Konvos turns 2 today.
It’s been exactly a year since we moved from Finland to Goa to bootstrap Konvos. Looking back, I am amazed at the courage, the naiveness, the hard work, the passion, and the mistakes, myself and Kavya have made in the last year! The experience has no doubt grown us into individuals that we are proud of.
The whole thing started because we were just frustrated with the current state of mental health, which we felt was monopolised by a very narrow section of the world. Contemporary solutions treat mental health like a SaaS process to be deconstructed and solved for. Forcing people to break away from what they know through their life experiences and learn what the system wants in order to become better — appalled us.
When people ask me how did we came up with this idea for Konvos, I used to give a one-liner — We went through a personal experience that triggered us to startup. Then I realised that is a lot more to the story than what we faced eye to eye. I talk about emotional exploration all the time, but even I didn’t explore our story deeply!
In 2018, when we moved to Finland, we had no idea what was in store for us. We wanted to travel, hike, bike and all that. We did all those. But the emotional part of the journey is something we totally underestimated. As immigrants and ex-pats, there is tremendous stress you take. Every time you move, it's like replanting a tree. Since we don’t have a physiological connection to our geography, we underestimate the psychological connection we lose in the process. I took for granted all the ways that my previous environment contributed to my emotional wellbeing.
Coming from India, I take so much energy from the people around me. We co-create emotional experiences as a part of our social fabric. When we moved to Finland, I didn’t know how to tap into the vibe of Finnish society. I had no idea how to operate in a psychological vacuum space. I went to therapy, tried contemporary solutions, but the underlying problem remained. Somewhere down the line I realised that this is a unique situation I am part of, and being the entrepreneur I am, I decided to “figure” this one out. I later realised that what I have been lacking is not meaning or purpose, but a way to question and change the meaning of my life in ways that’s helpful to me and others around me. During the lockdown, when we were in isolation, I and Kavya got to talking about this. We decided to do something.
One thing we have been constantly amazed by in the last two years of building Konvos is the amount of knowledge that exists in our cultures, rituals, and in our scientific research, that has not been utilised in ways that can improve human potential.
We started Konvos with the intention to be a mental health app. We wanted to give people a space for their emotions. We wanted to take back the space from the world where we give our emotions priority over other things. We wanted people to seize that space for themselves.
In the last year, as we talked to our users, Konvos slowly evolved as a technology to augment human cognition in people’s pursuit of better life and happiness.
The role of emotion in cognition and that of cognition in emotions is what we believe is the main source of insights about human potential. We are still early in this context but this aspect of techno-human collaboration is going to explode in ways that we can’t even imagine. Like I usually say, when we are done with Konvos, the mental health care of today will start looking like the 90’s internet.
The real power of the internet is in extending our cognition. We are already using our phones in this way — we regulate our emotions by seeing youtube videos, we extend our memory using note-taking apps. At some point in time, phones are going to morph into emotional processing enablers where we co-create emotional experiences with technology. And Konvos is going to be a central part of it.
Thanks to all friends and family who supported us in the last few years and cheers to the many more years to come!