Francisco Cornejo: Promoting Parent-Child Sleep and Wellness Through Stories
Hello! My name is Spiffy, I’m an interplanetary journalist. I’ve been speaking with innovators from around the world who are working on UN SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being. One of those people is Francisco Cornejo, the co-founder and CEO of the Storybook App. He joins us today from Miami.
Spiffy: Hey Francisco, let’s dive right in! What challenge are you addressing through the Storybook App?
Francisco: Have you ever received a massage from your parents? It feels so relaxing; it is great to help you sleep better and is an excellent opportunity for mom or dad to pamper you. We created an app that plays amazing audio stories for you to listen to while one of your parents learns how to massage your feet, hands, or face. It's like having your own spa at home.
Spiffy: You’re making me want to be a kid again, Francisco, just so I can have this relaxing experience! What motivated you to do it?
Francisco: I know, right? We created Storybook because our two sons were not great sleepers. We launched the app in the App Store when they were four and six years old. And they love the app. It has been the #1 app in over 90 countries, with millions of downloads.
Spiffy: How are you and the app working towards a more equitable world?
Francisco: Have you noticed that people are all very different? We have over 100 original audio stories where we talk about how wonderful it is to be different and we celebrate a lot of different cultures, countries, and amazing stories from inspiring children.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent company milestone or initiative. What impact does that make on your target community?
Francisco: We just got invited to visit Apple Park, which is the main office of Apple, the maker of the iPhone and the iPad, invented by a genius man: Steve Jobs. This is an important milestone because working with Apple will allow us to reach many more millions of families throughout the world.
Spiffy: That’s amazing! Now, as an entrepreneur, I am sure that you have experience with failure. Can you please share such an experience and what you learned from it?
Francisco: As app developers, we have experienced a lot of failures. When we created the first version of Storybook, the app was extremely basic and had a lot of bugs, but the feedback we got was amazing so we kept pushing ourselves to improve the app and now we have won many awards. But I have a funnier story. We are from Ecuador, a small country in Latin America. Once, we got invited at the last minute to meet with the country's vice-president. I took my motorcycle to get there faster. While on the road the engine broke and I had to run all the way to the meeting, like two miles, wearing a suit and tie! The meeting went really well, and he was very inspired by the effort I made to get there. Hard work definitely pays off.
Spiffy: Your dedication is inspiring! What is something you've unexpectedly learned from someone recently?
Francisco: We get emails from children who use Storybook with their parents all the time. And we have created many stories with their ideas or experiences. For example, we created a Story about Samuel, a kid born with only one arm, and guess what? He learned by himself to swim, play basketball, and be a superstar athlete. If you have a cool story to share, we could feature it on Storybook for millions of children to listen to.
Spiffy: Readers, what are you waiting for? Francisco, is there anything else you would love to tell our audience before we wrap this up?
Francisco: If you would like to try Storybook or if you have a cool idea for a story, please reach out! You can download Storybook for free in the App Store and Google Play, and it has no ads (Nobody likes ads, right?)
Spiffy: You’re certainly right about that! Thanks for speaking with me today, Francisco—it’s been an honor!
Born and raised in Cuenca, Ecuador, Francisco Cornejo is a husband, father of two boys, and entrepreneur. He started and sold three companies before turning 25. Now he is the co-founder and CEO of Storybook, a parent-child wellness and sleep app that has been featured by Apple as “the best for bedtime” with over two million downloads, and ranked as the #1 parenting app in 90 countries. He holds a Business Degree and a Master's in Communication from RMIT, Australia. (First published on the Ladderworks website on July 11, 2022.)© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Corner here.