From time to time, we’ll use this blog to introduce you to members of the Bambino team as well as take you behind-the-scenes at our community events and answer your most frequently asked questions. We want you to know there are real people behind our technology. Real people that are listening to your concerns, and understand the challenges of modern parenthood. Real people you can trust with your family.
To kick things off, we thought you’d like to get personal with the man behind Bambino, our founder Sean Greene. A father of a blended family of five, Sean has been a leading figure in industry for twenty years and lives in the Palisades. Here is a glimpse into his own childhood, what he thinks makes a good sitter and what he’s typically up to with his kids most weekends.
Tell us about your background.
SG: I was born in the suburbs of Chicago, and moved to a farm in Oklahoma when I was 9. I learned at a young age about hard work. In 5th grade, I would wake up at 5:30 am to feed the horses and clean the stables before I went to school. After school, I’d climb on a tractor and mow my neighbor’s pastures for a few bucks. I then invested that money in blow pops and would sell them for a quarter each at school. That was the beginning of my entrepreneurial career."
What were you doing professionally before Bambino?
SG: Coming out of school, my dad told me to get a real sales job, so I got a job selling yellow pages ads over the phone. I found success quickly and was promoted every 9 to 12 months for the next 15 years. Throughout my early career, we moved to 8 different states and I learned about communities all over this great Country.
I have been fortunate to hold positions a variety of roles in sales, marketing, product, business development, corporate strategy, M&A, and general management. I’ve managed start-up ventures and $200 million units with billion dollar companies. Most recently, I took over as CEO of a struggling, mid-stage, global technology company. I successfully turned the business profitable, expanded the footprint, tripled the clients, and orchestrated a successful exit to a multi-billion dollar global publishing company.
I left all of that behind to start Bambino, because I believe in the opportunity and what we are doing. Babysitting is a $15 billion business, and it is greatly underserved. It’s a business that requires scale and one that is built community by community, not unlike the yellow pages. It requires innovative thinking, viral marketing, and an intense focus on satisfying the users…both parents and sitters.
What is the first thing you notice about a sitter as a parent?
SG: It may sound basic but I notice the way he or she interacts with my kids. I think it's very telling about their desire to be a babysitter. My oldest daughter Mackenzie babysits because she really enjoys being with kids and that shows instantly.
It can be a little thing like leaning down to be on a small child’s level and be less scary. Or the questions they ask an older child to try to build rapport. And I always notice if they genuinely listen to my kids. So often kids just want that respect of someone older really hearing what they are saying.
What activities have you found your kids like to do most with a sitter?
SG: They are big fans of arts and crafts. It can be a wonderful way for a sitter (and parent) to nurture creativity and imagination while keeping them busy. Plus it’s great to have something tangible to look at and discuss when we come back together. I love to hear about what they have created while we’ve been away.
Do you prefer sitters to focus on educational activities or just have a good time with the kids?
SG: I think a thoughtful mix of both is ideal. Let’s be honest: After a long week at school, something more educational on a Saturday may not fly. Kids often just need self-directed play outside or with their toys. So I think the most popular sitters in our house know how to gauge a child’s mood and be responsive to that mood by offering a variety of suggestions on what to do.
What are some of your favorite places to spend time with your kids near your home in the Palisades?
SG: There are so many to choose from right around the Palisades that it's hard to pick a favorite. We’re a very active family. I love hiking with the kids in the Santa Monica mountains. Or just relaxing on the beach. Our kids love to swim and bodyboard at Will Rogers Beach.
I also love weekend trips to Catalina, flying RC planes in Potrero Canyon, or watching baseball/t-ball at the Pali Rec Center. They're all a blast!
What are some of your favorite restaurants in the neighborhood?
SG: There are so many good restaurants in the Palisades, but for dinner with the kids, it's hard to beat Kay-n-Daves or Beech Street. They've both got friendly casual settings that let kids be kids.
For a date night, Casa Nostra and Ritrovo are favorites for a relaxing evening.
What do you love most about living in SoCal?
SG: I'd refer you to the last few answers: What's not to love! Biking, hiking, sailing, swimming plus great cuisine and culture – it's all available to us, and most of it is year round. I feel so fortunate not only to raise kids in a community that is so dynamic, but one that is so tightly knit and supportive.
To learn more about the idea behind Bambino, check out Our Story.