Pokoy app: first release on Product Hunt

Pokoy app: first release on Product Hunt

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Hi, I'm a front-end developer from Russia. This is my first app and first public product.


I'll tell you why I dedicated the project to meditation. Three years ago I got into mindfulness thanks to Victor Pelevin's novels. At that time, I was strongly inspired, started meditating, and got a couple of times high from the process. But the momentum was gone.
Regular practice was difficult for me. I tried different things:
  • traditional techniques and asanas
  • tied meditation to a ritual and a pleasant place
  • meditated for as long as I could, even for a minute at a time
Most of the time it led to failure with abandon. I didn't just interrupt meditation for a couple of days but forgot about it for months.


It just so happened that I also got into rationality. Thanks to Eliezer Yudkowsky and his story about rational Harry Potter. One day I had an idea at the intersection of mindfulness and cognitive science. Its essence is simple: if there is anything that makes it difficult for me to meditate, it is myself, or rather my impulsive nature.
So to meditate more often, I decided to pair up the instant gratification monkey in my head with the rational decision-maker. To figure out how to do this, I did a research on personal biorhythms, wrote several essays, and organized a meditation marathon for a couple dozen people.

In a nutshell

I've learned to use cognitive bias to my own benefit. I like it when I see that an extra minute of meditation turns into hours of practice. It feels like a race with myself. Here is the chain of conclusions as I came to it. Let me be shallow and brief here.
  1. To make the habit stick -> I decided to make meditation as approachable as possible → made a one-button timer
  1. To have an emotional response to meditation → I made instant reinforcement → added visual statistics
  1. To see long-term effects → I used forecasting → showed me the date when I reached the next milestone in my practice
  1. And to finally defeat the conflict between impulsivity and mindfulness -> I used a progressive time scale → made a Fibonacci timer

My results

Thanks to Pokoy, my average meditation has increased from 13 minutes to 21 minutes in the last two months (+48 hours per year). More importantly, I've closed my goal of 100 hours by the end of this year!
The app is free and open-source. To try it, just click the link.
I will be happy to hear your questions, suggestions, and criticism! Thank you!
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