Kevin Holesh Makes a Habit of Understanding
Kevin Holesh is the founder of Moment, and app he created to help us see our habits around iPhone use. Which is astonishing. We took some time to talk about how habits set in, how they can change and what he's learned from tracking his own iPhone use.
At the time of this chat, I had just started using Moment. I have about six weeks use under my belt now and have quite a picture of what I'm doing when - just trying to understand why.
[00:00:25] Adam Pierno: All right. Welcome back to another episode of the Strategy Inside Everything, with you again is your intrepid host Adam Pierno. I don't know what intrepid means, or therefore if I am in fact intrepid but it's a big word and I just used it, that happened. Today we have a different take on the conversations we normally have and I'm pumped. Kevin Holesh, who is the founder of Moment an app that I recently installed. We're going to talk about my hesitations and a little bit. He's the founder and I'm assuming you've done a lot of the coding. Kevin, how are you?
[00:00:57] Kevin Holesh: Good. Thanks for having me Adam and yes, I have done a lot of the coding.
[00:01:03] Adam: How big is the team words, or you the essentially the team and driving the whole thing?
[00:01:10] Kevin: I'm essentially the team, I'm actually in the process of expanding the team. We're four people for the most part, some are part time, but it's mostly me doing the design, development and product direction.
[00:01:25] Adam: Got it. Give me a little bit of a sense of your background before we get into this, for the listeners we are going to talk today about habit. If you're not familiar with Moment, it keeps track of your use of your smartphone and it shows you and charts for you how much you're using today versus yesterday, and how you're spending the time in different apps to help you become aware. When I started finally jumped in and using it I said, "I would like to speak to the person who thought of this idea."
[00:01:58] Kevin: [chuckles] Yes, you hit dead on. That's what Moment does, I've been an app developer since the iPhone came out, but basically and before that I was a Web Developer. I'm all into the development side but also more importantly the design side, details like the user interface, but also the ideas behind the features in the app, the psychological basis for that.
[00:02:29] Adam: What was it that-- if you're not familiar with the app you may want to pause and go check it out. The URL directly is what? In the Moment.io?
[00:02:39] Kevin: Yes. Exactly.
[00:02:40] Adam: I think people should check it out if they're not familiar, or if you Google it it'll come up, if you google Moment app. Give me a sense of the the genesis. You were in at the beginning of 2007, 2008 developing apps.. When did you catch this problem and when did you, or not problem but when did you see this idea forming in your mind?
[00:03:01] Kevin: That's an interesting question and I answer it one way, but I'll try it a little different this time. When I first got my very first iPhone, I was just entering college, I got the iPhone four was actually my first iPhone and I named it 'Wired'. Meaning like, wired into the network, or the internet or the Cloud. Because I knew going from a dumb phone or a feature phone to a smartphone is like a one way street. Like, I'm always going to be connected now, which comes with benefits but it also comes with a bunch of downside. Even then I wasn't that smart when I was 21, but even that I was thinking that this is going to be an issue in my personal life.
Fast forward three or four years I was out for a run actually stands smartphone, stands headphones, not listening to podcast no offense, but I was looking at my Fitbit on my wrist and I was like, "Man I wish I like had a Fitbit for a lot of things in my life," namely screen time. I wish I knew how much time I was spending on my phone. I got home from my run, thought about it a little bit more in the shower, again without my smartphone, it's where you come up with all your good ideas.
[00:04:23] Adam: Away from your smartphone. Yes, 100%.
[00:04:26] Kevin: Exactly. I look the through the app store, there wasn't anything like it. I just hack something together over the couple months in the weekends and evenings and stuff and that's how Moment came to be really. I installed on my phone. I was surprised at how much I use my own phone and I secretly installed it on my wife's phone to see how much time you're spending on Instagram, and that didn't go so well but that's definitely-- that's the genesis of Moment.
[00:04:58] Adam: As you started pitching people to download it, I've created a bunch of apps for brands and just for side projects, and one thing I know is, you can look someone in the eye while they have their phone out and tell them about your app. They can say, "I am going to download it", but they don't. How did you get people? What was the reception to Moment as you were introducing it to people that you met, or as you were pitching it, or as you were initially launching it?
[00:05:26] Kevin: I think the reception initially was-- I tell them about the idea, I give them elevator pitch like you just said, and they would be like, "Oh, yes, my wife needs that." It was never, "I need that," it was always like, "Oh, my, my best friend needs that, she's always on her phone." Or, "My mom needs that she's always on her phone." It was like looking outwards, which isn't what I designed the app for, but that's most people's first reaction.
Once it was public I encouraged people to download it, and it doesn't hurt to know how much you're on your phone and almost every time people were just surprised at how much they themselves are on their phones. It wasn't just their, their wife that was on their phone a bunch it was them as well.
[00:06:14] Adam: Oh yes, I mean that's a classic behavioral economics thing. The perspective of the customer is never, "I have the problem." "I know someone who has the problem that this might help." Did you tell people not to install it clandestinely on their spouses phone as you had learned early on?
[00:06:31] Kevin: I did.
[00:06:33] Adam: [laughs]
[00:06:37] Kevin: It was confrontational the way I did it which I learned isn't the best way for our relationship and just in general. Like even the parent-child relationship when it comes to screen time at least, it's not necessarily the best thing for one party or one side to be dictating rules or confronting anything, or like having an intervention. It's definitely something that's better as a conversation and working together on something rather than one person being the bad one.
[00:07:05] Adam: Well, now we're into it. Now we're talking about changing habits, or at least observing them. My question is, you brought up conversation and I agree. I'm a parent, you do have kids or you don't have kids?
[00:07:20] Kevin: I do not. I should preface it with, "I do not have kids." I have a lot of friends with younger kids, so that's where I'm getting a lot of this.
[00:07:30] Adam: That's cool, but I agree with what you said. Conversation works, better collaboration works better to address issues than one sided we're going to dictate things in most cases, not in all cases. The app when I install it or when a user installs it, do you view that as a conversation between Moment and the user that's collaborating together? Or is it really one sided where I'm observing and policing my own behavior? I've only been using it for a week, so I'm getting up to speed on how it works and the recommendations it's making.
[00:08:04] Kevin: Sure. I'd say right now the app is one sided, like Moment's just giving you statistics and leaving it up to you to change your behavior. There's a coach feature inside of the Moment app which-- there's a couple two week courses to help to coach your way through changing some of your habits, if that's your goal. It's a fairly basic implementation right now but that's definitely the direction we're headed. Is making it a conversation coach kind of thing.
[00:08:38] Adam: One thing I love, I noticed this right away it says in the coaching, there's a couple options when you first sign up in the board and brilliant. It says, "Fair warning. This course is designed to challenge your habits around screen time and it's going to be difficult. You're going to find yourself deeply uncomfortable." I thought, "Oh, okay I'm too scared to do that." I assume over some period of time, I will say, "Okay, I'm ready to try this and jump into it." I really love that you put the language in there that frames it for people that this is not going to be easy, you're addicted to this, you don't say it but essentially you're addicted to this device and the information it gives you.
[00:09:16] Kevin: Yes, that's exactly right. If you go in expecting this like Moment coach to magically solve all your problems and it's going to be super easy, it's not the right attitude and you're going to-- It's setting you up for failure. Because I know this these habit changes around your screen time specifically are super hard to change. They've been forming for years and years and they're deeply ingrained.
I try to set it up so that people understand that it's difficult, but like also that everyone has difficulty with it. I mean, I'm certainly not better at this than anyone else. All I think about is like Moment and how to improve it, but even me I find myself getting sucked into my phone more often than I'd like.
[00:10:02] Adam: Well, have you seen with the coaching, people who engage in the coaching over the full two weeks, does their screen time dropped dramatically?
[00:10:12] Kevin: During the course it definitely does, during the two weeks everyday you have like a challenge to do within Moment, and your screen time it's a top of mind. It definitely does drop usually about an hour a day, it's something like 58 minutes a day going from about four hours and 20 minutes to say three hours and 20 minutes. It's a significant improvement. Over the long term the difference is certainly not that drastic.
Once you're done the course go back to your older habits at least in part. That's something I'm working on making the coach more effective long term. Part of that is just adding more courses you can go through, more journeys through different habits around your screen time to do asleep or focus, that kind of stuff. It's effective in the short term, but I'm still working on the long term problem which is definitely the long term goal for the app in my company as well.
[00:11:20] Adam: Yes, and we've seen Apple set up those sleep tracker, sleep timer, sleepy time, and then in the new Android kit they're rolling out a bunch of those same features or similar feature. What aspects of the coaching do you feel or do you have data that suggests are more effective and changing people's screen time usage? Are there specific things or specific parts of the program where people really see a drop off even if it's just during that day or two that they're going through it?
[00:11:51] Kevin: Definitely. The most effective challenge-- there's two really effective one, so if you're only going to do two these are the most effective. One is to delete whatever app you're wasting time on and it sounds really obvious. If you're getting sucked into Instagram, deleting Instagram for a week and reset those habits. You're no longer going to itch for Instagram and in the long term, your goal isn't to not use Instagram. It's just to use it more productively or more just consciously.
Instead of just, you know, being bored for a split second and opening Instagram, you think about it like, "Okay, I'm going to spend 10 minutes on Instagram this evening, and then I'll be done." That's definitely effective. Also not sleeping with your phone right next to you, banning your phone from your bedroom. Keeping your bedroom like a sleep sanctuary, not interrupted by blue light or notifications or anything like that. It helps you sleep better but it also reduces your screen time, because it's not the last thing you touch before you go to bed, or the first thing you touched in the morning.
[00:13:09] Adam: That's interesting. Are there any takeaways that you've observed that could apply to other habits. You have this huge data set around screen time in particular, but what I thought you and I could get into is how we change habits, how we think about habits, or I guess how we don't think about habits is really the issue.
[00:13:33] Kevin: Yes, definitely. There's a couple things, this is all still stuff I'm still experimenting with and learning through Moment, and also by my various research that I'm working on. There's a couple of things that stick out in my mind. One is that just habits take forever to change. Downloading Moment is the first step in a long journey towards changing your habits. The coach is another small step, but this stuff, these habits at least around screen time have been forming for years, and it takes a long, long time to undo.
I'm five years into developing and thinking about Moment, and in the past year or so I really nailed down my own screen time habits. Being more present with my family and not spending time on my phone in the evening just wasted time, so it definitely takes a long time. I quantify in terms of years rather than months, or even days. That's something I'm working with Moment. I'm trying to decrease that time and help nudge people in the right direction. The second point, or the second part that I've learned is just that-- Oh, shoot. I lost my train of thought there.
[00:15:06] Adam: Go ahead.
[00:15:08] Kevin: No, go ahead.
[00:15:09] Adam: Well, what I was wondering is how it expands out beyond screen time usage and any other habits that you think some of the principles that have shown up in Moment could apply to changing those habits are affecting those habits.
[00:15:23] Kevin: Got you, I remember what I was going to say. With some bad habits you might have and I would quantify smartphone addiction, or I would qualify smartphone addiction and smartphone overuse as a bad habit. You have to find something to replace it with, at first I was trying to replace my screen time with just like, I don't know, walking or meditating and that just didn't quite work. I needed something to fill my attention at least a little bit.
I replaced a lot of my screen time with reading. I've always enjoyed reading books, mostly nonfiction stuff with the occasional fiction book mixed in. In the evenings when I'd feel that itch to zone out and reach for my phone, I'd read instead, and get sucked into a good novel or an interesting book. If you're trying to change your habit at least as a short term solution, try to replace it with something else that's however you define it better.
[00:16:33] Adam: Yes, I guess reading is not a bad substitute for browsing Twitter, or doing something silly like that.
[00:16:39] Kevin: Yes, exactly and that's evolved into more mindfulness and being present activities. Reading is still distracting yourself with something. It is better than Twitter which was sort of my drug of choice. It's better than Twitter, but it's still not the same as having a conversation with your spouse or your kids. That's definitely the longer term replacements.
[00:17:08] Adam: Yes, and listeners to the show will know that I am absolutely hooked on Twitter and have been for I don't know, going over 10 years. It's a real problem. [laughs] That's why I'm trying fix now.
[00:17:19] Kevin: I feel you, yes.
[00:17:21] Adam: Yes. It's easy to just spend time just thumbing for hours and hours and hours.
[00:17:25] Kevin: Totally. When you distill social media down into like a little nugget, it's just an endless timeline that you can tailor to exactly what you're interested in. If you're interested in habits and psychology and Ad strategy, you can fill your timelines with that and it's endlessly entertaining. It's a blessing, but it's a curse, you can sink a lot of time into it, and not really come out any better off on the other side.
[00:18:01] Adam: Oh, yes. What do you think people as I'm constantly grabbing from my phone, or as I'm grabbing for anything, what is it that triggers-- I love Twitter but I also there's a game that I'll play at a specific point in the day, I've realized now that I'm tracking this stuff. What is it that my brain responds to about those things? What creates that habit?
[00:18:29] Kevin: I think, for every person it's a little different and it even varies based on the time of day. I think a big sort of trigger for people is boredom. It's really difficult to be alone with your thoughts for 10 minutes. Meditating is one thing but like I don't know just standing around for 10 minutes it's a rare thing nowadays. Even me and my own life I rarely have this downtime to do my best thinking. It's where I come up with all my good ideas. It's where I examine my own life and the direction I'm headed. There's like self-actualization thing.
It's the only time you could do it, but if you're constantly reaching for something to fill that boredom void, or the void that boredom leaves even standing in line at the grocery store for 25 seconds that's a big trigger for people. My wife and I always talk about the energy level we have left, we call them "Crystals". This is not like scientific at all, but it's like you have 100-- I don't even know if this is-- This sounds pretty happy, we're not super into that but--
[00:19:52] Adam: You're too late now, you got to go for it you, you go to tell the story.
[00:19:55] Kevin: [laughs] I'm talking about crystals, geez. You start the day with a certain amount of energy to make hard decisions, to work productively at your job, and then in the evening your willpower is depleted. That's when you tend to reach for social media networks, or games, or news feeds. That's one thing as well. Keeping some of that willpower left into the evening where you can resist the pull of your screen but also do other things, like exercise, or eat well. Keeping some of that willpower for the end of the day.
[00:20:40] Adam: Have you applied this? I love candy. Any kind of gummy candy-
[00:20:44] Kevin: I love candy. Yes.
[00:20:45] Adam: -I'm all over it. Here at my office, they're always throwing gummy bears at me and stuff and I find it really hard too. I have to be all in or all out. Like I either I'm not eating sugar, they always say, "Adam's off the sug." Or I'm stuffing it in my face like a raccoon at a garbage pail. Do you apply some of these same behaviors to that? I guess you can only speak for yourself here, but have you seen any of the same methods work to address those issues, the habits that happen off the screen?
[00:21:21] Kevin: Definitely. I found immense benefit from doing the no-sugar thing, applying to smartphones. I do these weekends disconnected every month so. I turn off my phone, I don't even think about checking my email and that is tremendously helpful. I'm on the face of it, not working, but thinking about Moment, thinking about features I can add to make it better, and that's literally where I come up with all my good ideas.
It's not buried in my inbox somewhere. It's disconnected, taking a hike somewhere. I have a sweet tooth too, but I've been trying to be okay with just having a couple bites of gummy bears. My weakness is probably like apple pie or carrot cake. I don't have to eat the whole thing and I don't have to eat none, but two bites is okay. That kind of balance is still something I'm very much working on.
[00:22:31] Adam: Got it. I'm there with you. I have the app open. Now, I don't have a lot of data because like I said I'm pretty new on it. What kind of feedback do you get from people when they start to see their screen time, they're waking life, their pickups. The third day I used the app that was almost twice the days leading up to that and I was shocked. It went up to three hours and four minutes and I was pretty horrified. I was like, "What the hell?" It was Saturday and I was home and my kids were out doing stuff. I was just sitting around looking at Twitter all day long.
[00:23:08] Kevin: Exactly. That's something I hear echoed constantly. People download the app expecting to see themselves use their phone for, I don't know two hours a day, because that seems about right but it ends up being about four hours on average. People are off by 100%, it's usually double what they expect. That's echoed with, when I first installed Moment, when my wife first voluntarily installed Moment, and through the thousands of customers. It's definitely hard to estimate your own screen time without this tool like Moment tracking it for you.
[00:23:54] Adam: You're in an unusual position, because the app that you've created tracks my time, which tracking right now is, just as a word is like an abstract negative. You're not building in-hooks to the app where you're trying to get me to keep coming back to it all off Facebook or Twitter. You're not doing anything to get me to engage with the app necessarily. It almost seems like I can't background quit it, but it doesn't really beg a lot of my attention. It's up to me how often I go back and look at it.
[00:24:26] Kevin: Yes, that's exactly right and that's how I designed it. Tactically, Moment is an app that you download just like Facebook is an app that you download onto your phone. I designed Moment literally from the ground up to be as invisible as possible. It runs in the background, you set it up. If you want to see how much you're using your phone you can open the app for a few seconds and get that big number of how much I've been on my phone today.
Also, there's this nudging that goes on with notifications inside of Moment, so there's a couple things you can set up to keep you conscious of how much you're using your phone throughout the day. If you're deep in Twitter, you might get a notification for Moment that says, "You've been on your phone 45 minutes today and it's only 8:45 in the morning," just to keep you conscious of that.
A lot of apps measure time on device or time inside of the app, and that's a huge metric for places like Facebook, Twitter, any social media network or any anything Ad-based really. The more time and attention people are spending inside of the app, the more profitable the app's going to be. I measure that same number but I actually try to reduce it. The average person spends about three seconds inside of Moment each day which is awesome. It started out around 25 seconds and I slowly whittled that down to three seconds. Installing Moment on your phone as an app will probably eat up three seconds of your day, which I'm pretty happy with.
[00:26:14] Adam: You cut it as simple as you can.
[00:26:16] Kevin: Exactly.
[00:26:17] Adam: There's not a very long onboarding process for it. It comes and goes very quickly. I think I downloaded Moment three times before I installed it and because I was like, "Do I really want this app to have access to all this stuff? Is that something I'm ready to do?" So finally the last time I was like, "I will try it." I'm wondering, since you're in the business of habit and you thinking about nudge, and you're thinking about creating behavior and changing behavior.
How much do you think about creating nudges that will get people over the hump from hearing about it, or reading about it or listening to us talking out or downloading it. Through the user journey to getting it on their phone and sending data back and improving their habits?
[00:27:09] Kevin: It's certainly an interesting balance and one that I'm constantly working on. Right now the app is pretty in the background. It doesn't beg a lot of attention like you said, but I am working on things like the coach. If you're going through a course you're going to spend more time inside a Moment. Reading what the day is about, the day's challenge, or how you've been doing so far. My overarching goal is to show people how much they're using the phone and show them habit changes to help them use it less.
In order to do that, they're going to need to temporarily spend more time on their phone inside of Moment. All of the psychological techniques I'm using in the coach and even the notifications for the coach all come from the same research in the same line of thinking that led to this smartphone addiction problem with social media apps. Well times relevant notifications that just know how to capture your attention. I'm using a lot of the same science behind what makes phones addictive to try to make it less addictive, at least in the long run.
[00:28:34] Adam: I can imagine a time not too long ago where somebody thinking about this app, where he said, "I'll build in a community where people can trade tips and encourage each other." All of a sudden it's sending you notifications for crap you didn't-- [chuckles] that make you come back and spend more time in the app itself.
[00:28:51] Kevin: Exactly. The community feature seems really helpful for a small subset of people. There's health and fitness apps, My Fitness Pal is one that's popping to mind, but I have some friends that it's literally changed their life, just having this positive supportive community. I have a hard time justifying that for screen time because, you're going to be on your screen interacting with this online community when you could be interacting with your in-person community.
That's definitely been why I've shied away from the community feature. That said, I think there is a light version of the community that could be most of the benefit, but also not as much of the time sync with the constant notifications or the feeling that you need to keep up with it.
[00:29:47] Adam: How do you reconcile that tension between most developers are trying to win screen time and win usage and you're almost trying to stay invisible. Because you don't want someone to say, "Well, I used two hours of screen time today, but 10 minutes of that we just messing around in Moment."
[00:30:03] Kevin: Yes, exactly. I think the core of why I'm able to take this approach with Moment is its business model. I don't show ads to users, I basically just sell the app, it's free to download but then there's a premium feature for four bucks, premium features, I should say, for four bucks. That allows me to not want to maximize certain metrics like time in app. My customers are the users of my app whereas like Facebook the customers are really the Ad-- the companies running Ads not the end users.
[00:30:47] Adam: Totally agree, you don't have that problem. I wonder if what would happen if Facebook would just charge stupid dollar a month or something, they wouldn't even need to run Ads with two billion users?
[00:30:59] Kevin: You would think but I remember reading a statistic, I may be off on this but I think the average amount that Facebook makes off of each user is like five bucks a month, which I'm sure 10% of the users would pay that but free is very enticing for people. Even if they're paying in other ways, paying with their attention or paying with their data, it's really hard to convince people to pay for something that they could be free instead.
[00:31:38] Adam: I guess my question is, is Moment you're full-- your whole focus is Moment, or do you work on other projects, do you have other apps or products that you're building?
[00:31:50] Kevin: Moment's definitely my main focus, I had a couple other apps in the same habit change arena, but I've recently actually shut those down just to focus on Moment. It's been the most successful app I worked on and had the most impact, it was a no brainer to focus on Moment exclusively.
[00:32:13] Adam: What was one of those that you shut down?
[00:32:17] Kevin: Ironically it was an app called focus, it was Moment-- Well, I should say it tracked your screen time while driving and it would really push you to put down your phone if you were driving just to prevent the whole texting and driving thing. That had some success, but not nearly as much as Moment. It's just a problem, I think the people that need an app like that aren't the ones searching for an app like that, if that makes sense. Like the people that need the most--
[00:32:51] Adam: That'd be something I installed on my kids phone and they never opened because they're like, "I don't have a problem." Until they have a problem, they don't have a problem.
[00:32:59] Kevin: Exactly.
[00:33:00] Adam: Are all the apps that you've been working on dedicated to this idea of less screen time?
[00:33:10] Kevin: The two most recent apps, yes, but I had one app before that it was called Move that just reminded you every 45 minutes or so to get up and do like a little random exercise. The idea was to spread out a whole workout throughout the day, instead of this intense half an hour session at the gym, you would do 20 push ups 10 times throughout the day or something. That app I created I think, seven years ago before the Apple watch and before some of the other health and fitness apps that are a better version of that. It's this small incremental habit change to help you lead a slightly more physically active life.
[00:33:57] Adam: Well, all right. Let's, put you on the dark side of the force here, let's just turn the mirror around.
[00:34:05] Kevin: Sure.
[00:34:06] Adam: You're in the the app building community, you're essentially building against the grain, everyone else is looking for hooks, and looking for ways to build habit in to get people back to the app. Has anybody-- Well, I guess it doesn't matter if you've been approached, but when you talk to other developers, do they-- How did they think about Moment as they're building stuff that's really trying to capture my attention and keep me engaged?
[00:34:30] Kevin: I don't know if I have a super great answer to that question, because I purposely take myself out of those communities. I'm more involved in talking to people that run meditation apps, more so than like the social networking apps that want to capture your attention. The meditation app doesn't beg for your attention, more than 10 minutes a day or something during your meditation session. Those are the kind of people I try to keep in my close group of friends and colleagues.
[00:35:08] Adam: Yes, that that makes sense. Funny aside for the listeners, I assumed it was an app and I assumed when I reached out to Kevin, that he was based in the Bay Area, because I don't have brains, but my simple brain just assumes like, "Oh, it's technology is probably in somewhere up there."
[00:35:23] Kevin: It's a good guess.
[00:35:24] Adam: Yes, but he's not in there, that keeps you separated from that community in that way of thinking I guess.
[00:35:30] Kevin: Definitely but that said, I work-- some of the meditation app creators that I work with, and we advise each other, they're based in the Bay Area. It's not a place that I'm totally outside of but it's I definitely try to come at it from an outside perspective.
[00:35:49] Adam: Do people inside the tech community us Moment as far as you know?
[00:35:55] Kevin: Yes, actually and that's been the biggest surprise to me is some of the biggest-- I shouldn't say the biggest CEOs and founders inside of the Bay Area use Moment, but yes, a number of high level executives or CEOs are huge fans of the app, even if they're running a social media company.
[00:36:19] Adam: Let's talk just a little bit about attention and how important attention is. From my perspective as a consumer and as a device user, but also from the point of an app maker and a brand. How valuable is my attention? I guess, if we say Facebook makes $5 a month off of each user on average or whatever that number is, I know that you just pulled that out of the air. What's your take on that?
[00:36:50] Kevin: I think, it comes down to like me as a consumer not consciously valuing my time. I value my time when I'm working in a job because they pay me 20 bucks an hour or whatever it is. I don't think people take that same attitude and apply that to what they're spending their time on outside of work. Like you, you spent three-ish hours on Twitter, would you have paid $15 to do that? I guess you're sort of leaving $15 on the table, or at least when-- I guess when you dive into the money, it's weird but there's--
[00:37:39] Adam: I like quantifying it, I think there's value there in figuring that out. I get what where you're going.
[00:37:45] Kevin: It's like what I rather spend three hours, I guess time is a better reference, would i rather spend three hours on Twitter and get a little bit out of it, be entertained for a few hours, or what I rather spend three hours with my kids or with my wife or exercising or eating better. It's definitely something that I don't think people think about spending as much, because there is certainly a fixed quantity of it and you don't know how much you have as well.
Everyone has 24 hours in the today, they can spend how they want, I think it would be super valuable if people thought about that consciously, not just run out of crystals at the end of the day and then gets sucked into the social media network.
[00:38:35] Adam: Nice call back there. I don't think we quantify attention very well and that's really what what Moment is doing. I'm not a big Fitbit guy, I don't wear, I don't track anything, I'm not like one of these quantified people. I have a feeling as I get into months and half months and half years and years of being able to look at this. I'll be shocked at the I'm wasting attention and wasting time in a week.
I look at and I say well, on Saturday, most of it was I was home alone and I had a basketball game on and I had Twitter up while I was doing that. It becomes an anecdote that I can make an excuse for, but over if it's every Saturday for two years, that's something I have to address. That's something I can deal with, that's something I could go find a fix. I could say, "Yes, maybe I should just DVR that fast forward through the commercials with the phone down."
[00:39:28] Kevin: Yes, definitely and it's an ebb and flow kind of thing, I find there's a few solid chunks of time, weeks at a time where I'm barely using my phone, like 20 minutes a day, 30 minutes a day and that's including developing Moment. It's a lot of writing, or thinking, or coding on my laptop. Then there's weekends where my wife's out of town and I eat pizza all weekend and go my on phone for three hours a day and watch YouTube videos, or who knows? It's definitely an ebb and flow thing. My only goal with Moment is to try nudge people in the right direction of spending a little bit less time on their phone by showing them where they're spending their time and showing them how to spend it better.
[00:40:23] Adam: That's awesome. Three more questions for you and I'll let you go. What is the biggest thing you’ve changed about Moments since you launched it? What was the biggest ‘Aha’ that you said, “Oh, I have to address this .”
[00:40:34] Kevin: Definitely the biggest ‘aha’ Moment probably a year and a half ago or so when I dug into some of the data. When I track people's, or I should say track, I anonymously measure people's screen time and how it changes through the use of various features inside Moment. When it first launched the APP, I had a daily limit feature. It's actually still there, but you can set a limit on yourself to basically have Moment annoy you until you put down your phone if you're over three hours a day.
[00:41:14] Adam: [laughs]
[00:41:19] Kevin: At the time that was the extent of my like habit change knowledge. Just like, "Oh, just set a hard limit on it and enforce it and be mean and angry and people will feel this shame and put down their phone." That turns out not to be the case at all. It is tremendously ineffective feature for at least individual market. I have a problem with my phone, so I download Moment and set this limit, it isn't effective at all really. I've been moving towards more of a ‘Carrot’ approach instead of a ‘Stick’ approach.
Showing people an alternative to screen time or helping pinpoint a few bad habits they might have, and then what to replace those bad habits with. Kind of the two I mentioned earlier, like deleting your most used time-wasted App and not keeping your phone in the bedroom. If you just do that you're going to-- I guess it sounds a little grandiose, but you're going spend less time on your phone. You're going to have better relationships with your family and probably be a happier person. At least that's been my own experience and the experience of most of the customers that I talk to.
[00:42:34] Adam: That's cool. How much time do you use your device every day?
[00:42:38] Kevin: I can grab my phone and tell you, it's around an hour a day. It goes up and goes down a little bit. It's about an hour a day. I started off at about two hours a day, so I've worked to cut that in half. That's been over the course of four and a half years.
[00:42:56] Adam: I have found that I know that it's counting. I’m like, “Let me just really quickly do this thing, and I set the phone down.” I don't know if I'm skewing the numbers a little bit. I’ll get past that. My behavior will takeover.
[00:43:11] Kevin: That's exactly right. That's my goal. My long term goal is to have people use Moment, but also not need it in the future. Retrain your brain, retrain your habits so that you don't need Moment nudging you or any limits or coach. You just do this stuff yourself. That’s a big journey that I'm going through on a personal level, but also figuring out how to apply that to millions of other people.
[00:43:45] Adam: That's really cool. Final question. What is the App or thing you do the most on your phone?
[00:43:54] Kevin: Good question. I would say, if only there was an App that would tell me this answer. I'm pulling up my insights right now. I can’t tell you what my most used App is. I'm pretty sure it's E-mail if I had to guess.
[00:44:16] Adam: It doesn't make me so sad.
[00:44:17] Kevin: It does. I'm pretty proud of this. The past three months I've actually used the phone App the most. That's sort a great area in Moment. It doesn't track your actual time on a phone call. It's only tracking screen time but that's been my most used App with the second being Messages and then Facetime, which I had no idea without Moment. That's the stuff I've been trying to focus on rather than social networks. It’s my new year's resolution, if you could call it that. Spend less time perusing social networks and actually actively reach out to my close family and friends over text message, at the least. The best being Facetime and an actual phone call.
[00:45:07] Adam: Right. Actually connecting with someone versus virtual asynchronous connection.
[00:45:12] Kevin: Yes, exactly. The program Rumi is driven mad by this. Social networks are just so time efficient and effective and I feel like I'm keeping up with my 200 Facebook friends, but I'm really not. I'd rather, do it the hard way and have a one-on-one conversation, once every couple of weeks and only keep up with 15 of my closest family and friends, rather than thinking I'm half keeping up with 200.
[00:45:44] Adam: That's the dream, my friend.
[00:45:46] Kevin: Yes. Absolutely.
[00:45:47 Adam: All right, this is been great. Thank you very much for making time to chat. You can find the App in the Moment.io is where you'll find Moment. I have it on ITunes. Is it available for android?
[00:46:03] Kevin: It is not. That's something I'm working on actually. So it's iOS only right now. IPhones and IPads but Android, sort of, coming soon.
[00:46:11] Adam: All right. Very cool. Where else can people find you? If they have questions or if want to talk more about Moment.
[00:46:19] Kevin: I'm Kevin Holesh on Twitter, K-E-V-I-N H-O-L-E-S-H. I'm not tremendously responsive, but I do make it a point to check at mentions once a week or so and get back to people. In Twitter time, a week is like an eternity but--
[00:46:39] Adam: It's like two years, yes.
[00:46:40] Kevin: Yes, exactly. That’s the best place.
[00:46:44] Adam: That's very good. All right. Well, thank you again. This has been an awesome talk, and again I really appreciate your time.
[00:46:48] Kevin: Thanks for having me.
[00:46:49] Adam: Of course, yes.
[00:46:49] Kevin: Yes, it was fun.
[00:46:51]Adam: Thanks again.
[00:46:52] Kevin: Thanks.
[00:46:52] Kevin: Thanks.
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