Here’s One Way to Pivot

How a legacy-recording site became an app to discover a happier, healthier, more focused life.

Ryan Brown
Jul 29 · 2 min read
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A few months ago, we noticed customers using our product in an unexpected way.

A bit of background: The Kinecho team formed with ambitions to promote mental and emotional well-being among older adults. A health issue affecting many older adults is senior isolation — loneliness — which can lead to high blood pressure, risk of dementia, and more. As a solution, we built Kinecho to strengthen social connections between older adults and their relatives.

Kinecho is a website for recording cherished stories and memories to preserve and share with family. Family members can send questions to each other and respond to questions with audio, text, photos, and video. The intended user is a grandparent who records their legacy to preserve for their family.

Many use the product as designed. Others use the same features and functionality for a different purpose.

Instead of preserving family history with relatives, they discuss personal achievements, emotional memories, and core values with intimate, non-family connections. We researched how we might make a better experience for these customers.

The result of that research is Cactus.

A Better You

Personal growth advice often degenerates into life hacks better suited for somebody else’s lifestyle and preferences. Yes, some of these work for you. Many more do not. Whether you find these life hacks fun or frustrating to try, you’ll make minimal progress in better understanding yourself.

What you choose to focus on determines your happiness and satisfaction with life. Happiness is not a fleeting pursuit. Happiness predicts your success and ability to accomplish goals.

If you’re willing to commit just a few minutes a day to self-discovery, you can achieve a better understanding of yourself and what makes you thrive. You can become a better version of yourself. You can discover a happier, healthier, more focused life.

What are you doing to better know yourself? I’d love to hear from you.


Cactus delivers guided reflections to help you notice the positive experiences and themes in your life. It encourages you to think about the impact of these experiences, prompts exploration of feelings, and proposes action to enhance these positive themes.

Ryan Brown

Written by

Producty stuff (Founder at cactus.app, Kinecho; formerly NBC, Craftsy, Blue Bottle, TONX)

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