Landon Ainge is a husband and father to two girls. Currently, he is the senior vice president at Gabb Wireless the first-ever cell phone network for kids. He has a diverse industry background from investing to operating. Landon has helped to deploy more than $300M in late-stage acquisitions and early-stage venture capital investments. In between corporate development and venture capital, Landon oversaw the Overstock.com mobile application which won the retail app of the year in 2018.
Great to have you, Landon, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m Landon Ainge, Senior Vice President of Gabb Wireless. I am one of two fathers that helped to create this business and mission (Stephen Dalby being the original founder). I have two amazing little girls and a wonderful wife that help balance me.
Can you tell us the mission of the tech start-up Gabb Wireless and why you feel its important keep children safe?
Gabb Wireless has a very clear three-fold mission — to protect kids, connect families and help encourage a life outside the screen. Our children are our future and when you look at today’s world you can see the way kids are being impacted on an individual and collective basis. It’s important to protect children right now because the biggest obstacle between our kids’ and there dreams is a cell phone and a screen.
Can you tell us how about the psychological effects of screen addiction and what you are doing to solve the problem?
We are only now beginning to see the research come out about the early introduction of technology and the negative impacts. As more research comes out we will continue to realise what a huge mistake we have made. Initial research point to negative correlations between screen time and self-image, attention span, and sleep. What we have done at Gabb Wireless is create the first-ever cell phone network for kids with an age-appropriate device meant for functionality, not entertainment. We recognise that every child on our network is one more child no consumed by a screen at an early age. This is a great honour and responsibility.
Can you explore 3 effective actionable ways that parents can use to prevent the overuse of technology for their children?
- First, don’t give your child a smartphone too early.
- Second, parents put your phone down and make sure you make time to speak face-to-face with your child.
- Third, introduce technology as a tool which is mean to respond to what we want it to do, not visa Versa.
The best lesson learnt throughout building Gabb Wireless?
One surprising thing I have learned is that parents are not being listened too and they appreciate how much Gabb Wireless is building that relationship and communication channel. Additionally, on a more personal level, Stephen and I have had to learn that when things move fast or get tough it requires more frequent communication.
In which areas are you looking to grow and expand Gabb Wireless within the next 3-5 years?
We plan to expand dramatically both with the number of users on our network, the devices we offer and the countries we offer our service in.