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you start to look back on your failures and you start to consider them as assets - entrepreneurs attach our identity to our working life which can be dangerous but if you don’t throw your whole self into a start up it will not work"

Christopher Plowman CEO and co-founder of world leading meditation app Insight Timer talks to Ed Andrew on Human Impact about running a conscious business, growing a community organically to 6.5m subscribers, 15,000 guided meditations and 3,000 teachers. He talks about attraction marketing over promotion, his journey as an entrepreneur, taking 8 years to repay the $3m he lost to friends and family, how many people misdefine meditation and his own struggles with a daily practice. He goes into great detail about their mission to have 50m free meditators on the app and maintain a sustainable business, and how they reward their teachers.  

Talking points:

  • discussing that billboard in San Francisco - "we have always believed that attraction (marketing) is long term far more powerful than promotion,  We have never done any advertising at all but have 6.5m subscribers, 10,000 new users every day (2)


  • their competition, Calm and Headspace - a sanitised version of meditation called mindfulness - bigger opportunity to raise consciousness around the world - the billboard "Don’t pay others to sleep with you, sleep with us for free” was an expression of frustration rather than strategy. 


  • on making profit and being conscious, "we tried the poverty model and it does not work" - companies should be sustainable and there is nothing wrong wth profit but profit has been commandeered by greedy people, they forget their responsibilities, there is a necessary harmony between rights and responsibilities - you have a right to generate wealth but you have a responsibility to pay taxes - when you have rights without responsibilities they become divisive and greedy" (9)


  • create the possibility to build a career and create wealth - unapologetically creating a profitable company but will not if we sacrifice consciousness.

  • the spotify of the meditation world

  • the scope of Insight Timer, having meaningful daily med practice 15,000 titles and access to 3k teachers and all if that is free (16) 


  • explaining why Insight Timer is the best platform for a meditation teacher, you may get 10-15k people on your first day as a new teacher, and discussing their revenue sharing model “we have 6 million users and 50k paid subscribers - need to get to 50m meditators on the app, then we would be sustainable and teachers would earn a good living (18)


  • nurture their customer base, their customers will not get locked out after 7 days (23)


  • discussing success and failure - big challenges with entrepreneurs is that you have to detach your personal identity from your company (25)


  • the reality of start up life that no-one talks - try to jump off a 30ft wall and knit the parachute on the way down


  • "I do think there is a direct correlation between mental state and health, also now research suggests high correlation gut, stomach and mental health very symbiotic and co dependent (30)


  • the mental state is the primary state and that worries me because running a start up is stressful (31)


  • how to use the app as a first time meditator - benefits of meditating - the big question is how do you maintain a regular meditation practice, discussing Sarah Blondin and her 7 day free introductory course (32)

  • "don't elevate meditation on a pedestal just throw that idea out, just sit with yourself quietly for 15 minute every day"  

To contact Christopher please click on these links:

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