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March 28, 2024 41 mins
In this episode, host Victoria Guido interviews Chris Pallatroni, creator of The Standard, a platform dedicated to sharing self-care stories. Chris shares how his interests in gardening and mental wellness fueled the inception of The Standard, which was initially intended to be a landscaping venture. He delves into the hurdles faced while developing the platform, highlighting the struggle for product-market fit and the critical role of integrating technology with human connection to enable meaningful support and interactions. Chris underscores storytelling's pivotal role in enhancing mental health, advocating for the sharing of personal triumphs over adversity to motivate and assist others facing similar challenges. He envisions The Standard as a vast collection of genuine, relatable self-care narratives aimed at reducing the feeling of isolation among individuals. Through inviting users to share their experiences, Chris seeks to leverage human connections to cultivate a community supportive of mental health and personal development. The Standard ( Follow The Standard on LinkedIn (, YouTube (, or Instagram ( Follow Chris Pallatroni on LinkedIn ( Follow thoughtbot on X ( or LinkedIn ( Become a Sponsor ( of Giant Robots! Transcript:  VICTORIA: This is the Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Victoria Guido. And with me today is Chris Pallatroni, Founder of The Standard, a storytelling platform where people share stories about self-care. Chris, thank you for joining me. CHRIS: Yeah. Thanks for having me on. It's a pleasure. VICTORIA: Wonderful. So, before we dive into all about The Standard, why don't you just tell me a little bit about what's going on in your world outside of work? Anything fun? Anything exciting? CHRIS: Yeah. Well, first of all, I've got two boys, so for anybody that's listening that has kids, I mean, let's be honest, your life is completely chaotic. So, I've got two boys, one's almost 12, one's almost 10, so all boy, all the time. That's just another way of saying our house is really loud, and there's just tons of stuff happening, sports, whatnot. I also have a wife, a beautiful wife. She's my better half. I've been with her for 24 years. So, between that, I got three cats, not that they take a lot of energy, but there's just a lot of love in our household. So, that's sort of, like, the family side of things. And then I'm an avid gardener. I'm really big into mental health and wellness, which, as we start to talk about The Standard, will become really evident. So, I'm all about just doing the things that you need to do to take care of yourself, so lots of running, lots of working out, lots of just being in nature. I know you're a surfer, so, I mean, let's be honest, water is amazing. So yeah, anything I can do to, like, duck out into nature and spend time with my family. Honestly, there's just not enough time in the day. VICTORIA: What is growing in your garden that you're the most proud of? CHRIS: You don't want to get me started on gardening. So, before I started The Standard, honestly, I thought I was going to be a landscaper, and the name of The Standard actually was going to be applied to a landscaping company. So, I am a professional landscaper. I took all the classes: soil, science, irrigation. I got the degree in design and maintenance. I have a tiny, little property, but I have about 700 plants on my property. So, I know everything on the roses, and grass, and camellias. I mean, I'm that guy that, like, likes to see...nature is just amazing, first of all. And it also has very therapeutic qualities when we start to talk about mental health and well-being, birdsong, water, greenery, sunsets, sunrises. I'm also developing a piece of land. We have a house we're building, and it's three acres. So, I'm in the process of building out, like, what I'm going to just describe as the most amazing garden anybody's ever seen. I really take a lot of pride in gardening. I'm very disciplined and very specific on how things grow. And so, I've got a property that's about an acre and a half I'm planting, which will probably have, like, 20,000 plants on it when it's all said and done. VICTORIA: So, you have 700 plants now, and you plan to have 20,000, so you don't want to choose favorites. There's got to, like, spread the love around. CHRIS: God, it's like saying, which child do you love more? I mean, right now on my property the ones that currently stand out is I've got a couple of these Eden Rose bushes that I've trained to climb up. I've got three of them
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