Union Square Interviews

We wanted to

  • Test our idea with total strangers
  • Talk to people from other states
  • Show people our landing page
  • Focus on folks in their 60s

So we went to Union Square to find tourists. It was remarkable how willing people were to talk to us. Not everyone obviously, but we got 6 quality interviews with 11 customers.

Cliff & Kara – These are out target consumers
66 – 62
Retired Haas Alum & County Library Administrator
Her dad just died. They went through probate. It was hell. So it motivated them to get started on everything so their kids wouldn’t have to deal with it. It’s been a very tough process for them. He did a will with Nolo Press which was fine, but for the trust there isn’t a good comprehensive resource. He would love a ‘WebMD’ for trusts & estates with things in plain English and some advice about how to approach various decisions. They would have liked to have tried to do everything online to start with. Even with a trust in place, they’re not sure where to store things. They want to catalog all their accounts and document locations so the kids have it. They would probably be willing to pay for the storage thing. $20 a year seemed reasonable and they would be almost eager to pay for it.

Kara mentioned that there is an entire DIY legal thing happening. County law libraries are starting programs to better support individuals. There isn’t a lot of good stuff to help the layman. She views our project in a much broader context.


Ben & Maggie – Having too much fun in life to care about EOL Planning.
45 & 39
Married No kids
No current EOL plans. Don’t really want to make any either
Ben has talked about it with his parents. Maggie has not talked with hers
Ben’s dad is pretty computer savvy and might be able to do it. The thing that Ben would like as a consumer would be a list of all his Dad’s stuff (accounts, etc). Got into a philosophical chat about why Americans don’t plan more. Ben’s quote: ‘Why would you? It’s not gonna happen in the next 10 years. Anything beyond that is silly to think about.’

Eddy from Chicago – Conversation cut a little short.
Eddy is a super nice guy but not a heavy internet user. Visiting his daughter in SF. He has a will stored in a drawer in his living room desk. His daughter had no idea where it was or how to find it. He wouldn’t use us, but his daughter might. Eddy though our site could be useful to go through everything with his daughter. When she came back from getting lunch she thought it was weird we were having this conversation and didn’t want to be in a picture. Then she sort of hauled him away.

Charles & Elise – Didn’t realize they had a problem.
Mid-40’s South Bay
2 young kids
They’re pretty affluent. Have everything done. Didn’t see the need for our service at first, but once they thought about what if something happened to both of them, they realized that the appointed caregivers for their kids wouldn’t know everything. They might do online organizational stuff after all especially if it was recommended to them. They wouldn’t want people to see everything so there needs to be permission controls. Charles suggested $10 as a price point. Elise said $50. She wouldn’t trust something that was only $10. She was wearing $500 shoes.

Nancy & Samantha (Mom & Daughter) – Lukewarm
71 & early 40s
Nancy thinks she has a will. Her husband set all that up. She and her husband have a family burial plot in CT. Samantha isn’t married. No kids. Nancy feels like she’s pretty good with the internet. She’s on yahoo email & facebook.

Samanth doesn’t have anything in place. She doesn’t need to go to a lawyer and doesn’t want to. She just wants something simple. I showed them the website landing page. Samantha felt like she didn’t need all that stuff, just a basic will (didn’t know what to pay, so she said $100 for online creation).

Nancy realized that it might be a good idea to put her medical and memorial wishes down as well. She really cares what happens to her stuff. She’s not sure she would use our site. She’d be more inclined to write everything down on paper.

Neither was really excited about the idea, but they were receptive to talking.

Robert and Cheryl – Haven’t started yet.
63 – 59 IOWA
Don’t even have wills. Just keep putting it off. There’s always more important things to do. They are now semi-retired so they think that they better get around to it soon. Adult kids. 1 in IOWA. 1 in Texas. The whole thing is scary and seems really complicated. They would try something online if it were easy. They’d probably want to hear about it from their friends. They haven’t talked to their kids about it. The storage things seemed like a good idea. Not sure that they’d pay for it, but $20 seemed reasonable.

Mike & Beth
54 & 53
One kid 13 years old. They have a will stating that their son goes to her sister. Nothing else in place. They were completely unaware of the need for medical directives. They should probably do that. Didn’t think about communicating the status of all their accounts & policies to her sister who would be taking care of their son. They should probably do that. Memorial stuff they don’t care about. Just cremate the bodies and scatter the ashes. Does anyone know that? Nope. They should probably do that. How much would they pay for a full plan? The will cost $250 from a local attorney. They’d probably pay that again for the rest of it and the storage. Didn’t want a yearly subscription. They wanted to pay once and be done with it.


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