In late summer, I started drafting an “RIP Siempo” letter to update to you on the state of things. Not because we were ready to shut the company down (although this was a real possibility); rather, because we felt like Siempo was actually resting. Peacefully.
We had decided to pause our efforts as a result of monumental competitive landscape shifts, the resulting fundraising challenges, creeping burnout, and a sense that despite positive indicators of traction, something might be off.
From this place of peaceful rest, in the time and head space we freed up, we recharged. We learned. We grew.
And we received clarity on the path forward.
Siempo is going to the moon 🚀🌙✨
This is no time to play it small. What is the biggest expression of what Siempo can be?
Apple and Google have the resources to launch a Space Race to figure out how to redesign technology to elevate the human condition. To intentionally shape it to serve as an agent of flourishing individuals, institutions, and societies.
But they won’t. So we are.
Siempo is launching the Space Race for positive computing technology.
- An open source platform
- Championing a vision of technology’s potential
- Modeling ethical responsibility
Siempo is but a steward; a facilitator of a brighter, bolder, more life-giving vision of the future. Will you join us in taking up this important work?
1: Open Source Siempo 🌍 5B in 5 years
Siempo endeavors to elevate the experience of all 5 billion global smartphone users by 2024.
We realized there’s a greater mission we can pursue with more effectiveness than by taking the conventional startup route (raising dollar by dollar in funding, attracting user by user in growth, having to compromise on values to fit into misaligned economic models).
Alternatively, by open sourcing our interface, we are inviting a growing community of passionate developers, designers and researchers to contribute to a collective effort to reimagine the user experience of our technology. We can spark an explosion of innovation and accelerate the adoption of positive computing by the smartphone makers, who design the user interface, app store and other key aspects of operating systems for billions of people.
These companies lag in progress (no business case for technology’s role in wellbeing yet) and make a practice of imitating the best of what the 3rd party ecosystem can produce (see Apple’s Screen Time and Google’s Wellbeing), so it’s up to the people to drive innovation. What an opportunity!
The adoption of technologies by Apple, Google, Samsung and others gives way to a re-contouring of the human experience by the few, with effects on the many. In the words of Marshal McLuhan, circa 1964,
“Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don’t really have any rights left.”
Siempo’s open source pivot is an important step in repossessing our rights. Reclamation will require the curation of evidence-based guidelines, principles, and heuristics of positive computing technology. We need developer tools that enable the creation of technology that cultivates well-being. We need research on the positive effects of technology.
We need rigorous exploration into the preeminent question of our time:
How might we design technology to enhance human flourishing today without impoverishing our well-being in a year, five years, ten years, or a generation from now?
Siempo is setting out to be the leading force in this movement.
2: Tell a better story about technology’s potential 💜
We demand revolution. Not by heralding harm, but by championing potential. The story we tell about technology and about humanity’s role in shaping it will ultimately determine how we respond and the extent to which we shape it for our benefit.
A brighter, more equitable and meaningful future will be won not by declaring war on technology, but by declaring what it ought to be in service of human flourishing.
We endeavor to pursue the construction of technologies for the benefit of all beings everywhere with enthusiasm and optimism, rather than reluctance and pessimism.
How we think about and the way we approach this opportunity matters because the way we work, relate, and innovate in turn shapes the way we work, relate, and innovate. Our vision of the future shapes our actions and decisions we make today. What is in front of us is an opportunity to intervene in our destiny. A meta-intervention of epic proportion.
Siempo advocates for what technology is capable of: enhancing and expanding what it means to be human. To do that, it’s imperative we cultivate understanding about the nature of human nature, the forces that shape it, and the power we have as collective beings to move culture, societies, and civilizations toward what is life-giving, vibrant, and most energizing. We are painters, facilitators, and advocates of this image.
We believe the answer lies in the understanding that human systems, our societies, and civilizations are living, breathing systems of our own construction. Computing technologies are situated in the center of that social nexus. And so, we must become more aware of what it is that we are constructing. The answer is to intentionally leverage technology, with scrutinizing rigor, to elevate what it means to be human.
3. Embody a new way of doing business 📬 ♻️ ∞
Of all Siempo’s accomplishments, we’re most proud of building a reputation as a high integrity brand and organization–seemingly a rarity in the tech world. It’s in our DNA and inspiring other organizations in our burgeoning industry to adopt similar practices.
- Collaboration. We formed a community for all of our “competitors” to share resources and collaborate (Digital Wellness Warriors).
- Inclusion. More than half of our cap table identifies as a Woman, Person of Color or LGBTQ+.
- Accessibility. We’re committed to making Siempo financially accessible for all consumers, first by releasing our beta as a donation-based product.
- Balance. We regularly slow down operations in order to make time for other important things in life and allow new ideas to emerge.
These actions are building trust with users, opening up key business relationships, and allowing us to show up better for our work. In times of great turbulence and uncertainty, we believe such virtues are imperative for long-term prosperity.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”
To be successful in the audacious pursuit of enlisting technology in service of human flourishing, we must draw upon the most imaginative ideas, from ancient wisdom to modern science and natural systems to grassroots activism, and then apply radical discernment to leverage what’s most effective.
We certainly don’t have it all figured out. We have a north star, but we need the wisdom of the whole in order to make this come to life. We need YOU.
That’s how we’re going to pull this off.
We invite your support on this new chapter!
If you are enthusiastic about the work we are doing, please consider filling out this 2 minute survey so we can start making magic together.
Feel free to email email@example.com directly with any questions or comments.
With you for the evolution,
Andrew & Mayank