Tutoring startup ReadyTechGo making technology simple for seniors
How many times have your parents invited you over for dinner, and what you assumed would be a casual family catch-up, turned out to be a tech support visit? Whether or not we choose to admit it, many of us have a short fuse when it comes to teaching our parents how to use technology.
Let’s paint a scenario.
‘Something’s wrong with the internet! It keeps saying the page cannot be displayed.’
‘You need to switch on the Wi-Fi, mum.’
‘What’s this Wi-Fi ballyhoo everyone’s on about?’
‘You need Wi-Fi to access the internet on your laptop, dad.’
‘Yeah, but I just want to check my email.’
‘I give up.’
Technology is advancing at such a fast pace that many of us need to press our mental accelerator pedals to keep up with it all. But not everyone can. And one of the biggest problems with current support services (like beginner courses) is that they aren’t tailored to individuals.
Founded by Lisa Du and Brad Donnini in April 2012, Melbourne-based tutoring startup ReadyTechGo offers a one-on-one in-home training service for those who want to experience the full benefits of modern technology. For $80 an hour, clients receive a personalised service that addresses their individual concerns. Better yet, they can learn at their own pace.
Rather than enrolling in a smartphone course, only to learn that the Sony Experia Z has perks that are completely different to the iPhone, clients can learn everything they need or want to know about their own devices from a ReadyTechGo trainer – in the comfort of their own homes.
What’s great about the service is that no-one is being judged for their technical illiteracy, and the trainers uphold the virtue of patience. This eliminates the need to face growling sons and daughters, and snickering tech-savvy peers.
“Through our one on one in-home tech training service, we’ve seen so many people gain confidence with using technology. We are changing people’s lives by opening up a world that was foreign and confusing to them,” says Ms Du.
At first, ReadyTechGo was targeted to seniors; but the founders started receiving enquiries from people of all ages and backgrounds. In fact, their youngest client is a 16-year-old high school student, and the eldest, a 96-year-old World War II veteran.
Their very first client was a corporate executive who purchased a new smartphone and wanted to learn how to use it as quickly as possible.
Over the past six months, ReadyTechGo have been working with many tradesmen who are known to be traditional in the way they operate their businesses.
“A lot of tradies are frustrated with the amount of invoicing they have to do after they return home from hard day’s work. We’ve been showing them how they could use their smartphones to do the invoices at the client’s door without any paper clutter,” says Ms Du.
“Essentially, we’re helping them improve their business operations by implementing technology.”
This means that ReadyTechGo has two main groups of clients: the everyday technology consumer and the business operator. Ms Du says some people simply want to learn how to use Skype or download the latest anti-virus software, while others want to learn how to make themselves more efficient using cloud-based solutions.
The feedback they receive from their clients, Ms Du says, has been humbling. One client was struggling to get a hold of her son in Dubai; and the day Ms Du visited her to teach her how to use Skype, was her son’s birthday. When the client was able to wish her son a happy birthday via Skype, there was “an incredible sense of achievement, she was so proud of herself, and so was her son.”
Another client who was suffering from severe depression said ReadyTechGo completely changed her life. Where before she would be trapped with her negative thoughts, with the help of a ReadyTechGo trainer, she was able to get online and access emergency support during moments of difficulty.
The biggest challenge for the tutoring startup, however, has been scalability. Ms Du says they’re looking to bring on more trainers who will be designated to particular local areas: “this will make the business more scalable. But it’s really hard to find trainers who have the same level of passion as we do.”
“It’s a good thing that we help people because it attracts others with a similar kind of mentality, but it’s difficult to find someone who is both tech-savvy and can think on their feet.”
The tutoring startup currently has a client base over 100-strong, and growing steadily every month. After they’ve established themselves in Melbourne, ReadyTechGo will be expanding into other cities including Brisbane and Sydney.
For more information, visit www.readytechgo.com.au.