, sleep, and much more; as well as collaborations with established brands.

We’re now raising investment to build a long-term platform with functionality including AI predictions, longitudinal statistical analysis, and new user journeys – including for parents-to-be (our beta site is currently aimed at mums of 0-3 year olds).

While our community is designed to be insightful and helpful to everyone, participation is also about paying it forward. Because it’s the wisdom and experiences that one mother possesses within herself already that are valuable. Experiences that, when shared, can shine a light to ease some of the anxiety, lack of self-belief or darkness that another mother may be feeling.

*IPSOS, 2022.