Happy Heart – A New Business Model for “Senior Independent Living”… and Their Families

We want to help Seniors live independently, for as long as they can, without the need for assisted living.


Todd Brous: Loves Roasted Brussel Sprouts with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil. He’s also an Entrepreneur, Consultant, Product Developer, Technologist, Designer, Artist, and Teacher. He is the President and CEO of Untwist, Inc., a Boutique Technology Consulting Firm in NYC, and has worked for 20+ years in Media & Entertainment, IT, Technology, and Content Creation.  He has an MFA in Computer Art from The School of Visual Arts, where he was also an instructor for 19 years teaching Computer Systems, and… he has a Design Patent for a fidget toy.

Scotty McConnaughey: Loves mangos, preferably eaten in warm climates. For 20 years she analyzed stocks and managed equity portfolios for Fidelity Investments and Aberdeen Standard Investments. She currently serves as advisor, operating partner, and board member to MaxMyInterest, Ouroboros Capital, and Wondermore Boston. 


What are Seniors and their Families worried about?
What keeps them up at night?
How do Seniors want to live?
How do we want to take care of our Senior Friends and Family Members?

Seniors wonder…

What should I do if there’s an emergency?  What if I need to repair something in the house and I can’t do it myself?  How can I chat with the family when I can barely read or type on a Smartphone?  How can I easily buy something when my kids help out with my finances?  How can I avoid being scammed?  Did I take my medication?  I’m far away from my kids and grandkids… and because of Covid… I’m afraid I’ll never be able to see them ever again.


Happy Heart helps solves these problems by bringing Seniors, Family Members, and Vendors, together through an integrated digital platform.

Happy Heart’s goal is to revolutionize how Seniors live by changing the way they interact with the world.  We empower Seniors to help them to Live Independently, provide their Families with the Confidence that they are well cared for… and we do this… all through our Digital and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Platform.

And when the time comes to decide on Assisted Living… you’ll at least have the data to help your family make the decision together.


Design and Interaction bring users to our platform, and we capture value in a few ways.

The Happy Heart Digital Platform is designed to support Seniors with the services and support they’ll need to live an Independent Lifestyle… while also providing their Families access to information and services that’ll help them as well.

The key is the Smartphone App.  (There’s a Web Portal too.)

It turns out that many of the Apps that are already out there are great… but Seniors struggle to use them.  Simply… they just aren’t designed for Seniors.  “Design Thinking” is a key aspect of everything we do, and the Primary Seniors’ User Interface (UI) needs to be extremely simple to use, and it can’t change over time.  It’s gotta be easy to remember where buttons are located… and when a new user is added into our system, the UI can be completely customized for every individual’s needs.  (For example, imagine a “voice-recognition interface” that doesn’t normally display a keyboard for someone who has trouble typing.)

The Happy Heart platform will integrate with commercial off-the-shelf Health Monitoring Hardware and Sensors, including devices and services from Apple, Google, and Amazon (Siri, Alexa, iWatch, etc.) as well as any number of BYOD and Home Automation Sensors.  We want you to use what you feel comfortable with.

Oh… and the Chat will have Stickers too.  Everyone loves chat stickers!

Lastly… if there’s ever an Emergency… not only will it be easy to call for help, but registered friends, family, and trusted neighbors can also get alerts and can join into a group conversation.

The world is made up of people and families… and the people we aim to serve are our families. We believe that the meaning of life is to Love and to Learn, and living independently leads to a fuller and happier life. This is why we do what we do.

(… and Ice Cream.)


How does this all work?  Well… did you know that designing Multi-sided Business Models is lots of fun?  ‘Cause if you can get the equation right…. Wow!   Oh, and please don’t forget that #networkeffects are super powerful too.

On one side we’ve got the Users: Seniors + Families

On the other side there are the Vendors: Services, Delivery, Transportation, Support, etc.

Yes!  That’s right!  I’m totally thinking the same thing as you!  (That’s crazy!  Get out of my head!) We could get into Healthcare Services if we want to be Super Bold… but… I think it’ll probably be better if we focus on one thing at a time.     #phase2

One possible, and quite frankly, personally-desired approach to this would be to Shoot for the Moon.  Imagine using a Business Model that’s similar to U.S. Foods.  Think about the old “Razor and Razor Blade” business model for a second… if we can turn someone else’s Blades, into our Razor, then we just took away their entire revenue stream.  We win… and they can no longer compete.  They’re done.  It’s over.  Mic.  Drop.  #HBAP

We want to turn every Senior-Support Software and Hardware Vendor into a commodity… and we can totally do it if we can get this formula right.

(Side note:  You’ve really gotta go read Driving Digital Strategy: A Guide to Reimagining Your Business by Sunil Gupta.  Not to mention, Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World by Karim Lakhani and Marco Iansiti.)

Our Addressable Market is “not bad”.  One could argue it may be smaller… or it may be bigger… but we’ll definitely take it either way.  And according to some US Government Agency that’s responsible for counting people… by 2030, “older Americans will make up 21 percent of the population, up from 15 percent today”*

That ARPU value in the Slide Deck was unceremoniously taken from Care.com.  We think it could be higher with more functionality in our platform, but we would need access to some Smarter People to help us figure that one out.

Oh, by the way… there are a few other “potential addressable markets” that are worth mentioning.  Apparently, moving from “multi-generational family homes” to “generations living apart” is not just a US thing:

India: 8.5M  = 140M people * 3% market share * $2 ARPU

Thailand: 2.6M = 13M people * 10% market share * $2 ARPU

Globally:  $290M = 962M people * 5% market share * $6 ARPU

Post-Covid Side Note:  Interest in Independent Living vs. Assisted Living is increasing.


* https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2018/03/graying-america.html#:~:text=Starting%20in%202030%2C%20when%20all,add%20a%20half%20million%20centenarians.


Value Capture with Analytics, ML, and AI:

Turning our competitor’s Razor Blades into our Razors is the goal.

Through a Design Thinking approach to the Customizable User Interface we entice Seniors and Families onto the platform, and grow the User Base.  The moment Vendors and Premium Services are included… that’s our primary value capture.  (Moonshot: free or low-cost hardware and sensor solutions would further disrupt competitors. #thinkaboutit)

All Core Services are Free: Health Monitoring, Chat, Video, etc.

Generate Revenue from: Premium Subscriptions, Vendor Vetting Services, Concierge, Paid Analytics, Insurance Sales, and taking a piece of every transaction that runs through the platform.

There are numerous apps and service providers that address the aging market, we also want to be the systems integrator of choice for those vendors.

What do we need?

Well, we need a few things on top of what we’ve already got… and we’ve got a great Starting Team.

Scotty’s got the Business and Finance chops, and Todd’s got the Visionary/Explorer/Systems Architect/Artist thing.

We need some money.

We need some more people.

We need some cloud resources.  #GCP  #AWS


Yes.  There are competitors out there.

We want to try to take some of them down.

They’re arguably “features” of a platform… and they don’t even know it.  (Shhhh… don’t tell them!  It’s a secret!)

Design Thinking and UI/UX is how we get Seniors and Families on board.  All of our features will help bring both the Users and the Vendors up the Pyramid.

Here’s a potential roadmap.  Minimum Viable Products are flexible.  We’ll need to be Agile, and adjust along the way.  #nowaterfalls

We’ll look to play with a few Early Adopters… because… Early Adopters adopt things early.


We believe that the meaning of life is to Love and to Learn, and Living Independently leads to a fuller and happier life.

This is why we do what we do.

Happy Heart!


© 2020, Todd Brous, Untwist, Inc.


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