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Mindful : October 2018
DESIGNING A CULTURE Meditation apps are insanely popu- lar. Last year, Apple named Calm, a meditation app, its app of the year. At the same time, it declared that meditation apps were one of the top trends of 2017. Between 2012 and 2018, searches for “meditation app” increased tenfold. In 2012, they surpassed searches for “medita- tion timer.” In 2014, they surpassed searches for “meditation book.” And next year, they will likely surpass searches for “meditation center.” We seem to like learning to meditate with apps—maybe more than with humans. And we’re willing to pay for it. In 2017, mindfulness apps made an estimated $100 million, with most of the cash going to the top two players, Calm and Headspace. In the first three months of 2018, earnings were up 150% over the same period of the previous year. While Headspace tends to market meditation as a science-based tool for performance enhancement (“I medi- tate to crush it” reads one Headspace ad), Calm markets itself more as an aid for sleep and relaxation, incor- porating soothing music and images and sounds of nature. Mindfulness teachers often teach mindfulness as a way to understand the mind, “For the vast majority of people, meditation apps are meditation. Full stop.” ROHAN GUNATILLAKE