Will someone please build this product for me? When you have an only child, you can endlessly set up play dates, but you will still inevitably find yourself on a Saturday afternoon, having exhausted your tolerance for playing Vampire Bunnies for the 35th time, and wishing your kid had someone to play with while you prepped dinner. I would like to be able to go to a browser and/or mobile device and set my status to “looking for play date now” and look at a list of other parents in my network who are in the same boat. The service should sort by proximity, age of kid, and/or other factors I choose. I would of course approve everyone in my network so we’re talking about people we already know here; it could just be a Facebook app even, but it needs a mobile interface. It could also ask for proposed length of play date, and match you up the way you find which cars are available on Zipcar. The service should offer the option that of receiving text messages or other alerts when a family in your network sets their status to “looking.” The “invite for play date now” function should be like a poke on Facebook, or even a meeting request in Outlook, in that it should save you the social overhead of having to call and politely ask how the other parent is doing, etc. You can always pick up the phone and chat if you want to, but sometimes you just need to make the date and execute.
Obviously, this doesn’t need to be limited to only children. Kids with siblings sometimes need impromptu dates with kids their own age. Also, I’m sure there are other applications of this same basic mechanic, though I can’t actually think of any.
Oh, but it should also have “going to Ikea” and “going to Target” as two of the status options, and allow you to text your friends the couple of things they could pick up for you while they’re there. And you earn some kind of points for saving your friends trips to the store.