Humania to YC

S2021
[late]

Company name:

Humania

Describe what your company does.

We Solve Loneliness

What is your company going to make?

We build a Real Life Social Gaming Platform for Being Your Best Self.

We build a social gaming platform, for people to
1. honestly share and process human experiences (connect)
2. transact around sharing of experiences (mentoring)
3. create transformational experiences for others (games)
4. connect with new people of interest (based on passions)
5. cooperate on passion projects, find purpose (groups)

Humania is the Wikipedia of real human life experiences, where you can search and endless catalog of shared experiences for solving the challenge you face.

Humania is the Airbnb for experience based mentoring, where you can use other people’s life experiences, and monetize your own. An experience market.

Humania is the Roblox / Minecraft for real life co-experiencing, where you can create real life challenges & games for others to connect and grow.

Humania is the Facebook of life experiences, where we constantly surface content (sharings) and games (challenges) that are relevant to you.

Humania is the platform for The Game of Life, fundament of which is to honestly show our experiences (our real self).

Imagine an enormous digital support group (community) for A) all the people with any challenges, B) including a support group marketplace, for any type of challenge, C) with direct line to other members for personal mentoring around experiences the other has had, D) protection of identity, so not even your name or face is revealed, unless you want to reveal it, E) micro-transactions for other members time as well as to reward things written, that enriched me (“Thanks!” sends money, “Follow” equals subscribe), F) opportunity to create “canned” experiences for others based on what has helped me (personal development games to play), G) easy path to move on to “finally doing sg.” through participating in groups working on projects around a shared passion, H) crypto based co-ownership of platform through gamified rewards for being your best self, I) dating built in, where instead of photos you actually see the real (honesty = vulnerability = power) person the other is, through what he or she shared, J) a map of all the users, where you can optionally show your physical location and a topic you currently would like to talk about, enabling total strangers to just step up to each other, when in near vicinity, K) full support for members to become creators of games and even leaders of thematic or purpose driven groups, audio conversations, enabling building of their brand, monetizing their following, L) full support to existing personal development shops / methods / leaders to better serve and better monetize their followers.

Imagine Facebook, without the crazy theories, opinions, conspiracies and judgements. Imagine a Twitter where you are strongly incentivized by monetary reward (COMPANY OWNERSHIP) to only talk about experiences that are not just entertaining or enraging, but of value to others. Imagine a Facebook where instead of “Like” we have “Thanks”, and pressing the button also launches a transaction rewarding the other person for what he or she has shared. Instead of “Friend” Imagine “Inspires me”, that optionally also launches a subscription, and one can regularily reach ones followers / post things only the followers see.

Imagine a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) except A) the role we are incetivized play is being our best self, B) we also play it in real life. Imagine a gaming platform with the sole objective of helping players (people!) solve their life’s challenges.

You can also imagine this on a blockchain, where each positive human transaction is also rewarded by a fraction of our “Mania” token – so you can 1) make money by “just” being your best self, 2) reward strangers who inspire you with earnings you thus made, 3) by virtue of just participating you automatically are a co-owner of Humania, the platform.

The Future of Health is Being Well.
The Future of Health is Humania.
The Future of Health is You.

Social isolation is a danger on a global level.
We have to stop further atomization of society.
Humans need each other, we need to re-connect.
The best way to do this is around things we Share.

The time is Now.

Where do you live now, and where would the company be based after YC?

(List as City A, Country A / City B, Country B.)

Budapest, Hungary

 

CONTACT

Personal email address of the founder who is filling out this application:

Please enter an email address that you check often and that you will have access to for a long time.

steve@humania.io

Phone number(s):

+36206192074

 

FOUNDERS

Founders

HACKER NEWS USERNAMENAMEEMAILPROFILE UPDATED
stevejoosSteve Joossteve@humania.ioyes

Please enter the url of a 1 minute unlisted (not private) YouTube video introducing the founder(s). This video is an important part of the application. (Follow the Video Guidelines.)

How many founders are on the team?

(Fill out this number of founder profiles)

1

 

CATEGORY

Which category best applies to your company?

Healthcare

You’re being asked the following questions because you are a biotech, healthcare or hard tech company.

Describe the next few stages in developing your product. For each stage, how much time and money will it take?

I.
MVP (sharing + mentoring layer, make money with your life-exp.)

I./1.
finalizing wireframes
time: 2 weeks
USD: 10k

I./2.
finalizing design & UX
time: 2 weeks
USD: 10k

I./3.
develop MVP
time: 8 weeks
USD: 40k

4.
learn & optimize
time: 8 weeks
USD: 40k

II.
challenges layer (space for creators of “do this” games)

III.
projects layer (enhance purpose and team)

If you were accepted into YC, what could you accomplish by Demo Day in late August?

If you’re applying Early Decision, what could you accomplish by the following March?

An MVP that stuns, featuring:
– exp. based sharing
– micro-reward system
– mentor profiles & exp. market
– map of players – real life connect

Does your product need regulatory approval (i.e., FDA)?

No.

Please describe the scientific basis for your product. How does it work?

The idea is as old as humanity, we have always looked to others with more experiences than what we have.

New is only the strategy to

1) really incentivize people to only share experiences
(no opinions & no judgements, those get no rewards)

2) help them construct games out of things they experienced
(set of instructions others can follow for similar beneficial results)

3) make finding a purpose a game, help people find focus & believers
(it is easier to change if one has support, we all need our support groups)

Facebook is the “scientific proof” people need to connect – we just fix the incentive structure for human growth & add unique activities to mote easily find and better connect new people one should know.

What experimental data (if any) do you have showing that this would work?

Thousands of years of human survival.

Sorry for being cocky, but seriously… if sharing our experiences had not worked we would not be here. Parents guide kids with experiences and then we find more relevant mentors in life. It is just human. It has always worked this way.

And also: success of Facebook proves the need for interaction. It is only that their incentive structure (likes) & business model (advertising) is wrong.

 

PROGRESS

How far along are you?

The vision is quite clear.
MVP is exact.

But there definitely is much to learn.

How long have each of you been working on this? How much of that has been full-time? Please explain.

I have been tinkering with the idea for 3 years, because our own community is not well served by existing community platforms. Full-time work is to start with appropriate funding.

Are people using your product?

No

When will you have a prototype or beta?

August 2021

Do you have revenue?

No

If you are applying with the same idea as a previous batch, did anything change? If you applied with a different idea, why did you pivot and what did you learn from the last idea?

I realized that my existing community business (EgoYoga) is not a precursor to this venture, but a potential first customer. I seek to build infrastructure for connecting the world through being human, to defeat loneliness by sharing truth, that is real life experiences (new ones and the processing thereof) – that will be a platform enabling more communities like ours..

I also started developing personal brand in English.
To be able to approach collaborators needed.

› http://stevejoos.com

If you have already participated or committed to participate in an incubator, “accelerator” or “pre-accelerator” program, please tell us about it.

Have not.

 

IDEA

Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people need what you’re making?

I did not pick the idea. The ida picked me, several years ago, when I was feeling lonely. I launched a Favor Network in 2008, with modest success, than built an Academy around sharing our human experiences. Humania is just the next evolutionary step in my 13 years quest to help people connect better.

My domain expertise is in midlife transformation, I wrote two books on the topic and developed the unique Human Journey model + EgoYoga approach.

I know people need this, because I can see the need all around me – eg.: Brian Chesky of Airbnb, on the Masters of Scale podcast, published on Mar. 16, 2021:

“We talk a lot about crisis in the world like global warming… thats a big crisis; income inequality… that’s a big crisis; COVID… that’s a big crisis. I think there’s a crisis as big as all of those maybe bigger as all of those, I think that crisis is loneliness disconnection isolation. In fact I think that many of the problems in the world the root of those problems is disconnection. The root of the divisions in this country are fundamenttaly disconnection. We have a mental health crisis in this country that I think it’s gonna be rising – so I think one of the great challenges of our time is how do we build community and connection in the 21st-century?! Because of one thing we know about each other is we have to be together. And I’m struggling with it myself… Absolutely. I feel extremely lonely. I’ve had incredibly credibly difficult periods of loneliness … because … I live alone, in a house, sitting in sweatpants, in a chair, and staring at an iMac. The human connection I get is on Zoom. And much of that human connection is just work…”

 [source: https://overcast.fm/+I6DDaGcNE/37:00]

The world NEEDS us.

I have known this for years, started to serve in Hungarian, with imperfect tools – it is now time to level up!

Also: this is the cause that I can not not do, the one I am in love with, that keeps me up all night.

That is why.

Surveys about people needing solution to loneliness – our market is enormously big already and growing fast post-pandemic:

1.
“More than three in five Americans are lonely, with more and more people reporting feeling like they are left out, poorly understood and lacking companionship…”
[source: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/01/23/798676465/most-americans-are-lonely-and-our-workplace-culture-may-not-be-helping?t=1621157100959]

2.
Over 30 million Europeans frequently feel lonely
[source: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/jrcsh/files/fairness_pb2018_loneliness_jrc_i1.pdf]

What’s new about what you’re making? What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn’t exist yet (or they don’t know about it)?

1. The utmost valuation of real life human experiences (= sharing).
2. The belief in the healing power of sharing our truth (= imperfections).
3. The conviction of the power of not being alone (others have also failed)..
4. The superpower (attraction!) of vulnerability coming from honesty.

People lie on Facebook & co, only showing the fancy & shiny stuff about themselves. Loneliness is a result of social lying. We have to start being honest (imperfect) again, out of this communities and relationships automatically form.

We intend to become the aggregator of human experience, and the facilitator for findig new experiences (new human connections!) on can learn from and lean on. Imperfection is our greatest asset, the one allowing for our happiness that comes from the constant perfecting effect of experiences. Honesty results in vulnerability, that results in being real, that results in better connections.

To upend loneliness we need to be brave again to show our imperfections.

The reason for people being lonely is fear of showing their true self. THIS fear is the enemy that we help people overcome in a playful & monetarily well incentivized manner. (Make money by “just” being honest!)

[Substitutes are methods, communities, religions and friends – substitute is randomly connecting to advice, that more often than not is not relevant. Everybody should have access advice from a person who has already SOLVED a similar problem. And be protected from the smart asses, who have not.]

Who are your competitors, and who might become competitors? Who do you fear most?

We shall be the first to focus on the human condition.
We shall be the ones best rewarding honesty.
We will be the most empowering for imperfection.

People will move to us from Facebook groups and random forums and Reddit, because with us
A) their sharing of their life experiences is better rewarded with us
B) they can get more relevant help faster, than elsewhere
C) they can “can” their relevant experiences into challenges (games), and thus automate the making money part without unique interaction with “seekers”
D) we make early adopters and opinion leaders owners of the platform

We are the one place focused on helping people connect better.

We do not fear competition.
They should fear us.

[Of course we are thoughtful of competition, but we do not see any big player being able to pivot into our market, for business models, community cultures and incentive structures are very hard to change.]

What do you understand about your business that other companies in it just don’t get?

The utter superpower nature of being honest.
The true value of human experiences.
The need to monetize that.

How do or will you make money? How much could you make?

This will seem arrogant, but the feeling is that we can make unlimited amounts of money.

The need for community & companionship & belonging is as great as the one served by Facebook – it is the same need (human connection), but we serve it with a much different aim, thus a very different approach.

And (importantly) a different business model.

In Humania we earn transaction fees, like Airbnb does, instead of the advertising business model Facebook has.

Major types of transactions
– mentoring fees (12%)
– subscriptions (12%)
– challenges / games (30%)

On micro transactions resulting from the use of the “Thanks” button – that we have instead of “Like” or “Love” – we do not make money.

How will you get users? If your idea is the type that faces a chicken-and-egg problem in the sense that it won’t be attractive to users till it has a lot of users (e.g. a marketplace, a dating site, an ad network), how will you overcome that?

1. MVP in Hungarian, mobilizing the Steve Joos followers (appr.: 50 000)
2. English version to launch involving relevant & socially sensitive, thus favorably inclined influencer(s) / celebrity investor(s) to mobilize their following for our shared cause (as well as a share in our business). E.g.: Brian Chesky, Paul Graham, Sam Altman, GaryVee, Daniel Ek, Ben Horowitz, Tony Robbins, Scott Galloway, Naval Ravikant, Prince Harry, Chamath Palihapitiya, Tim Ferris…
3. organic growth through “unfair” rewards to early adopters, who can thus make real money as well as earn share in the company

 

EQUITY

Have you incorporated, or formed any legal entity (like an LLC) yet?

No

If you have not formed the company yet, describe the planned equity ownership breakdown among the founders, employees and any other proposed stockholders. If there are multiple founders, be sure to give the proposed equity ownership of each founder.

My impression is that a great human cause should not be private property.

Therefore for the good of the cause – and for my own protection – I intend to set up the following long term structure.

YC: 7%
founder: 20%
employee stock: 20%
Humania Foundation: 53%

We also intend to mint Mania Coin (MC) tokens, adding to the financial value, see below.

[Technically we do not have to start with a foundation until the time of evident traction, thus I hold those shares at launch and vow to divest them at Series A.]

Please provide any other relevant information about the structure or formation of the company.

We definitely need to have our own “Mania” token, that can be Ethereum based (or proprietary), that fuels the experiences marketplace, and can be earned (mined!) by enriching our community (also serves as reward to early adopters).

We contemplated incorporating on chain, but it seems not to be necessary, we can just mint a token at the time of our Launch, and keep most of the tokens in company ownership.

 

LEGAL

Are any of the founders covered by noncompetes or intellectual property agreements that overlap with your project? If so, please explain.

No.

Who writes code, or does other technical work on your product? Was any of it done by a non-founder? Please explain.

There is no code yet.

I intend to outsource the MVP (have a great team to do it here in Hungary, and the funds from YC are sufficient for the first steps) – and only find CTO and employ an IT team after Series A. (You can convince me otherwise.)

My old friend Krisztian who is currently VP of Engineering of a Boston based startup (total funding: 10 M) will help me finalize the development team.

Is there anything else we should know about your company?

No.

 

OTHERS

If you had any other ideas you considered applying with, please list them. One may be something we’ve been waiting for. Often when we fund people it’s to do something they list here and not in the main application.

I maybe could (but would not want to) apply with my personal development method (Ego Yoga) that is an evolution of the Hero’s Journey by Campbell.

The quest for Humania rose from the need to empower community games like mine…

for more: http://stevejoos.com

Please tell us something surprising or amusing that one of you has discovered.

1. The Hero’s Journey is real.
2. Nobody avoids midlife transformation.
3. It is only a crisis if you resist the change.
3. Solution is to embrace true self = find Purpose.

 

CURIOUS

What convinced you to apply to Y Combinator? Did someone encourage you to apply?

Paul Graham’s blog
Sam Altman’s interviews
A podcast very long time ago

How did you hear about Y Combinator?

I am not sure

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