Every year on December 31 we make a vow to ourselves to change something we don’t like: our weight, our marital status, our alcohol consumption, our skill sets.
There are a few startups and apps that are perfect for self-improvement.
This New Years, if you resolve to be more stress free, give the app Headspace a try.
Headspace is an app that makes meditation simple with 10-minute sessions led by a soothing Australian man, Andy. Andy tells you to breath deeply, close your eyes, and let your mind rest.
For non-meditators, Headspace may sound ridiculous. But the amount of revenue it’s generating is nothing to laugh at. A source close to the company tells us Headspace is “growing like mad” and generating roughly $US1 million per month, and sometimes $US500,000 per month in free cash flow. Headspace is raising a round of financing right now from investors who are loving the app’s freemium model (Headspace offers the first few lessons for free then is able to convert a number of users into paying subscribers).
Want to lose weight? Try signing up for ClassPass.
If the gym doesn’t do it for you and you hate running on treadmills, ClassPass might be a good solution. ClassPass works like a gym membership but instead of going to Equinox, LA Fitness or New York Sports Club, you pay $US99 for access to hundreds of studios in your neighbourhood. ClassPass partners with spin, pilates, yoga, dance, barre and many other types of studios, and you can visit each studio up to three times per month, or multiple studios unlimited times per month.
ClassPass is a New York-based startup that has raised $US14 million and it just launched an iPhone app. The service is currently available in New York, LA, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Seattle, Portland, San Diego and San Francisco. Business Insider reviewed the service in San Francisco and New York here.
Want to learn a language like Mark Zuckerberg? Try Duolingo.
Duolingo is a language learning app that offers game-like mobile lessons on Spanish, French, English, German, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish and Swedish. It has raised more than $US38 million and it’s gotten praise from top Silicon Valley executives such as Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann. Unfortunately if you want to learn Mandarin like Mark Zuckerberg, you’ll have to find another solution. Duolingo doesn’t offer Mandarin lessons yet, but other apps like MindSnacks and Brainscape do.
Want to learn to code? Try Codecademy or Udemy.
Codecademy and Udemy offer great introductions to coding. Udemy has all sorts of lesson plans on it, one of which is coding. Codecademy focuses on it and starts out with simple tasks such as writing your name in code or using code to solve basic maths problems. Michael Bloomberg tried it in 2012 and participated in Codecademy’s New Years Resolution program, CodeYear.
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