If everyone is stressed, there’s a market in relaxing them. That’s the simple pitch behind Mindbliss, a guided meditation and mindfulness app.
Founder Derik Lawlis joined Techopia Live to talk about why alleviating stress and putting more good in the world was a worthy cause for him.
“We started Mindbliss because I was passionate about the product myself,” he told Techopia Live.
Four years after the University of Ottawa opened its first satellite campus in Kanata North, the university is expanding its presence in the tech park.
Lawlis points to workplace stress, the bombardment of mobile notifications and information overload as the primary causes of frustration in daily life. He says he often found himself sharing positive audio with his friends, “just to reinforce this idea that we can consume healthy media instead of consuming distraction or pure entertainment because we feel like we want to distract ourselves.”
That habit turned into a business model with a clever twist: through an application, Lawlis could turn stressful notifications into thoughtful ones without fundamentally altering users’ behaviours.
“We deliver our value through the problem itself, which is addiction to media,” he says. “The market for this is massive. We can help so many people with these tools.”
Mindbliss curates guided breathing and meditation sessions, including music, natural soundscapes and positive visualization. The app is free to download and try, with monthly and yearly subscription plans for those hooked on the product.
While content like this is often free and popular on YouTube, Lawlis says the platform’s advertisements often disrupt meditation and deliver a worse experience.
Mindbliss makes use of artificial intelligence to curate and build its meditation tools. Analyzing listening patterns from like-minded users can build better recommendations for certain cohorts, a process Lawlis calls “collaborative filtering.” Feedback on users’ well-being can help the platform learn which meditation tools work and which don’t for each individual.
“We are growing and evolving with you,” Lawlis says.
He adds that he wouldn’t discourage those plagued with stress from seeking out personal coaches and in-person sessions, but Mindbliss offers an in-pocket, on-the-go solution. No matter how people improve their lives, Lawlis says, he’s satisfied just to contribute.
“My job is not meditation. My job is to bring more joy to the world.”