The Happiness Mission

I'm currently working my way through the Happy Startup School's course on building the sort of company you wouldn't want to sell. I've been toying with the idea for several months now that there's something interesting around the intersection of technology and mental health. I reckon that there are ways in which we can make a positive difference to many people's lives by exploring that intersection. I'm also hoping that I can make a sustainable income out of it, too!

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I’m currently working my way through the Happy Startup School’s course on building the sort of company you wouldn’t want to sell. I’ve been toying with the idea for several months now that there’s something interesting around the intersection of technology and mental health. I reckon that there are ways in which we can make a positive difference to many people’s lives by exploring that intersection. I’m also hoping that I can make a sustainable income out of it, too!

One of the early tasks in the Startup School programme is to define the company’s mission. This should be short and sweet — concise enough to fit into a Tweet — but provide an over-arching direction the company is heading in. I’m thinking of it being like the plot arc for a season of a television show. Here’s what I came up with:

“Our mission: to measurably improve the long term happiness of both individuals and organisations.” How does that sound? #happystartupschool

Graeme Mathieson

Since it fit in a Tweet, I thought I might as well tweet it! Here’s a little more detail on my thinking:

  • I reckon that we can measure change in happiness over time, and that we can use those measures to make sure our happiness is improving.

  • We’re looking at long term happiness. This isn’t about short term dopamine hits through gamification or likes, it’s about making lasting changes to our lives that improve our mental wellbeing.

  • While the initial focus of our ideas is around improving mental wellness on an individual level, I think there are interesting things we can do to holistically improve happiness for entire organisations — which could be companies, social groups, families, or even online communities.

I’m tempted to tack on “through experimentation” to the end of the mission. One of the tenets I’m playing with is that we can run controlled experiments to see what improves our happiness, and use the results of those experiments to drive long term change. But I thought I’d keep it short and snappy, so I’ll save that for the manifesto! ;-)

What do you think?

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