This week’s interviewee is Rohan Guntallake, an expert in mindfulness and calm as well as the creator of buddhify2. Rohan is an entrepreneur and claims as a speciality understanding how popular technologies might create joy, focus and calm instead of distress, distraction and anxiety. He has studied insight meditation and Theravada Buddhism for over ten years, is a Trustee of the British Council and an associate of Buddhist Geeks, but you can find out more about him here or by reading on…
PH: HI ROHAN, COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT BUDDHIFY2 IS?
RG: buddhify is a mobile app which allows you to bring mindfulness to wherever you are. With over 11 hours of guided meditations bundled with the app – you just tell it what you’re doing – working, travelling, at home, online, whatever – and then you can listen and go through specially designed techniques for those contexts. The app shows you that you don’t have to be in a quiet, calm place to get the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. There are also some other features such as a stats engine which allows you to measure your own progress and also a way of seeing how the whole community is getting on.
PH: HOW DOES BUDDHIFY MAKE MONEY?
RG: It’s a straight forward paid-for app – for £1.99 or $3 you get the whole set of content with no additional in-app or subscription payments. The simplicity and great value of that offer really works for people and we’ve had a great year so far.
PH: WHAT’S COMING NEXT FROM BUDDHIFY?
RG: We’ve just launched a revised iOS version and a new Android version which sees a doubling of content, some new features. What’s been great is that all these changes have come from suggestions of our users.Alongside that we’re now also working on a new set of modern mindfulness products for 2015 which is pretty exciting and we’re also growing the company to help increase the impact that we can make. Some of the new products are related to the buddhify brand and others are entirely new…no spoilers yet though!
PH: WHAT DO YOU PERSONALLY TRACK ON A DAILY BASIS?
RG: I used to have a Nike Fuelband when they first came out but it has since stopped being part of my routine. What I tend to track are quite internal experiences rather than objective data points – such as tension levels, relationships between workload and the quality of my relationships and the overall quality of my natural mindfulness. But then I am a bit of a meditation geek!
PH: LASTLY, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE FUTURE OF SELF QUANTIFICATION?
RG: The ability to see real-time representations of mental experience is going to be huge. This year we’re seeing the Muse and Melon as commercial EEG hardware on the market and it’s only going to become more and more sophisticated. It’s easy to measure external data points such as steps and distance – the magic will happen when the data points include the more internal.