By Marcy Abloeser –
Many baby boomers are now pursuing the hobbies they always loved or wanted to learn. It is estimated by the year 2017 half the US population will be 50 and older and they will control 70 percent of disposable income on which many dollars will be spent on hobbies.
A group of baby boomers who are passionate about Mah Jongg, are hoping to encourage more people to learn a new hobby. MahJonggMentor.com was created to help beginner, intermediate and advanced Mah Jongg players improve their game skills. The website launched in the fall of 2014 and features over 50 interactive teaching videos, FAQs, blogs and an on-line community room. The cost of membership is $29.99 for a year of unlimited access.
Mah Jongg was originated in China and combines skill, strategy and luck. The game is played with four people and uses a set of 152 tiles marked with Chinese characters and symbols. Each player begins by receiving 13 tiles and picks an additional one which they may keep or discard. The object of the game is to make one complete hand of 14 tiles that is on a playing card published and sold annually by the National Mah Jongg League.
Although all the MahJonggMentor partners still had careers they wanted to be involved in a hobby that was fun, social and provided mental stimulation. The partners met each other primarily through playing in a MahJongg group listed on the Meetup website. While playing one afternoon, the women joked that it would be wonderful to have a website that would help Mah Jongg gamers make better playing decisions. Then the lightbulb went off and the MahJonggMentor website was created. The name MahJonggMentor and the tagline ‘Power Up Your Game” were the result of comments from the marketing research.
For a year, the partners met every two weeks to work on the site. The women researched current Mah Jongg sites and conducted focus groups and on-line surveys to understand what players liked and wanted to find when they looked for on-line Mah Jongg lessons.
Each partner brought to the party their years of experience in the various business disciplines needed to develop this website such as computer technology, internet sales, new product development, quality control, marketing and of course, Mah Jongg playing and teaching experience. They all had different visions for the website content, so they discussed and challenged each others’ ideas which helped build a better website experience.
Marcy Abloeser, a partner of MahJonggMentor. The website www.mahjonggmentor.com was created by a group of babyboomers who put together unlimited beginner and strategy lessons, an on-line community and fun facts about Mah Jongg play worldwide.