When I first became a parent, I couldn’t believe how many photos and videos I was taking. There were so many firsts—first bath, first trip to the park, first time being held by her grandparents—and I wanted to capture and save every moment.
Soon, the number of photos and videos on my camera roll grew from 500 to 23,000. My wife and I wanted to share more with family and close friends, but it was a mess of chat groups and email threads. I had to find a better way.
I asked friends and colleagues for recommendations, only to realize that they were as lost as I was. So a group of us decided to build one ourselves. Specifically, we wanted a service that was:
Optimized for sharing, viewing, saving, and organizing. Everything had to be in one place.Private. Parents had to feel comfortable with the security of their data.Easy to use. Our app had to be accessible for family members that weren’t as comfortable using technology.Beautifully designed. We wanted a UI and UX that we could be proud of.
It took a little while, but FamilyAlbum (also known as Mitene) was released in 2015—just in time for my daughter’s second birthday.
As a user, I’ve been touched by FamilyAlbum in unexpected ways. My daughters love looking at photos of themselves from when they were little. When I look through the album, it reminds me to treasure our time together. And for my whole family, it is a constant reassurance of our love and support for one another.
Last summer, my wife’s father passed away. He loved looking at his granddaughters’ album, and he would leave the most touching comments on their photos and videos.
Over time, my daughters’ memories of their grandfather will fade. He won’t be here to tell them how much he loves them or how proud he is to be their grandfather. But whenever they look at the photos and videos they took together or read the comments he made in their album, they will be reminded of how much he loved them.
FamilyAlbum has affected my life more than I could have ever imagined. And we believe that our app has the power to positively impact the lives of families everywhere. We’ll keep working hard to improve our app so that we can continue to support families around the world for generations to come.
Dad and FamilyAlbum Founder
About Kenji Kasahara
Kenji made his first venture into the tech industry while still a university student, creating the recruitment site Find Job! in 1997. In 2004, he founded the social networking site mixi. With Kenji as chairman, the MIXI Group continues to create communication services for friends and family to enjoy together, including the multiplayer smartphone app Monster Strike. He lives in Tokyo with his wife and two daughters.