Is There a Market for Happiness Apps?

Charlie Hartwell
Apr 9, 2018 · 3 min read
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Delta Sky Magazine

Flying on Delta Airlines this month, you’ll find me in the seat pocket in front of you. Buckle your seatbelt, grab a Delta Sky Magazine, and turn to an article entitled “Who says you can’t buy Happiness?” You’ll find me there as the author discusses the Happiness market, the size of the addressable market, how an investor might look at it, and then speaks about some of the companies in the marketplace.

The marketplace for well-being is hard to estimate, but on all accounts it appears massive. Ofer Leidner, the President of Happify (one of our portfolio companies), says in the article that the market is worth $750 billion dollars. As I read this, my first response was one of sadness, because a market that large means billions are suffering. However, as a conscious investor with a mission to help people connect more deeply with themselves so they can live healthier, happier lives, I see opportunities to support change and create meaningful investment returns.

According to the the American Psychological Association (APA), only 33% of Americans are happy. Fifty-two percent are completely dissatisfied with their jobs. Stress is reported to be on the rise, fueled currently by concern over our nation’s future. This has numerous consequences for individuals, families, companies, our health care system, our military, our schools, etc.

We’ve been supporting many companies who are trying to address this problem. But after reading the article, I came away with more questions:

  1. How big do you think the Happiness market could be?
  2. What is larger, the Happiness market or the Unhappiness market?
  3. Do all people want to be happy?
  4. What is the best way to quickly scale enterprises that can help people become more happy?
  5. What are the things in your life that make you the most happy?
  6. If we were all happier, where would we shift our focus of attention?
  7. If we shifted our focus of attention, what industries would be threatened?

While we are passionate about our mission at Bridge Builders Collaborative, we also believe there is a lot of wealth to be created in helping solve the great problem of unhappiness. Some of that is financial wealth that will accrue to investors, some of that is wealth that will support employees, and some of it is spiritual wealth that will benefit our collective consciousness.

I want humanity to fly (I love to fly Delta, but that’s not the kind of flying I’m talking about). I want people to connect to their purpose, have healthy and authentic relationships, and enjoy the time they are given on this beautiful planet. As you read this article, I’m wondering what you think.

So let’s come together, put our seat backs and our tray tables up as we get ready for landing. We are not going to solve these problems in the air. We must be grounded, practical, willing to take some risk, utilize practices that support our well-being, and change our behaviors — all to create a happier planet.

Learn more about Charlie at ShiftIt Institute and check out Bridge Builders Collaborative partners and portfolio. Follow Charlie on LinkedIn and Twitter @ShiftIt_Inst.

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