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移动应用

商业 - 科技

创业偶像打造正能量产业

Kurt Wagner 2013年07月23日

研究发现,社交媒体的兴起反而增加了人们的痛苦,因为大家都免不了拿自己的真实生活和朋友们在社交媒体上包装过的生活对比,结果徒增烦恼。但移动应用Happier却不一样。它鼓励人们分享生活中点点滴滴的快乐瞬间,传递正能量,增强幸福感。

Happier创始人娜塔莉•高根

    娜塔莉•高根懂得追求快乐——在更年轻的时候,她为快乐而生。高根一家是前苏联的犹太难民,她13岁那年,一家四口拎着几个手提箱,揣着600美元现金逃离了前苏联。她转辗于欧洲的各大难民营,最后终于到了美国,在这里她对幸福的追求才真正有了起色。她以班级第一的成绩毕业于卫斯里大学(Wesleyan University);曾供职于麦肯锡(McKinsey & Company)和微软(Microsoft);婚后育有一女。按理说,高根已经实现了美国梦,但她仍不快乐。

    如今,高根是新创公司Happier的首席快乐官(Chief Happiness Officer)。她不仅改善了自己的情绪,更努力把这种积极的情绪传递给别人。她说,快乐的秘诀在于真正懂得快乐是没有终点的,但你永远都能变得更快乐。这就是她的新应用程序Happier所传达的信息,高根称其为一个“口袋里的情感书架”。用户可以上传一切能让自己开心的东西,从记录日常生活中点滴成功的帖子(“我拿了个特棒的停车位!”)到最喜爱的食物或地方的照片。任何时候需要高兴起来的时候,只要打开更快乐应用程序就可以享受朋友们上传的所有快乐时刻。

    高根说,自从二月份发布这个程序以来,用户们分享的快乐时刻已经超过了一百万个。但这个应用程序还只是万里长征的第一步。高根说,她想把快乐事业打造成一个媒体公司和生活方式的品牌,类似奥普拉或玛莎•斯图尔特所做的事业。除了Happier电视和Happier视频,高根还设想针对其他Happier产品的许可经营,如服装、汽车甚至一家Happier航空公司。受到风投公司Venrock和Resolute.vc等投资者的青睐,高根“腰缠”240万美元的本钱,正沿着使世界更快乐的方向行进。“生活是无数瞬间的累积,”她说。“我们选择创造、收集每一个快乐的瞬间。”

    《财富》杂志(Fortune)对高根进行了采访,话题涵盖了她的应用程序、美国梦以及快乐怎样改变生活。

    《财富》:许多人用Facebook或Twitter等主流社交媒体来发一些负面甚至是有危害的信息,但你却认为Happier不一样?为什么?

    高根:大量研究表明,Facebook使人变得痛苦。Happier的正式顾问——哈佛大学(Harvard)的尼古拉斯•克里斯塔吉斯博士研究了许多调查,显示社交媒体增加了人们的痛苦,所以我认为这是我们最大的卖点。我完全理解为什么Facebook让人觉得痛苦。目前这个阶段,我们都从不同方面创造着一个了不起的自己——我们的假期美妙惬意、生活春风得意、朋友倍儿棒。然后人们会把自己的真实生活和朋友们在Facebook上极度夸大、刻意包装的生活相对比。

    而在Happier,出发点是一切都是正面的,所以你无需炫耀。快乐时刻是另一类社交内容,它更小更私人化。它不需要一张很酷的照片,也不需要吸引眼球。它可以是像“我刚拿了个很棒的停车位!”或是“下班回家后孩子给了我一个拥抱。”这样的小事。发表积极信息的时候,人们用不着沮丧,也不用觉得要像在Facebook上一样,非要弄出点什么动静来。

    Nataly Kogan understands the pursuit of happiness—in her younger years, she lived for it. As a Jewish refugee from Soviet Russia, Kogan escaped her native country at the age of 13 with a handful of suitcases and $600 in cash for her entire family of four. Jumping between refugee camps across Europe, Kogan finally made it to the United States where her pursuit of happiness really took off. She graduated top of her class from Wesleyan University. She worked at McKinsey & Company, then at Microsoft. She got married and had a daughter. On paper, Kogan had achieved the American Dream. But still, she wasn't happy.

    Kogan is the CEO and Chief Happiness Officer of startup Happier. She not only finds herself in better spirits, but spends her days trying to pass the feeling along to others as well. The secret, she says, is understanding that you can't actually be happy, but you can always be happier. That's the message conveyed with her new app, Happier, which she describes as an "emotional bookshelf in your pocket." Users upload anything that makes them happy, from posts chronicling their small daily success stories ("I got a great parking spot!") to photos of their favorite foods or places. Anytime you need a pick-me-up, simply open your Happier app and enjoy all of the happy moments posted by your friends.

    Since its launch in February, users have shared over one million happy moments, says Kogan. The app is only the first step along the way, however, and Kogan hopes to build the business into a media company and lifestyle brand, similar to Oprah or Martha Stewart, she says. In addition to "Happier TV" and "Happier Videos," Kogan envisions licensing Happier products, like clothes, cars, or even a Happier Airline. With a $2.4 million seed round under her belt from investors like Venrock and Resolute.vc, Kogan's march toward making the world a happier place is well underway. "Life is made of moments," she says. "Choose to create and collect the happy ones."

    Fortune interviewed Kogan about the app, the American Dream, and how happiness is changing lives around the world.

    Fortune: Many people use mainstream social media sites like Facebook or Twitter to post things that are negative or even hurtful, but you think Happier is different? Why?

    Kogan: There is a tremendous amount of research that shows that Facebook makes people miserable. Dr. Nicholas Christakis (Harvard) is a formal advisor to Happier, and he's looked into a lot of research of social media making people miserable and I think it's one of our strongest selling points. I totally get why Facebook makes people miserable. It's a stage now where we are all creating these versions of ourselves that are awesome—we have great vacations, look great, have awesome friends. And then what people do is compare their real life to this very braggy, curated life that your friends are posting on Facebook.

    In Happier, the expectation is everything is positive, so you don't need to show off. A happy moment is a different type of social content, it's smaller, it's more personal. It doesn't need a cool photo and it doesn't need to be impressive. It can be as tiny as "I just got a great parking spot!" or "My kid gave me a hug after work." You don't need to feel bad when you're posting positive things, nor do you need to feel like you need to make a big deal out of it like you would on Facebook.

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