Prime’s Mission to Solve Male Midlife Crisis
What is Prime? It’s a club for men in the prime of their life — to get active, be social, and make stuff. We spoke with Founder Dominic Taylor to learn more.
How did Prime come about?
On the first week of the Zinc programme on a visit to Rochdale, Greater Manchester, we witnessed first-hand the effects of automation and globalisation of work. Traditional industries have gone, vast swathes of workers have lost their purpose and shockingly the average male life expectancy in these areas is just 66 years old. 1 in 3 suicides in the UK are men aged 40–59 and inactivity and unhealthy sedentary lifestyles are more pronounced in this group in areas of deprivation.
Who is Prime for and what’s the market?
We’re looking to target men in their forties and fifties. We believe this is a good touch point to intervene and encourage positive active behaviours and build social bonds prior to retirement. There are 8.5 million men in the UK in this demographic with 10x this number in developed countries. 50% say they want a challenge but don’t know where to start.
Our user testing has shown strong demand and willingness to pay. There is huge revenue potential in the UK alone of £100m per annum with projections of 1 in 20 midlife men in the UK becoming members at £10 per month, matched by partner commission and advertising income.
What makes Prime different?
Prime is specifically designed for and exclusively available to midlife men. It’s a national movement of regular social meetups and a menu of fun local taster activities based on 3 themes:
- Get Active — country hikes and bike rides, parkrun prep, vets football
- Be Social — local history walks, talks, curry clubs and volunteering
- Make stuff — workshops, crafts, healthy nutrition and cooking
These are all supported by a smart digital platform that nudges and rewards.
What does success look like for Prime, what’s the north star?
Our mission is to inspire and enable ALL midlife men to be more socially active. We truly believe this will benefit all in society, improve happiness, mental health, physical health in later life as well as build stronger family relationships and communities.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Men in midlife struggle more with identity and purpose outside of their job and are less likely to seek help or have developed social relationships to the degree women often do. They are at the bottom of the “Happiness Curve” and are less satisfied with their social life than any other group. Loneliness and isolation can lead to long-term mental and physical health issues.
However, it’s difficult for middle aged men to initially get engaged as they are under represented within community groups (older retired people and women participants) or sports and leisure activities (younger, fitter participants).
What’s next for Prime?
Our team is experienced in building and scaling large scale membership organisations. Craig was Chief Executive of The Challenge (National Citizen Service) and MD/COO of Raspberry Pi Foundation with the largest coders club in the world. I have been MD, Commercial Director of digital startups in health and local events.
We are currently running pilots of Prime in South London and will replicate and scale these networks across the country and globally. We are raising initial funding from angel investors and seeking experienced board members to join us in our ambitious project.
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Automation and globalization are two of the biggest forces shaping the future of work and our wider society, with gross inequities between winners and losers. To address these inherent inequalities, we back systems and solutions that help at-risk workers prosper in the era of automation in service of a more equitable future.”
Head of Portfolio and Investment
The Autodesk Foundation