The CEO of Guiding Light: A Story of Inspiration and Triumph
Preserve the PAST; guide the FUTURE!
The CEO of Guiding Light: A Story of Inspiration and Triumph
When it comes to loved ones, whether they be family, friends, or pets, we all want to remember them forever. We take pictures and videos, we write stories, and we keep physical items that belonged to them.
However, as time goes on it becomes more difficult to keep those memories alive. Our memories fade, we lose touch with people, and things get misplaced. Even though it is difficult, it is important to keep the memories of our loved ones alive.
That’s what Guiding Light is here for: helping you save those precious moments.
What gets you up out of bed in the morning? Is it your family? Friends? Your job? A pet? For Darian Jackson, it’s his children. Blessed with a daughter and son, Darian recognizes he has a responsibility to provide for his family. He wants to set an example for his children – he wants them to see their daddy working hard and chasing after his dreams. They are his driving force and the reason why he gets out of bed in the morning.
Darian is the founder of Guiding Light, a platform that makes passing down a legacy easy. His dream is to help people by preserving the memories of their loved ones. Everyday thousands of families lose the stories, memories, and voices of their loved ones. Whether it’s because they live far away, are battling memory-eating diseases like Alzheimer’s, or they’ve passed on, these families are struggling to keep the memories alive. Darian’s goal is to use Guiding Light to help as many people as possible preserve their memories.
His grandmother was the initial motivation behind this platform. One day she told him that she didn’t have much financially to give him when she was gone, but she hoped that he had learned something from her that he could teach his own children. She wanted them to know that she loved them and to remember that her love would continue even after she was gone.
This conversation stuck with Darian and was the seed that grew into Guiding Light. “Honestly that cut me to my core because I realized my grandmother thought her legacy was small because she was quantifying it by finances and possessions, not by her knowledge, her guidance, her home-cooked recipes that the family traditions would be nothing without.”
“I wanted to create something to preserve all her stories and our family history, so she knew how valuable she was.” From that moment on, Darian was determined to build a platform that would help people like his grandmother preserve their legacy.
This sort of business should have been started hundreds of years ago, but with inadequate technology and a lack of resources, you couldn’t save a whole lot of things.
In the past, people didn’t have the technology to easily record and save memories. If they wanted to keep a physical item, they had to put it in a box and hope that their descendants would find it and appreciate it. If they wanted to pass on their stories and wisdom, they would have to write in a diary and hope that it stayed in good enough condition that it could be read years later.
But now we have the technology to record and save memories in a way that is easy and accessible. We can take videos, pictures, and audio recordings of our loved ones and store them digitally. With Guiding Light, you can do this and so much more, compiling it all in one place.
Darian brainstormed a “My Diary” section of the app in the middle of the night on a scrap of paper. This feature would allow users the ability to customize their legacy however they choose.
For those who struggle remembering their past, like Darian, there are a vast number of prompts to help jog their memory. This can include anything from stories about your first job to how you met your spouse. The best part is that you can even create your own prompts, allowing you to tell your unique story while also helping future users with scenarios they may have never thought of.
This makes it easy to keep track of our memories and pass them down to future generations.
Development for this sort of platform was inevitable, but Darian knew he needed to make this technology available as soon as possible. It’s difficult enough losing a loved one, but losing them twice, first physically and then the memory of them, is unbearable.
There are so many amazing things that happen in life, and if we don’t document and preserve them, they’ll be gone forever.
Darian had no experience in app development, no money to start, and no idea where to begin, but he was not going to let that stop him. He was driven by the idea and potential of Guiding Light and refused to give up.
He started by reading articles and watching videos on how to code. He then took his newfound knowledge and put it into practice by building a basic prototype of the app. When it worked, he was amazed and knew he was onto something big. This only fueled his passion more and he was constantly adding new features and perfecting the design.
He quickly realized that he needed to wear many more hats than he expected. On top of becoming an app developer, he had to learn how to be a web designer, graphic designer, marketing expert, salesperson, accountant, advocate, secretary, and the list goes on and on.
While it was a lot of work, he loved every minute of it because he knew he was working on something that would make a difference in the lives of many.
The app was released in beta form to a select group of family and friends. The feedback was amazing, and they all agreed that this app had the potential to change the world.
Darian was invited to speak about Guiding Light at a few local events and quickly realized that this was his true passion. He loved sharing his story and the story of Guiding Light with others.
He knew he needed to get the word out to as many people as possible, so he started a blog, made a website, and took to social media. He was quickly overwhelmed with the response. People from all over the world were reaching out to him, sharing their own stories, and thanking him for giving them a way to preserve their memories.
The app was officially released to the public in February of 2022 and has been growing rapidly ever since.
Guiding Light is a unique sort of platform, with not much competition in terms of direct app competitors. However, there are a number of other ways that people can preserve their past, such as through traditional methods like documentation or writing a memoir.
Genealogy platforms like 23andMe, Ancestry, and FamilySearch became popular in recent history as a way to learn more about a person’s lineage and relatives. But these all focus on record keeping, from DNA insights to relatives you may have not known about. It doesn’t provide a way to save memories or record voice lines like “I love you” for your child to hear years after you pass. These platforms save public records, not private memories that come from your heart and mind.
Other platforms that are similar in terms of recording messages for loved ones are extremely limiting. It’s difficult to create a vault of stories and memories you want to pass along and makes it difficult to put your legacy in the hands of the people you want it sent to. What sets Guiding Light apart is its ease of use, customization, and ability to connect with others.
It’s difficult starting a company from the ground up, especially as a dad of two working full time in both his job and on this project. The hardest part is starting, but once you start, it becomes addicting.
“Every time I hear someone say, ‘I wish I had this before my mom/dad/grandmother/grandfather died so that I could hear their voice one more time,’ it tears me apart each time,” Darian says. It keeps him up at night, but it also drives him to continue working on Guiding Light.
Darian’s goal is to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to preserve their memories. He wants to make Guiding Light the go-to platform for memory preservation.
In the future, he would like to partner with a few genealogy platforms to offer their users the ability to add more than just their legal records. He also wants to work with nursing homes, hospice centers, and early-stage dementia and Alzheimer’s patients to help preserve those memories before they’re lost forever.
Darian’s goal is to help as many people as possible. In 6 months he’s hoping to see 10,000 users join the platform. “It is only a drop in the bucket, but I will sleep a little better at night knowing I am helping 10,000 families not have to lose their loved ones twice.”
Who Needs This?
If you have ever lost someone close to you, then you know how difficult it is. You would do anything to hear their voice one more time or see their face.
Guiding Light is for anyone who wants to preserve their memories. Whether you’re an elderly grandparent who wants to leave behind your life story, a parent who wants to document their journey raising a child for their child to see later in life, or anyone in between, Guiding Light can help.
No matter who you are or what your story is, Guiding Light can help you preserve your memories.
Why You Should Care
We have no control over our lives. Our mortality is something that is constantly looming over us. We don’t want to leave our children behind while they’re young. We don’t want to leave our spouses behind before we’ve had a chance to grow old together. We are all going to pass away one day and there is nothing we can do about it.
What we can control is how we choose to spend our time. Life is precious and it is so important that we take the time to appreciate it. Guiding Light can help you document your life so that your loved ones can cherish your memories long after you’re gone.
Preserve your memories for future generations, share your values and wisdom, and document your recipes, favorite music, and favorite movies. Pass down your legacy with Guiding Light.