These guys think they've discovered the secret to productivity

Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson, co-founders of Headspace, want to help people become more productive by secularizing meditation.


“We had $50,000 left and the event business was a terrible business model and we weren’t making any money,” said Pierson. The situation led him to consider alternative ways to make the company financially sustainable.

That’s when Headspace pivoted to its current subscription model, something that Puddicombe wasn’t totally sold on at the time.

“Before we even got to subscription, I was absolutely terrified of even going digital, nevermind going to subscription. I genuinely didn’t believe that it could work,” said Puddicombe, 43.

But Headspace didn’t have a lot of other options.

“It was like if this doesn’t work, I don’t know what’s going to work, and we just went all in and put all of our money into building the subscription app,” Pierson said.

The Headspace app launched in January 2013 and brought in more money that first month than Headspace had earned in the previous year, according to Pierson. Since then, the guided meditation subscription model has taken off.

When the app relaunched in July 2014, it had 750,000 subscribers, Pierson said. Today, he estimates that the figure is around 6 million subscribers in 150 countries.

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