There are a number of unannounced USV investments that we have made over the years. They are unannounced at the request of the founder(s). One of them is having a coming out party today and I thought I’d write a bit about it today.

Koko is a mobile social network that calms your mind.

When we’re stressed it can be difficult to think flexibly. We get caught up in our own mind. We focus on the worst narratives – that we can’t do it, that we’re not good enough, that things will never get better.

On Koko, you share your stress anonymously and the community helps you think more flexibly about your situation. Because how we think about stress impacts how we feel, simply being shown other, less negative, ways to view the situation helps reduce stress.

Here’s a screen shot of an anonymous user sharing their stress and the community posting “rethinks” that help that user overcome the stress that is bothering them.


Koko is the creation of Fraser Kelton, Kareem Kouddous, and Robert Morris. We’ve known Fraser since he was one of the early employees and COO of our former portfolio company GetGlue. Fraser met Robert who was at MIT Media Lab and Koko is the product of Robert’s PhD thesis onย an innovative form of crowdsourced cognitive therapy that was developed at the Media Lab.

One of our primary investment areas right now is digital health and we have made a number of investments in this sector. Koko is one of them. At USV, we believe that our phones, connected to us, the networks that are on it, and the broader global internet, will have an enormous positive impact on our health and happiness. Mental health is right in the center of this thesis and we are excited about the potential of Koko to help people manage their mental health.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Fraser

    Thank you Fred. We’ll be around throughout the day to answer questions that anyone has.The app is designed to help everyone deal with the day-to-day stresses of life. Just like everyone understands that exercise and diet is important to a healthy life, we believe that managing stress and emotional well-being is important for everyone to focus on too. I assume most of us can relate to the idea of getting caught up in our head on a specific thought when dealing with a stressful situation. The app crowdsources ways to think more flexibly in those situations.Looking forward to hearing what you all think.PS – Iโ€™m a loong time fan of the AVC community ( nearly 10 years! http://avc.com/2006/01/dont… ) and Iโ€™d like to say hi to the people who have created great content over this time – JLM, Leigh, Andy, Shana, Liad, Jim, and many, many more.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Hi Fraser, I’m listening.

      1. pointsnfigures


    2. LIAD

      You badass you.

    3. JLM

      .In my life, I have driven customers your direction with inflammatory statements and insults. If only I knew there was a business under that.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Lawrence Brass

        Incredibily enough, that line of business can even get you to the Presidency. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. JLM

          .Now, Lawrence, Jeb says you can’t insult your way to the Presidency. I think you can lie your way there though.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    4. Donna Brewington White

      Just goes to show (once again) how little we know what greatness is “lurking” in our midst.

    5. ShanaC

      Hi!!!!!Well, my only response is “I need this” _i’ve been going through a lot of life changes and stresses recently

  2. JimHirshfield

    Great stuff. All these years, this comment section has been a form of crowdsourced cognitive therapy for me. I get better every day. Thank you!

    1. fredwilson

      Me too

      1. JamesHRH

        This is a the #1 use case for our Alpha Qarma crowd – students talking each other down from school or social anxiety.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      If only someone could take what happens here and turn it into an app…

    3. JamesHRH

      Ain’t that the truth.

  3. Tom Labus

    Could have used it last night trying to watch the “candidates” or whatever they are

    1. JLM

      .Don’t go ugly early, Tom.I do have to ask — WTF would everyone be talking about if they didn’t have Donald Trump’s utterances to start from?How many questions started with — “Donald Trump said . . . . .”In the future, I do think that Trump should get a slice of the ad revenue. He deserves it for driving the traffic.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. awaldstein

        My days would be filled and fine without Donald. Trust me.

        1. JLM

          .Baloney. The Donald, the brash New York City Donald, is the spirit of your city. He is NYC. You are NYC.The two of you are unrelated by birth but blood brothers by city. Your hearts beat in tandem.Enjoy it. Embrace it. Live it. Love it.Get a really good bottle of wine and start practicing: “President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania”YOU can do it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. awaldstein

            You crack me up.

      2. Tom Labus

        as a game show MC, I agree. They are very lost

        1. JLM

          .This is a start. Not a great start but a start, nonetheless.Listening to Senators argue with each other reminds me of a pack of Airedales.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. pointsnfigures

            Are Tom or Arnold going to vote for anyone but a Democrat? The only opinions that matter are the voters in around 7 states.

          2. Tom Labus

            There is no Republican Party at present so I’ll be voting for H or Mrs, H or President H

          3. JLM

            .I threw up into my mouth a little. I’m OK now.I would take a random dart in the Austin phone book before a liar like Hillary.Don’t get me started. You’ve been warned.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. LE

            That said I think Hillary has done more than Fiorina who, in her opening monologue said this (as paraphrased by a writer):Those include surviving breast cancer, losing a child, climbing the corporate ladder and โ€œgetting called every b-wordโ€ in the book along the way.She actually did say that having breast cancer and losing a child and being called bitch somehow prepared her to be President. It was her opening few words. Amazing.

          5. JLM

            .Carly was born in the ATX and I have met her several times. I am very high on her.I think HC is one of the most cunning, untrustworthy people on the face of the earth. I am astounded how women can rally to her when one explores what she did to Bill’s “nuts and sluts”.She is devoid of ruth.I have good reason to believe that she will be indicted for the email fiasco. The head of the FBI has been very independent in his dealings with the White House — the reason why the FBI Dir is appointed for 10 years in the first place — recently.I will take a few side bets that she gets indicted to make it interesting. I will need odds my direction.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. LE

            Maybe she is good one on one and likable but in debates or interviews she comes across like a hospital administrator that lacks confidence and needs to overcompensate for being called a bitch “won’t get fooled again”.. Like “I’m not going to let any man push me around I am a strong woman!”. See how many times she interrupted last night and wouldn’t stop talking out of turn?Most importantly the reason that she is un-electable is that her vocal importance and cadence is off. Same with Kasich, Rubio, JEB. No “it” factor. Reason why you could lead men. [1] [2] Christie has it, Trump, Cruz as well.[1] As I have mentioned I saw the interview you gave to the yoda commenter here (can’t remember his name) and it came across instantly to me.[2] And that’s what I honestly think not trying or don’t need to blow any smoke up your ass.

          7. JLM

            .The “leaning forward in the saddle” phenomenon means you have to be comfortable in a saddle. You have to look like you belong in the saddle.I agree with you as it relates to who has it.There are men who have a quality that when they begin to speak, others stop and listen.Know one thing about Cruz — he whipped the sitting Lt Gov who had unlimited money, he ran a great GOTV campaign, he won big against the GOPe’s handpicked boy — in Texas.I have never seen him lost on his feet.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          8. LE

            The “leaning forward in the saddle” phenomenon means you have to be comfortable in a saddle. You have to look like you belong in the saddle.And can’t resist saying that you have to also want to be in the saddle. JEB doesn’t want to be in the saddle and Carson actually had to have the idea dropped into his head. Some of the other candidates look like it’s just a logical job choice or will help them even if they fail with their next career move.Separate thought (regarding making American great again) we are raising a bunch of spoiled kids that don’t have the desire to be in the saddle either. [1] Otoh, the imports and immigrant raised kids are actually our only hope. They have the desire, fire and upbringing to actually have fun overcoming adversity.[1] For lack of a better way to put it I can call these kids “Spring Break” kids doing funnels in Mexico or South Florida or the gulf coast.

          9. JLM

            .There is some stuff in life that has to be harnessed to your life force to make it happen. You have to not just want it, you have to become unbalanced in the way you want it.I always wanted to build high rise office buildings. I always wanted to be a soldier.You are right. The kids don’t want to be in the saddle, they want someone else to round up the horse, get the saddle, put the saddle on, boost them into the saddle, give them the reins.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          10. LE

            You are right. The kids don’t want to be in the saddle, they want someone else to round up the horse, get the saddle, put the saddle on, boost them into the saddle, give them the reins.We have a cleaning lady come every other week to clean the house. The “old lady” is not like my mom who kept the house spotless in between cleanings (which was every week). Anyway I was staring at the floor last night in the kitchen and thinking that it’s always a mess. My wife is busy (high paid professional) and her kids (my stepkids) don’t seem to be bothered by it. They are kids they could sleep on that floor. But it bugs the hell out of me. Now any woman out there will probably yell “well why don’t you clean it then yourself LE why do you expect your wife to do it?”. Ok, no therapy needed here, because my mom was in charge of that when I was growing up. And also because “Harry never carries not for one minute not for one second” (Harry in your Pocket the movie line).Being a problem solver I thought “hmm I will just have the cleaning lady come more times and pay her for just cleaning the kitchen floor for me and maybe make the bed as well!”. And it will be cheap since I have already done that with getting her to clean some rental properties. Then I thought wait. I have these two stepkids that are doing great in school (all A’s but the bar is lower, right?) and in fact have plenty of time to play video games and watch tv. So I thought “I will just make it their job to clean the floor! Problem solved!” (They already do other things at my suggestion but let’s give them more!) Builds character. Took me all of 30 seconds to solve that at no cost and, with a character building kicker as well.I bet they are definitely going to be the only kids in our neighborhood who are cleaning the floors. The rest of the kids and their coddling parents probably just either clean up after the kids themselves. We recently got a kitten. Prior to agreeing to allow the kitten I negotiated full “take care of everything related to the kitten duties” from them (and their mom). And they are happy with that because they feel they have now earned the kitten.

      3. LE

        If you watch Chris Matthews he made the point at least two times (during differerent Hardball episodes) that Donald should run a TV ad which shows what he has built (which impresses Chris to no end) vs. the other guys who are “just good debaters”.Last night post debate he told that directly to Trump in an interview who replied something like “yes I heard you say that we are doing that ad we are doing that ad”. Matthews, even prior to that, had changed his tune on Donald and appears to view him close to favorably vs. the other candidates. Maybe because it’s self serving (gives him material) but I think it’s more than that. He recognizes that despite the rhetoric and stream of consciousness rambling and sometimes offensive words (which is very entertaining) perhaps it’s important to recognize that the guy can get things done. And his judgement in the end is actually pretty good around people and how they tick. That’s a super important quality way more important than being a policy wonk or keeping your mouth shut. And infact not keeping his mouth shut has worked. He is the “crazy driver that others look out for”. Brilliant strategy no clown anyone not realizing this is the fool at the table.Everything Donald does is calculated and done in real time with nominal planning but always strategy.I was trying to explain to my wife last night one possible way that Trump will be successful in getting what he wants.Let’s take the issue of less privacy that is getting Apple et al to provide backdoors to encryption in case the government wants that. Most if not all techies are against that they spit it out as if it’s not only a slipperly slope but naively believing that the government will listen and act on everything that they say or do that is potentially illegal. (That is laughable and absurd there aren’t anywhere near the resources if there were we’d get more speeding tickets and all would drive the speed limit). Will have to hide your dime bags now that sucks.How would someone like Donald do this? He would simply tell Apple that he wanted them to do that and if they didn’t he would imply subtly that Apple wouldn’t be a friend of the government anymore and then he would employ the Presidents “nixonian” powers to make life difficult for the company in any way it could. He wouldn’t say that but he does have the ability with big companies (as opposed to the local plumber) to direct and deploy resources in a way to make life easier or more difficult for them. Maybe that’s not the exact way but when you are a deal maker and willing to go to the edge there is much that you can accomplish that a pussy or PC politician would never every think of, less consider.

        1. JLM

          .Building a high rise office building is an extremely difficult, technical undertaking. I built 50 story buildings and 90 story buildings are even more complex than what I built.Putting together the land, the plans, the approvals, the contractors, the financing, the marketing, the operations, the maintenance is very complex.It is an entire city.It is odd that much of what is going on is an almost sophomoric show of masculinity. Donald calls someone “weak” and they spend all their time trying to disprove him thereby reinforcing the original underlying accusation.Not gentlemanly. Effective.Donald Trump’s campaign logo should be: “Donald Trump, he’s not a pussy.”Funny thing is that might be just what we need right now. Somebody who is willing to take the measure of things and just demand changes that will work.You cannot equivocate when you are pouring one floor a week when building a high rise building. You make decisions on the fly and you make designers, contractors, unions, material suppliers toe the line. Otherwise, the building doesn’t get built.I thought the exchange between Trump and Cruz was cunning and clever on both of their parts. Cruz’s line that he would get Trump to build the wall was a brilliant bit of humor. Trump’s retreat from his comments about Cruz was equally brilliant. They had served their purpose.This is going to be a wild election. An important one because we really do need someone who is not a pussy to run the joint.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. LE

            Liked the Cruz line as well.Noting also that Donald did this in NYC which my guess is the most difficult place in the world to get things done and with a very lean staff and employees who didn’t go to Wharton like he did. In fact if you check linkedin for people who work for Trump, with the exception of his kids, most didn’t go to Ivy League schools they went to state schools or noname schools and Trump recognized their talent and got them to do great jobs.A laughable moment was Fiorina patting herself on the back for filling a big order from the NSA after 9/11. Imagine that!. The government, with an open pocketbook, comes to you for some gear and you actually sold them the gear and made a ton of money because it was no bid!!!! [1][1] Reminds me of back in the day when customers would change a job and then, get this, they would apologize (really) and tell us that it needed to be redone and they were paying for the new job and the old job! And they apologize! For giving us more business! That was a rush and that we go to charge extra for! [2][2] Like your girlfriend telling you she can’t meet you for dinner but you can take out her friend instead and by the way it’s ok to have sex afterwords.

      4. JamesHRH

        I thought this was on point: http://www.theglobeandmail….From it, the Donald-Buster bomb is pretty simple:- say that Make America Great Again is a 20th century idea- say he is setting an agenda based on a world that no longer exists- say that in the 21st Century, its time for the USA to be part of a global group of countries that will Make the World Great- why? b/c technology has shrunk the world, we are now, seriously, all in it together- also, we have no choice: extremism knows no religious or national boundary, in the 21y century, it will come down to peaceful law abiding societies needing to solve the problem of identifying, including or isolating the losing societies or individuals that can cause random chaos- so, we need to work together with other great powers- use climate change as an example- ask why Donald doesn’t put climate change on the agenda- answer your question with: b/c he is a I win / you lose guy who specializes in leveraging people in to bad deals- he doesn’t work with people, he works them over based on their fears and weaknesses- if you are a Trump supporter, you’re getting leveraged into a bad deal for exactly these reasons- Canada, Mexico, China, Russia & India don’t need the USA like they did in the 20th century (ask someone how many Chinese energy companies have investments in the Western Canadian energy industry & how much $$$ they would like to invest in energy security)- when The Donald tries to leverage these countries into bad deals, they will walk and the USA will be the one who suffers.This, of course, requires another GOP candidate to have someone advising them who is as smart as David Axelrod. It also requires them to listen to that person and not be tied up in their ideology or need to pander to the base.But, its right there to be had.

        1. JLM

          .The big factor missing is that The D is a counter puncher. In fact, that may be his best position. He is not static.Climate change is a religion to which there will no converts. If you are on it, you will stay on it. If you are not, you will not be converted.When running from a bear in the company of another, you don’t have to be faster than the bear — you only have to be faster than the other person.Cruz is positioned to pick all Trump losses. Nobody else can outrun The Donald right now.This is not an endorsement of anyone.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. jason wright

      who is this clown who advocates carpet bombing?

      1. Tom Labus

        I’m think Cruz

  4. JLM

    .Interesting. Crowdsourced therapy?I am a huge fan of therapy. I went for a long period of time right after a trip to the pay window that entailed a long non-compete. One of the best things I ever did. Ever.I went ostensibly (extra credit word) to explore intelligence and to ascertain if I was intelligent and, if so, how did I compare to other measures of intelligence. I was not feeling insecure or uncertain, I was curious — like how many pull ups could I do?Turned out to be one of the most interesting things I ever did and some scabs got picked and the light flowed into some wounds I didn’t know I had. Funny thing about being wounded — that’s where the light enters as they heal.Maybe, subconsciously, that was my intent all along. Maybe my guardian angel was actually the shot caller. Maybe, I was just full of shit.I think that collegial consultation (Forum at YPO is an example that I also lived through and benefited from) is one of the best things anyone — CEOs in particular — can do.I spend a fair amount of time in my Wisdom of the Campfire shtick talking CEOs down off the ledge. Having been a CEO for 33 years, I recognize where their feet are and I know a secret — there are no secrets and not too much of this is going on our headstones.CEOs become empowered when they realize there is more than one way off that ledge. You don’t have to jump. [Though as a paratrooper, I always say — “Feet and knees together. Hit, shift, rotate.”]I can assist someone out on the ledge of CEOing because I spent a lot of time there.This seems like a very interesting idea.Koko.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Girish Mehta

      You are a poet. You and Rumi would get along just fine JLM… :-)http://avc.com/2015/12/advi…

    2. Richard

      From what i learned about mental health therapy, the answers to mental health issues are relatively strait forward; it is the questions (the issues) that are the work of a therapist.Btw? Why would you expect a therapist to be able to gauge your intelligence ?

      1. JLM

        .Her specialty was working with boards of directors to ensure they had a good makeup of complementary and diverse personalities.Back in the day, I used her to administer Meyers Briggs and integrity testing to new senior employees. It turned out to be a very effective exercise. It contributed to excellent team building.There are 65 different independent measure of intelligence. She used many of them in her Fortune 500 board practice.I took about 25 different tests. It was very interesting.I am not quite as smart as my late Shih Tzu but he was a very, very, very smart dog.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Richard

          from what I could see, your your coaching philosophy is based on the premise that execution trumps intelligence. Why would your Ranking in the intellectual universe be so important to you?

          1. JLM

            .Not to dive too deep on you but much of what we do in life is based on what we perceive ourselves as being capable of. This requires us to know ourselves.I was trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do next and what drove me.Turns out my favorite things in the whole world are floating in the ocean at Wrightsville Beach and bossing people around (which my wife later told me she could have told me and saved me a lot of money).You misinterpret my philosophy as stated.I am always interested in the “smart” play and therein lies some of my interest in assessing intelligence. There are so many measures of intelligence that it is important to plumb their depths.I am certainly not an intellectual. Not that I would really know what that means anyway.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. LE

            Of course I would make the point that if you need someone else to tell you some of the things that you found out about yourself in therapy then you are not particularly introspective.floating in the ocean at Wrightsville Beach and bossing people aroundYou wouldn’t float in the ocean at the Beach all day every day (or even for 3 hours per day 5 days per week) and continue to enjoy it. It’s special in limited quantities. Just like flying or driving a nice car. However it’s quite possible that you did and would fully enjoy bossing people around for the same periods of time.

          3. JamesHRH

            The interesting part is the factors that you feel dictate what you are capable of achieving, relative to your peers.Do you feel you need to be smarter than 95% of them? Better with people? higher energy?These factors are typically driven by people’s personalities.People don;t achieve what they believe possible when they perceive that their strengths are not the strength required for what they are doing.My wife tends to reveal to people that their strengths are more malleable than they believe, which unlocks theretofore unknown abilities in her direct reports.You’d like her.

          4. JLM

            .Agreeing with you.The great game in life is trying to do what is seemingly denied to you. I am a bit of a plodder. I don’t think I am as smart as you but I will get up earlier, stay later, work harder, out plan you, associate with better people, and I will eat out of your chili bowl when you are sleeping.Then, it turns out I am just as smart as you.We miss all shots we don’t take so I am always willing to take a shot.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. JamesHRH

            Every gift has its tree.

          6. Lawrence Brass

            How do I deeply despise earlybirds… they use your slot at the parking lot, they make the crosswords puzzle and wrap the newspaper just to make a point out of it, they leave the coffee maker loaded so you have to rinse it first before making yours, and finally when passing by their offices they stare at you with that caffeinated smile and say ‘good morning’… really meaning ‘a lot of things happened here already and you just don’t have a clue’.I always stay late, but staying late will never beat arriving early. As a friend once pointed out ‘who arrives first at the office somehow takes the power baton for the entire morning’. I used to surprise earlybirds when staying all night at the office, they do not want you in their territory, and staying the night is cheating so you don’t get the power baton, less so being unshaved and wearing a wrinkled shirt. I need a koko session right now!

          7. JLM

            .The worst ones are the ones who bring breakfast tacos that you now have to heat up because they’ve gone cold.You know exactly what it means but you want a breakfast taco and enjoy it wondering how damn good it must have tasted when they were hot and fresh.Still, even warmed up, they’re delicious.That noise at 4:00 AM you heard? Me, eating out of your metal chili bowl.Koko session or a barbed wire enema?Your choice.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          8. Lawrence Brass

            Hmm.. let me see.. I think I will have Koko and red wine, cabernet sauvignon please.Metal bowl, what metal bowl? My bowl is ceramic, with native american decorations, very hip. Metal bowl is Mac’s the scottish terrier. :PEnjoyed the parachute talk in lurker mode.May the force be with you.

          9. PhilipSugar

            I do too. That doesn’t mean sometimes I get up at 3:00 am like I did this week it just means I’d rather write now.To my mind it is diversity. Women/Men Rich /Poor Background, Ivy League/Anonymous or No College, Artist/Engineer, Gay/Straight, Young/Old, etc, etc. It is how you manage that orchestra at the concert that makes you a great leader.

          10. Lawrence Brass

            I try to practice diversity too, it is not easy, we have a lot of hardwired behaviour built in that we are usually unaware of. I like to think that the same as we all have different faces, we also have different brains, dreams, thoughts, ethics.Of course my problems with earlybirds are a bit of a play. Earlybirds vs Owls has been going on for centuries. 24/7 operations are possible because we actually cooperate and work together.

        2. LE

          and to ascertain if I was intelligent and, if so, how did I compare to other measures of intelligenceI took about 25 different testsInteresting. So by giving someone “25 tests” it’s possible to find a test where they score highly on that particular intelligence test w/o damaging their ego to bad with results from tests that they don’t score well on. So it’s a bit of super nanny in action.I wonder to what extent any of those 25 tests measured “energy” level ala “JEB is low energy”.

          1. JLM

            .The tests are more different in their focus as an example “creative intelligence” v some other flavor.I think Jeb Bush is a low energy guy but for the way he processes info and leads, it may be the exact right way.Leadership styles, when dealing with experienced leaders, change based on the situation.In moments of great stress, it is necessary to be forceful and other times it is necessary to be thoughtful and almost pedantic.I would argue that it is the situation which dictates the style, not the organization.In the military, as an example, it is often thought that the big personality pearl handled leader (Patton) is always the right one. People get tired of that much drama.My favorite military leaders are Troy H Middleton, George Marshall, Omar Bradley, and Chesty Puller.http://themusingsofthebigre…Troy H Middleton (corps commander who told Ike he could hold Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge) was the best of the lot in a tough fight.Eisenhower built the entire strategy for the Battle of the Bulge on the simple utterance: “Troy says he can hold Bastogne.”This at an instant in time when nobody could hold the Germans anywhere. Middleton asked for the 101st ABN because he realized that paratroopers were used to fighting surrounded. Brilliant.I think Ike’s greatest contribution as President was his calm resolution to get the job done. He balanced 8 budgets, worked with an opposing party Congress, kept us out of war — when war was his wheelhouse.Patton was perfect in the attack and pursuit and the rest of the time he was a major league pain in the ass.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. sigmaalgebra

            I don’t know Bradley well. From what I did read:(1) He was good at taking a sick division and getting good again quickly.(2) At Normandy, he didn’t prepare the Omaha beach nearly well enough, e.g., didn’t do enough with the naval guns before the troops went ashore.(3) In the rest of the campaign after Normandy, was a bit too unconcerned, i.e., concluded, correctly in a sense, that the US had unlimited men and material. While essentially true, sounded like he was not careful enough.As much as I like Ike, I got an impression that during the war he saw Patton as competition and deliberately cut him down to make him more subordinate.The rub I have against Marshall is that on December 7, 1941, he had great intelligence directly from our reading of the Japanese diplomatic traffic from our cracking the Japanese diplomatic code but totally fumbled and dropped the ball on informing Admiral Kimmel and General Short: Marshall insisted on being a bureaucrat and going through channels some usual way, as if he had days, instead of seeing that he had only a few hours and just picking up a phone, any phone, and just calling Kimmel and Short and just telling them that almost certainly Pearl Harbor would be attacked at 8 AM Hawaii time. Just tell them.Then there would be a good chance that(1) The radar sightings would be expected and taken seriously instead of discounted as a false alarm.(2) Similarly for the sighting of a Japanese submarine near the harbor.(3) The US ships at Pearl Harbor might well have been out of the harbor and on their way to the open ocean.(4) The US carriers, already at sea, might have been able to have attacked the 6 Japanese carriers, big surprise, with likely no Japanese air cover, and sunk a few or all of them.(5) Whatever US bomber forces there were at Hawaii might also have been able to get off some sorties against the Japanese carriers.(6) The US fighter force in Hawaii would have been in the air and surprised the Japanese planes, no doubt dropped a significant fraction, and maybe even made the Japanese efforts completely ineffective.Marshall was this, that, and some other things, but at a really crucial point he was too much of an organization man and a big shot just to pick up a phone and make an urgent call. Why, he didn’t know how to use a phone?I do suspect that Ike’s dumping on Patton kept Patton from contributing good work on the invasion of Italy. So, the Italian landings were under the command of, who, Mark Clark? From what I read, Clark blew it, cost lots of US blood and treasure and nearly got pushed into the sea. Somehow I suspect that Patton would have done much better, where much better was very much needed.Patton’s suggestion before Normandy that Monty was planning too much for himself taking his goal of Caen apparently was correct but ignored.Bradley was also not able to go inland as fast as planned, and the solution was some carpet bombing and then a charge by Patton.Then Patton wanted to cut off a huge part of the German army in the Falaise Pocket but was blocked by Bradley or Ike — net, a lot of Germans did escape.Later, Monty wanted to try his Market Garden but blew it — darned bad planning. Meanwhile apparently Patton was ready to charge into Germany but was held back to give Monty supplies.Monty did well when the US rushed to ship him lots of artillery and tanks for his big stand at el Alamein — there Monty was successful.Then Monty pushed Rommel back nearly to the Atlantic, but a biggie point here was that the British had broken a German code, knew when Rommel’s supplies were on the way across the Mediterranean, and sunk them. Apparently the main thing that defeated Rommel was just the breaking of the German code so that too much of Rommel’s supplies ended up on the bottom of the Med, not Monty.Then, in Sicily, Monty had a bad plan and was slow in executing his part of it, thus, letting too many Germans escape across to Italy. Patton saved the day. Bradley was not much help. Then Ike cut Patton off at the knees. Gee, no good deed goes unpunished.Net, it seemed to me that Ike and Bradley backed Monty too much and Patton too little.I still don’t have a good view of just what the heck Patton did that was so different that let him be so much more effective. My guesses are:(A) He understood such warfare in detail, and was ready, willing, able and eager to get right on the ground, observe, understand, and see what to do, right away, the next hour or day.(B) He knew what good people where and picked them.(C) He knew what was good to do and doable and pushed his people to get it done.Monty? He didn’t have a clue about how to take Caen or how to make Market Garden work. Bradley, he didn’t know how to prepare Omaha beach or how to get to the interior. Whoever cut off Patton from closing the Faliase Pocket just was not right there, well informed, seeing what the situation was, knowing how to exploit the opportunity, and doing so.Looks like a good field commander in WWII needed to understand the principles of such battle, e.g., the roles of tanks, infantry, close air support, logistics, food and rest, have his boots dirty, be close enough to see what is going on right there at the crucial parts of the battle, maybe fire his weapon, know his people very well and quickly replace people who are no longer functioning well, etc.I don’t know that that description is correct or what, if anything, Patton had.

          3. Michael Elling

            Always love historical what could have beens! Fascinating conclusions and a comprehensive analysis. My favorite is what could have been if we had mandated interconnection in 1913 and let technology (wired and wireless) play out in a more competitive fashion after WWI. Would it have limited the growth of the demagogue (control of radio and telephone networks) and prevented WWII and The Cold War from happening? Would we have had the internet in the 1960s instead of waiting 30 years? The entire compute cycle might have been different as digital computers would have entered public switched networks decades earlier. Fun stuff!

        3. JamesHRH

          What a great gig she cooked up.

        4. ShanaC

          do you have a total list of the tests.

          1. JLM

            .No. That was 20 years ago. Each one had a test and a workbook. They’re out there.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    3. LE

      Hit, shift, rotateIs that to dissipate the energy from the hit?

      1. JLM

        .Yes, you land as follows:1. balls of the feet;2. side of the calf;3. side of the thigh;4. butt or hips; and,5. back.You land with your chin tucked in and your knees bent. Elbows up. You hit the ground with the balls of your feet. You shift to the side. You rotate onto your back.I have landed so perfectly that it was like getting into bed and I have landed (usually at night) like a sack of shit.Right before you land, you release your equipment pack on a lanyard with all the hard stuff in it and it’s waiting for you when you land.I’ve landed in water and trees and on the equipment pack. Bad stuff.https://www.facebook.com/vi…I got paid an additional $60/month. I was Airborne.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. JamesHRH

          The running landings are a showbiz trope?

          1. JLM

            .Those are bigger, better chutes. Not military ones. Some are. Steerable chutes (like for HALO — high altitude low opening when you are tracking across the sky) are much easier on you.HALO can get you a mile for each 1,000 feet of vertical. Go out with oxygen at 30K and you can be in the next county where they can’t even hear the airplane. Bit of a tail wind and you can jump over Calgary and land in Houston.Back in the day, we used the T-10 which was designed for a 165 lbs trooper. You want to get down and down quick on a combat jump so the enemy doesn’t shoot you on the way down.I was 195 lbs and with equipment probably 250 lbs.I came down fast and landed firmly.Look at the video above and see how much better the current chutes are.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. David Semeria

            It must be great being able to reply to any snarky comments by saying something like “I’ll engage with you if can confirm you’ve jumped out of an airplane at night with 250 lbs of ballast”

          3. JLM

            .Better still, if it’s true.That was a long, long, long time ago and, yet, sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night and I hear a strange noise — I am that kid again.Notice the “night soil” on my boots — Corcoran jump boots only allowed for paratroopers.A million years ago.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. PhilipSugar

            I think you are talking about HAHO. High Altitude High opening, you can glide in 30 miles.HALO. High Altitude Low Opening is when you drop like a brick and open so low you don’t even carry a backup.I know somebody (you’ve seen him) that has done too many of both.The new parafoil parachutes compared to old round ones with two holes cut out of the back make a very soft landing depending on your loading and skill. Jumped both, but not anymore. Way too much loading for me :-)But I did watch a contest in Tucson, AZ last week where they try and land on a pad. It was not your Army sisters, but Navy. (Close to San Diego)But to see a good video of your Army Golden Knight Sisters: https://www.youtube.com/wat

          5. JLM

            .That technique was developed long after my timeIn my day, 1970s, HALO was the only such technique used. It was used primarily for speed of insertion but also for lateral movement. It started in the early 1960s.It was not a technique used in mass drops. It was only used in small units.HAHO is a technique that was originated about the time of the development of military use of GPS which was used to track movement even in the air. It also required better suits and oxygen as the jumper is in the hypoxia region for way too long.HAHO uses a specialized parachute which was developed for that technique.When Spec Ops exploded in the late 1980s and early 1990s, HAHO became the gold standard but the nature of the mission also changed at the same time making HAHO a better delivery technique.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. Mark Essel

          Hazard pay! That’s an extra 15 cups of starbucks a month. Back then it was probably a bit more (x2-3 due to insane inflation in the 70s).The experience, priceless?I learned to fall from years of skateboarding as a kid. For some odd reason flying down large drops and landing on a small board with wheels was required for cool tricks. Blood yes, scrapes oh yeah, but no breaks. Lots of 15-20 mph to zero impacts.

          1. JLM

            .In those days, no SBUX, and coffee was free in the mess hall.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Mark Essel

            Hah, of course. Happy Holidays!

    4. Ryan Frew

      As someone who is in a Forum, would you say that therapy lead to additional benefits. This is an interesting comment in the context that you provide at the beginning.

      1. JLM

        .Two different times in my life.I was in a great Forum with a great cross section of people for me personally. It was extremely helpful.In a left handed way, it made me realize that I was pretty good at what I did which was comforting. Self-validation.Still friendly and in contact with those folks. Ours was pretty damn intense with a couple of guys getting divorced, etc.As to the therapy. I had to be ready for it and when I sold that business, I was ready. I was curious. I was mature enough to be able to listen to my own head.It takes some time.When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    5. ShanaC

      Lots of people need therapy/should get therapy. It is helpful. because we all got complicated wounds.

    6. sigmaalgebra

      Supposedly one definition of IQ is, take an IQ test, do a principal components analysis, and, for a person, take their score on the largest eigenvalue, that is, the most important of the cooked up orthogonal axes. So, then, IQ is the one number that, as just one number, for that person, best approximates all the answers on the test.One demonstration of intelligence is to enter a Ph.D. program at a high end research and leave with a STEM field Ph.D. Getting in is tough — meet some bright fellow students and profs. Getting out with a Ph.D. is tougher. Likely more than half don’t finish. Still tougher — get out without being damaged psychologically. Still tougher — so some original work independently or nearly so.The original aspect is the hardest part — can’t just follow in the footsteps of someone else.I’ve done this and that that showed intelligence, but one of the things I am most proud of was in plane geometry. There was a test asking how to use construction to inscribe a square in a semi-circle. I didn’t get it so thought about it later. Finally I noticed something: Can’t just do the construction in an obvious way. But can go off on the side and construct a figure that is similar to the desired figure. That is, in the original figure, don’t know what the crucial length is, but on the side get to pick any length want and, then, construct the rest of the figure around that length. Hmm. Then for the crucial length needed for the original figure, just construct a fourth proportional the usual way.This approach seemed a bit novel to me. The right word is original. So, I wanted to check my work so asked the teacher. As soon as I started to construct the figure on the side, she said “You can’t do that.”.Hmm. Well, likely she’d never seen that before. But I saw nothing wrong with it.As a freshman in college, in chemistry class I was sitting next to a nice girl, a senior, who hated math and science and as a senior was still struggling to get past her science and math requirements. So, she was taking an advanced course in plane geometry. The exercise she was struggling with was, given triangle ABC, on sideAB pick point D and on side BC pick point E so that the lengths AD = DE = EC.So, the next day I showed her how to do that: Sure, go off on the side, pick just anything convenient for the crucial length AD, construct the rest of the figure, and, then, for the crucial length AD in the original figure, construct a fourth proportional.She said, “How’d you know to do that? That’s the solution. It’s an advanced technique called similitude and is what we are studying now.”I said that I’d invented it in high school but the teacher said I couldn’t do that.None of that was very difficult, but the good part was the excursion into some originality and, for the intelligence part, to be ready to do that, to be able to do it, and to do it.

  5. obarthelemy

    this is going to be fun when they get hacked :-p

    1. LE

      Good point. But i am wondering how the anonymity actually works

  6. Aviah Laor

    This is the perfect announcement to follow yesterday’s post. Yesterday the network, today the nodes.

    1. fredwilson


    2. jason wright

      timing requires planning

  7. LIAD

    Sounds awesome. Wishing Fraser and crew all good things.I’ve been twiddling with this from the other side of the coin. Rather than a network to alleviate stress and anxiety, a network to promote empowerment, self discovery and self actualisation.Same goal though. A more fulfilled less stressed humanity is a more productive and happier one. Lost GDP through stress and lack of meaning and purpose far exceeds that lost by physical illnesses. (I reckon).Just a side project/experiment. Web based only. http://doof.com. Posting here by no means to take away from Koko which is very cool and exciting. Just to share a different take on community driven digital health.

    1. Fraser

      This is a big enough problem that we hope many more product focused people, such as yourself, step up and try to solve pieces of it. Rooting for you!

      1. Richard

        from what I learned about mental health, the answers to the questions are relatively strair forward, it is the questions themselves that require the skill of a therapist.

        1. JamesHRH

          Crowd sourcing can be a low cost, less efficient but likely nearly as effective source of finding the right question.

          1. Richard

            Better check with your wife on that ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Ronnie Rendel

      Liad, I think doof can one day be really useful (in a future very different form), just my 2 cents – the key to intrinisic happiness is leaving the “self” and “losing yourself” in the greater consciousness of the Whole.That’s part of what makes koko appealing is we lose ourselves (and our ego and negative voices) in the shared experience of the collective whole.”Self empowerment”, “self discovery”, and “self actualization” are the portholes to either “self-pity” or “self-worship”. One of the two will be the result of any process beginning with “self”. It’s sad how most life coaching practices are based on this flawed approach.The key to intrinisc happiness (meaning real value and joy that is not based on external factors) is leaving the self, and giving yourself over to the greater whole.Maybe you can consider this and pivot your project around this concept. I will be happy to explain this in more detail if you wish. All the best, and blessings for koko.

      1. LIAD

        Appreciate the feedback.I see knowing who you are, discovering your underlying passions, motivations, hopes, dreams, fears etc as fundamental to leading a productive fulfilling life and by extension being able to positively help others.Like on a plane, please put on your oxygen mask first before helping others with theirs.If I thought this project was conducive to self worship and self aggrandisement I would never have built it and would delete it in a heartbeat.Would love to hear your thoughts but don’t want to hijack this thread. Maybe we could continue elsewhere.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          I wonder if self-awareness may actually be an antidote to self-focus.

          1. LIAD

            Interesting. Smart.

        2. Ronnie Rendel

          I will follow up with you on Twitter. In general, self-awareness is the result of “going out of myself”, which allows me to look at myself truthfully and accept who I am with love and respect, which is the basis for accepting others with love and respect. (Donna, I feel you’re right on!)And yes, there is a lot of opportunity for products/networks to help us achieve this goal.

      2. Bruce Warila

        “the key to intrinsic happiness is leaving the “self” and “losing yourself”” Great stuff.. Seems to also be the key to creativity.

      3. Richard

        If there is one thing that we are not short of in this world is advice in mental health

      4. ShanaC

        “Self empowerment”, “self discovery”, and “self actualization” are the portholes to either “self-pity” or “self-worship”. One of the two will be the result of any process beginning with “self”. It’s sad how most life coaching practices are based on this flawed approach.I strongly disagree with this. This is a concept I was raised with in a yeshiva environment, and heavily promoted by my parents. It has been hugely damaging to me and many people I know.Most people do not understand what these terms are in a medical/therapeutic sense, how they can/should interplay in a communal context, and what they mean when raising children into productive adults, or what productive adults in a community should look like.As a therapeutic fact of life: You absolutely need a strong sense of self, which includes self-actualization, self-empowerment, and self-discovery, to exist as a healthy individual in a group. This is known as individualization. If you don’t have it, you are enmeshed and are at heavy risky for abuse and/or life paths that are damaging to self in the sense of suicides.Too much of that nonsense and you effectively get an acquaintance who was a good friend of mine before we drifted apart due to life and life choices: Faigy MeyerOne of those huge life choices, to be utterly frank, is I noticed that I needed to give myself a strong sense of self to survive. she had been so damaged by this belief within the community and her family that she could never fully notice her lack of self.So yes, this is not something that should be said anymore.as always, if you any questions, feel free to reach out to me.

        1. Ronnie Rendel

          Wow, Shana. I’m so sorry you grew up with such an experience, though I’m sure it has made you what you are today.Actually, everyone I know in the “yeshiva environment” also puts emphasis into “self actualization”, and that’s the biggest problem. Where students study Torah in order to become “big rabbis”, instead of seeking spiritual enlightenment.What I wrote is my philosophy, it’s based on my journey. You will find this form of thinking in Zen and Tao based philosophies, the later being a personal favorite of mine.

          1. ShanaC

            The word sorry here means very little – it is equivalent to “i feel bad you felt/experienced this”An apology, not an explanation, would be nice. But not to me. I don’t have blood on my hands, nor debts, nor an explanation as to why thousands don’t know what a molecule is.I would write a long discussion as to why, and what I think, but this is not the forum.Actually, everyone I know in the “yeshiva environment” also puts emphasis into “self actualization”, and that’s the biggest problem. Where students study Torah in order to become “big rabbis”, instead of seeking spiritual enlightenment.Self-actualization is being used incorrectly here as well.The definition is as followsthe realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone.*If that were held as a true thing to want for ones children, much more than half of all children born orthodox would not be orthodox, and patrilineal descent would be an accepted norm, and the Agudah and RCA would probably not exist, and if they did, would not have any involvement in conversion (including annulment), get rid of the idea of gittin and only men can witness, and women rabbis would be an accepted norm. The reason would be because it would want to support Jewish lives of all sorts for its children rather than worry about its perceived authenticity and truth.Your program in brooklyn in such a world would not exist. Faigy would be alive. Debts associated with yeshiva tuition and marriage would be low to nonexistent. Marriages would be more equitable.As I said, You can reach out to me if you want clarification. But be aware, it is near impossible to get Mochel from me.*I would also like to note that this definition is almost the exact same defintion of the experience of Kensho in Japanese Buddhist traditions (which would include Zen) It isn’t nothingness that one sees in the normal sense of the word within Buddhist contexts. Which is why Google likes Buddhist meditation practices and wants to promote self-actualization

    3. ShanaC

      I don’t think it is a/b – and cognitive therapy traditionally doesn’t care.

    4. Yinka!

      With a domain name like “Doof” and given its handy ananym (food), surprised you didn’t work in “food for the soul” into the byline.That twirly wheel seems antithetical to the site intent (calming) though.

      1. LIAD

        You’re hired.

    5. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Doof is fun ๐Ÿ™‚ Pleasantly self-indulgent, like talking about myself endlessly to someone who never loses interest.

  8. pointsnfigures

    I was speaking to a behavioral psychologist the other day. He only works with high performing execs, and pro athletes. One of the things that is interesting to me is if you can do behavioral psychology virtually. I am not sure; I haven’t seen or sought out any data on success or failure. I only know my gut feel. But, the psychologist I spoke with says you can.

    1. Fraser

      Shared something on this down below. The answer is “yes” — researchers have shown that the online delivery of therapy is effective, even when it’s self directed. The big challenge is having people adhere to the treatment (in these cases, use a product). This is a really tricky design space and one we’ve been iterating on for months.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Adhere, could be done with sensors, messaging or other kinds of virtual feedback. The psychologist I met also physically meets with his clients. Wonder if the fact that they were in physical presence with one another makes a difference in the virtual relationship.

        1. Fraser

          Yes, indeed it does. A number of researchers are now exploring this space – they call it supportive accountability. With virtual efforts, the simple fact that you are accountable to someone — be it a therapist, a coach, or a peer — seems to help with adherence.

      2. Richard

        Is the world really short on answers to mental health problems. It doesn’t seem so. look at the career of Wayne Dweyer et al. They provide the same (useful) answers book after book. It seems clear to me that mental health issues are less about the answer and more about routine guidance.

  9. Kelly Taylor

    Congrats to the Koko team. I’m a headspace user and was a big fan of what Alex and the GetGlue team did years ago. As our inputs continue to multiply, tools and frameworks for handling them will be so key.Fred, on this:”One of our primary investment areas right now is digital health and we have made a number of investments in this sector.”I’m on the Watson Health team now, always up for helping USV anyway we can.

  10. Val Tsanev

    Although interesting I would prefer to discuss my stress with my family and friends in person. My view is that when it comes to mental health person to person interaction is best, an app for that is a bit too much technology…

    1. Donna Brewington White

      I think you are seeing this from your own personal vantage point rather than all the possible situations in which something like this might be helpful.

      1. Val Tsanev

        It is my personal vantage point and I highlighted that in my comment and yes it can be helpful but not preferred, at least not for me.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Ah, I misunderstood you to mean it was a poor use of technology because you personally did not see the benefit. Thanks for clarifying.

  11. Donna Brewington White

    Wow, didn’t see this coming. Yet once again an ahead of the curve investment.Exciting to see mental health included in the concept of health. And to see technology empower human interaction in this way…another way to be in community. Technology at its best.Congratulations!

  12. Vasudev Ram

    When I first read this:>Koko is a mobile social network that calms your mind.I though the startup was something to do with meditation. Reading a lot about mindfulness lately, in all sorts of places.

  13. @mikeriddell62

    May i enquire as to the revenue / business model? Sharing such knowledge will help others to develop sustainable enterprises with the potential to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. The trouble is that doing good doesn’t pay. Thanks in advance.

    1. Fraser

      We have a lot of ideas about this and have had early, exploratory conversations with some groups to help us better understand the opportunities here. There are organizations with large populations who could benefit from an app like this — think student health services at colleges; the military; hospital systems; large corporations — and providing them with a version of this with some additional functionality is interesting.More importantly in the short term is seeing if we can create a product experience that people find rewarding and continue to use.

      1. @mikeriddell62

        Thanks Fraser.

      2. bmathes

        yeah, I could see a whitelabeled version for a given campus/office/etc. could be pretty useful. Anonymity might suffer.

  14. William Mougayar

    Curious about the meaning of the naming- why Koko? And looking forward to trying it on Android. Congratulations.

    1. Fraser

      Short story – we’re about helping you improve your well-being by crowdsourcing ways to see your situation differently. Koko is Ok Ok backward.Longer story – we tested a few options via (drum roll) crowdsourcing and this performed the best across a number of key attributes.

      1. kenberger

        yup, William and I stand ready and eager to beta test the Android version.I might even be able to help you develop it (my group does such dev, can talk offline if you like).

      2. Richard

        As a mental health therapist, why would you expect a lay person to be able to consistently add value to the mental health issues of an anonymous person ?

        1. Fraser

          We don’t believe we can, nor aim to, replace therapists. There have long been workbooks and self directed websites that have been shown to benefit individuals who have varying levels of stress, anxiety, etc. We want to provide an experience that’s similar to these, but using modern technology like smartphones.A randomized controlled trial was run on the concept and the results were published in a medical journal. The study can be found here: http://www.jmir.org/2015/3/

          1. Richard

            Ill look at the study. That said, the efficacy of even professional counseling is likely much weaker than reported. What is clear is that Mental health is a multivariate problem.

          2. Fraser

            Yes, completely agree

          3. ShanaC

            pretty much was I was told by therapists. They think it is great for adjunctive care to be around others in a positive way

      3. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Here I was picturing this soulful lady on the other side ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Richard

          we must have been separated at birth ๐Ÿ™‚

      4. jason wright

        i thought ok was knockout backward.

  15. Stephen Palmer

    Interesting idea! Are you going to do anything to “curate” who comes onto the platform in order to make sure that the advice given isn’t harmful?

    1. Fraser

      Not upfront like that, no. But we’ve invested a lot of product effort to ensure that a positive environment persists. For all content we do various things like paid moderation, run the content through algorithms to identify certain words and phrases, etc, etc.We’ve also collaborated with clinicians and moderators from crisis communities to build the systems that handle scenarios where the safety of individuals may be in question.

  16. Mark Zohar

    Really interesting. This sounds similar to the app Moodi (getmoodi.com) which uses anonymity, mood selection and positive reinforcement to help users with stress, anxiety and mental health issues, while providing community feedback and mood tracking. Moodi won the Google Startup Next competition in Toronto last year and is founded by my sister, @shazohar.

  17. Pete Griffiths

    Isn’t this what AVC is for?

  18. bmathes

    **Totally** asking for a friend here:As someone who’s gone through a short bit of depression, agrees with Albert on the importance of attention, and has brainstormed different ways to deliver p2p Cognitive Behavior Theraphy…. Where is Koko based and what kind of roles are they hiring for? is it Kokomo inc in Brooklyn?

    1. Fraser

      That’s the one. Although we recently moved the entire office (1 Uber ride) to the Lower East Side.

  19. ShanaC

    I need this, that is all.

  20. Ryan Frew

    REALLY disappointed to see that this is just an app with no web interface. Loads of users would want to visit this from work, where desktop is the experience.

    1. Fraser

      we hope to expand to other platforms soon but with a small team of 3 people needed to make a hard decision to focus on a single platform to start. as we get the experience into a place that people value, and as we grow the team, we’ll expand to other platforms.

      1. Fraser

        though desktop use cases have new challenges we’ll have to overcome – we are completely anonymous in the app and don’t collect any PII (personally identifiable information). we’ll need to find a way to enable that same level of anonymity on other platforms.

      2. Ryan Frew

        Awesome – good to hear that it’s on the radar. The “Instagram” approach of ignoring desktop makes sense for them, but I don’t think it’d be the right move for something like Koko. Looking forward to watching your success either way! Downloaded.

      3. JLM

        .A veterans support group through someone like the Bunker would be a useful tool. The number of veteran suicides daily is an epidemic.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  21. Jessi Hend

    Absolutely fascinating…. I wonder if I could use this to replace Talkspace (online therapy service that I use that isn’t as ‘instant’ as this feels). Looks like a brilliant investment!

  22. CaseyWhitehead

    available on Android?

    1. Fraser

      Not yet. Tiny team of 3 people with limited resources, we had to focus on iOS. As we grow and the experience stabilizes we’ll come to Android quickly. Signup and help us with the beta when we get there: itskoko.com

  23. sigmaalgebra

    My wife, a very bright person, used to say, “It’s never as bad as your worst fears.” Yup!Suspicions confirmed: Some of the best psycho therapy mostly needs good a helpful, insightful person saying relatively common and obvious things, i.e., chicken soup.

  24. kevando

    Thank you very much for sharing this.I’m going through a really rough experience right now and got ten responses on my post which significantly improved my mindset tonight. Also,I responded to one person and he said I ‘hit the nail on the head’ which gave me an unexpected boost in positive emotion. This app works both ways ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Fraser

    Historically, that’s been the problem with these types of apps. Researchers have shown that they are effective, but once in the wild they don’t get used. Their adherence charts look the same as a consumer product’s retention chart for a poor product. We’ve been iterating on a beta with thousands of people for many months with good levels of engagement and retention. Our goal is to create an app that is as engaging as it is effective. We have a good start on this and welcome and input and feedback to improve the experience for everyone.

  26. Michael Elling

    How can you get community engagement when you don’t have an android version? You are not only getting a smaller universe, but one that is highly skewed.PS, link from iTunes to your support page resulted in 404. Backspaced to itskoko.com/ and signed up for android updates.

  27. awaldstein

    Welcome to the dichotomy of the marketplace.I’m rooting for you.For this community, we embrace that there is no real work life balance and use our phones as a tool for work and play. I won’t push my recent post on that here but its findable if interested.The broader wellness market–a huge $2T market–I’m not so sure.Bigger discussion that I”m sure your marketing gurus are all over.Take a hard look at your adoption numbers during the hyper tense and reflective holiday season. Then do some mini positioning/brand sessions and see where the tweaks are. May not be the product, may be how you position it.Best of luck with this,We all need peace of mind.

  28. ShanaC

    You also have a very specific problem – ideal state is that people outgrow chunks of the app.Actually, what’s your email, I have an online therapeutic community I want to send to you that is a good example of how to grow while functioning/expecting people to outgrow pieces of the content/app/ux

  29. Fraser

    We want to get to Android ASAP. As a team of 3 people with limited resources it’s hard to build an excellent experience for both platforms at the same time. We had to make a hard decision to focus on one and hope to get to the other soon.

  30. Michael Elling

    USV should provide the resources necessary for a fourth to make this happen; in general across any of their apps. I see “iOS only” development as a really big problem across all apps for the above reasons.More often than not it’s not a financial/resource issue as the fact that most developers live in an iOS world to begin with; at least at the shops that I’ve seen. So they’re really not in tune or synch with 60% of the market.

  31. Drew Meyers

    I share your pain. We’ve built iOS only as well, and it’s definitely hurt our growth prospects. We finally started Android a couple weeks ago though..

  32. JLM

    .The Donald eats organic bread toast every morning with Melania at his side.He says of organic bread, “It’s terrific. Huge. It makes me win.”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  33. LE

    Deblasio fan?

  34. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Sweet Jesus, yes.

  35. Vasudev Ram

    Almost by definition.Google ‘define android’.

  36. Vasudev Ram

    > I see “iOS only” development as a really big problem across all apps for the above reasons.Right. Also “US only”. And it applies to web apps as well as mobile ones.

  37. JLM

    .Let’s make this happen. Why not?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  38. Fraser

    Yes indeed. One of our goals is to make the process of helping others on the app be both easy and quick to do while being rewarding. This is one way we hope to have people continue to stay involved.Bonus of this? Those who provide the help appear to benefit the most from using the service.fraser at itskoko.com