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Alumni Spotlight

Creating a Playbook for Parents

With three children and one on the way, Bruce Hymas and his wife, Brittany, found themselves quite literally losing sleep over issues like their kids not sleeping through the night.

Bruce Hymas, a 2009 BYU Marriott entrepreneurship alum.
Photo courtesy of Bruce Hymas.

After attending a parenting conference in an effort to find answers, the 2009 BYU Marriott entrepreneurship alum recognized a need for parents to have their questions answered quickly and reliably. Relying on his education and connections at the BYU Marriott School of Business, Hymas created the app ParentPlaybook.

This app was not his first foray into creating his own business. From his early beginnings mowing lawns in his Seattle hometown to starting and selling several startups after graduating, Hymas has always been an entrepreneur.

While he was at BYU Marriott, Hymas worked with several professors on projects that extended beyond the walls of the classroom. One of his projects ended up as his full-time job after graduation. “I ran Zachary Douglass, a company I created as a senior, for five years and then sold it after I decided to go back to school,” Hymas says.

Hymas completed his MBA at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. With his MBA in hand, he made the leap from the startup life to working for the largest company he could find—Bank of America.

Bruce Hymas graduated from the entrepreneurship program at BYU Marriott in 2009.
Photo courtesy of Bruce Hymas.

At Bank of America, Hymas became certified in agile coaching and trained hundreds of software development teams on how to improve their processes. It was during his time at Bank of America that Hymas and his wife attended the pivotal parenting seminar. After the main presentation, hundreds of people lined up to ask the speaker questions about specific problems they dealt with as parents. Hymas remembers turning to his wife and asking, “Are you seeing this?”

He knew that within that line of people a business idea existed. Hymas envisioned an app where parents could curate information for each of their kids and easily share it with their partners and support systems. “I started asking everybody about parenting and where they found answers to their questions. As I did this, I realized resources were missing for parents,” he says. The parents he talked to believed in the old adage “it takes a village,” but they struggled to access that village.

Hymas turned to his own village at BYU Marriott for help. He reached out to John Richards, one of the entrepreneurship professors he had worked with, for guidance on finding a cofounder. “Richards put my request out to his network, and that’s how I connected with Philip Anderson, who is now the CEO of ParentPlaybook,” Hymas explains.

With a cofounder and the support of his family, Hymas got his idea off the ground. While his app is still in its beta stage, Hymas and his wife put in twelve-hour days to balance a startup and their four children. “I’ll usually pause my work at night, put our kids to bed, and then come back to the app,” Hymas says. Right now, Hymas is working to expand the platform to support a growing number of users.

Bruce Hymas, his wife Brittany, and their four children.
Photo courtesy of Bruce Hymas.

Even with ParentPlaybook still in the early phases of production, Hymas and his wife already use the app to tailor their parenting to each of their kids. “One of our daughters was in gymnastics, and we were worried about her because we read an article suggested by ParentPlaybook about the symptoms of burnout,” Hymas says. “Because of the article, we recognized that she was getting burned out, and we knew how to talk to her and help her make a decision. As a result, our daughter isn’t doing gymnastics anymore.”

Despite his hectic schedule, Hymas continues to focus on his family. “We started ParentPlaybook with a heartfelt vision to improve the world by strengthening relationships between parents and children,” he says, pleased with the prospect of bringing his business acumen back home.

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Writer: Liesel Allen

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