@ThinkMaya Promotes Education and Technology Through MemeTales
What would you do if you had two Masters' degrees? If one were in electrical engineering and the other in business, don't you think you would be at a big software company with a lofty title and great stock options? Might you not be somewhat, uh, advanced in years? That's what many people would think when they'd consider the accomplishments of such a person. But Maya Bisineer, of the @thinkmaya fame, shows us another meaning of success.
She lists these accomplishments to her name, yet you'll find her, young and spry, not behind some big corporate desk but in front of her home computer, working on a meaningful cause—to engage more children and their parents in reading through her innovate children's book site MeMeTales.com.
Make no mistake, though, MeMeTales is no meek little undertaking, though it started simply enough. It grew out of her desire to write some stories for her children, now ages 3 and 4 ½; it is now something she is "insanely passionate about" because it involves "empowerment through education, women in technology, children and social causes at a local as well as global scale." She says, "we spend all our time making up stories to help teach our children life lessons. But its really hard to publish an actual children's book in the traditional sense." So she spun a site off of her already-successful blog so that she could provide herself and other children's book writers a community in which they could share their stories in a much more open and real-time arena.
Today, MeMeTales is a full-featured site that provides children with original online books; related activities, crafts and media; and opportunities to share back fun experiences after reading the books. To parents, bloggers, and educators, it is a children's book/learning community. To authors and illustrators, it is a "collaboration space." MeMeTales will soon be launching an iPhone app version of their site that will provide children's books in rich format, audio readings, and video games customized to the books. Also, they are developing the technology for visitors to buy books in either print or ebook format, and craft/activity kits, handmade items, and personalizable merchandise that go along with the picture book characters.
Maya, who is leading the technology-development efforts, has a staff of 6 located all over the world. She is a powerhouse, putting the full weight of her significant degrees and skills behind her passion. In the next five years, she hopes to significantly develop the number of books offered and increase the vibrance of her online community, ultimately helping to "enrich peoples' lives through technology."
How does she find balance between her roles as start-up powerhouse, wife, and mother? She:
- Developed a good support framework of family and core friends.
- Doesn't get distracted, particularly by online opportunities.
- Has a goal, which is "not just a shiny object," and is going after it.
When asked how she would advise other moms to live happier, more powerful lives, she says, "ask yourself what you really want to own, to be known for," and then act accordingly. My friends, let's all do just that.