Founder’s Story: Spencer Morgan

I couldn’t shake the thought: There had to be a better way.

Everyday millions of Americans are pursuing their passions through organized activity groups, using a disparate hodgepodge of administrative and scheduling tools. Where is the platform that provides the tools they need for managing their club, but also brings people together meaningfully around their shared passions?

In 2011 I was a journalist on assignment in Houston, covering the National Senior Games. I might have been decades away from being able to compete in the event myself, but I felt right at home. Everywhere I went at the Senior Games, from the badminton court to the swimming pool, I spoke with amazing, passionate people with incredible stories.

But something troubled me. While age had not dimmed these active adults’ fire, they needed a better way to connect and engage. I envisioned a simple platform and toolset to help them connect with their passions and peers without the burden of administratively managing those connections. Their focus was to maximize quality time doing more of what they love and what matters most.

Soon after, I realized this problem isn’t limited to older adults. People of all ages are feel more and more alone, even as we are all supposedly more “connected.” Someone in her 20s might like to knit. Someone in her 40s might enjoy mountain biking. But how were these people going to find “their people,” fellow enthusiasts who could help fan that spark of interest into a greater passion?

As I traveled to do research, I saw that existing platforms weren’t addressing the social, mental and physical needs of everyday people, and I knew this was a problem worth solving.

I thought of my maternal grandmother, Jackie. Now in her 90s, Jackie is an inspiration to our family. When she’s not driving around in her convertible, she likes to write and share stories of her travels with us. Her experiences and passions help her live her best possible life every day. But I couldn’t imagine her feeling comfortable using generic social media channels. How many other vital, engaged, active adults could benefit from a trusted, passion-centric, purpose-driven platform?

I thought of my paternal grandfather, Harry.

His name was Harry Morgan. Maybe you know him as the actor who played Colonel Henry Potter on M*A*S*H, or as Joe Friday’s partner, Bill Gannon, on Dragnet. To me, he was my pal. We’d go out for cheesecake, or stay in and watch movies while scarfing Abba-Zabas. In his later years, my grandfather wasn’t the most socially active person. I can see now that he would have benefited from an established platform embraced by like-minded peers and their activity groups.

And so I began obsessing over this idea. There had to be a better way. A better way to connect and engage and inspire people, and help them infuse their lives with lasting, emotional fulfillment.

That’s why I founded GroupWorks.

And, yes, my grandmother Jackie’s a fan.

GroupWorks
kim@hopinit.com