By 2016, Sam Harris, esteemed neuroscientist and New York Times bestseller, had gained such a loyal following for his podcast, “Waking Up with Sam Harris,” that he wanted to give his audience more. When he announced he’d be bringing his refreshing take on spirituality and meditation to an app, people were thrilled.
A busy schedule prevented Sam from releasing the app right away, so when he approached us last year to help bring this project to life, his intentions were clear: create a mindfulness app that would exceed the expectations of those who’d been patiently waiting.
Sam’s first priority for the app was to find a way to thank his followers for their dedication over the years. Supporters of the podcast were offered early access to the course with some unlocked paid content. While new users were invited to join later and try three meditations before investing in a monthly subscription.
For Sam, expressing his gratitude in this way was a no-brainer. For our engineers, it was an exciting challenge. They had to connect three databases and merge two onboarding experiences into one, all while providing each user with a seamless experience at signup.
A clear mind is free from clutter, and Waking Up supports that belief—guiding you through daily meditations and lessons with Sam—distraction-free.How we cut through feature clutter to build a loveable MVP
Many spiritual beginners connect with Sam’s guided meditations, but the app has something for everyone, including those looking to advance their practice on their own. The self-timer allows you to hold that space for yourself and apply what you’ve learned for a deepened meditative experience.
It was important for the app to provide guidance and tools while still honoring our need to disconnect. Now, you can take your practice with you—whether it’s a five-minute brain break from work or a moment of gratitude on a remote destination off the grid.
“I've been incredibly impressed with this app. Whether you want to sharpen your mind or experience more peace, this can help in dramatic fashion. The power of its progression is hard to overstate.”
“If you want a gorgeous app, built by professionals, use MetaLab. Otherwise, let your cousin give it a try.”