Postmortem for Siempo: A Humane Tech Startup ☀️📲

Siempo core feature set

📱 What Happened

Timeline of pivots. The original idea of a new device evolved based on technical challenges, market feedback, user needs and cultural trends.

Minium: A Mindful Feature Phone (hardware)| 2014–2016

Siempo: A Mindful Smart Phone (hardware) | 2016–2017

Siempo: A Humane Interface (software) | 2017–2018

Siempo: A Humane Startup (software) | 2018–2019

Final look at Siempo’s quantitative achievements
Theory of change for what would become a hybrid organization (a la Mozilla)
Slide from our WeFunder deck on how we were embodying a full-stack humane tech company

📚 What We Learned




✨ Special Moments

  • Synchronicity — Randomly attending a hardware meetup at the last minute to pitch the wearable I was working on, experiencing professional “love at first sight” with Andreas who pitched the concept for Siempo!
  • Impact — Waking up one day to an email from an alpha tester thanking us for giving her life back. Waking up another day to a Play Store review that said “Thank you for saving my life.”
  • Community Organizing — Running around NYC, switchboarding calls between “competitors” and journalists to rally the digital wellness space in a direct action against Apple ahead of its announcement of ScreenTime, which ultimately led to the birth of Digital Wellness Collective, and later a space for backchannel conversations to reverse Apple’s predatory behavior towards app developers in our community.
  • Recognition—Receiving acknowledgment by the founder of our biggest competitor that Siempo was the true visionary in this space, in a room full of founders of household name tech companies.

🤔 Outstanding Questions

  • What does it mean to be live ethically in 2021? To build an ethical product, organization, business? How can the patterns of nature and Indigenous values inform more harmonious economic models? What can different cultures teach us about relationship with ourselves, our tools, and our communities?
  • What and how should the next generation of technologists learn and unlearn, and why? What capacities, awarenesses and skills need to be cultivated in order to shift the culture of Silicon Valley?
  • How can technologists and educators who care about this issue better collaborate to meet their shared goals? How can the digital wellness / humane tech space attract more talent and resources?
  • What will it take for Apple and Google (+ other hardware manufacturers who have the power to re-imagine the smartphone experience at scale) to meaningfully invest resources into solving the tech addiction problem?

👀 Looking Ahead




Regenerative Tech | Business | Culture | Life. Co-founder @getsiempo, Digital Wellness Collective, @Wharton Wisdom.

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Andrew Murray Dunn

Andrew Murray Dunn

Regenerative Tech | Business | Culture | Life. Co-founder @getsiempo, Digital Wellness Collective, @Wharton Wisdom.

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