Alex Sass talks about launching the world's first happiness tracker, helping analyse your mood, emotions, personality and wellbeing.

PostMood is the world's first happiness tracker. It's like having a FitBit for your brain. This artificial intelligence helps you analyse your mood, emotions, personality, sleep patterns and physical wellbeing on a daily basis. Managing Director, Alex Sass tells us more.

What was the inspiration for the site?

As a social media engineer I've witnessed rising negativity bubbling across the world in recent years. I wanted to understand what was changing and if what I was seeing online was an actual symptom of decreasing human positivity. Measuring happiness is an extremely complicated but worthwhile thing to do. In talking to numerous experts, I found very quickly that not only could I measure happiness in a very unique and powerful way but in presenting the data back to each participant, I could potentially increase it through a form of mindful awareness.

When did you launch the site?

The site was launched in beta stages throughout 2016 and then fully in 2017. A first trial of the technology completely failed, resulting in a six month redevelopment.

What are your greatest challenges?

Happiness may be the most challenging of all lifestyle equations. Previous studies tended to simply ask the population how they felt and that's a very difficult question to answer. We surmised that the greatest source of data for a more accurate result is Facebook, the most in-depth diary of the human condition ever to have been maintained. This solution came with unique challenges involving privacy, API complexity and the fact that the resulting stream involved tens of millions of data-points to be analysed in real-time.

What's your background?

Having quit my Philosophy degree, I immediately turned to the world of social media. Back then, 20+ years ago, this consisted of early pioneers exploring intranets and extranets. Before Facebook and Twitter existed, we were creating the first peer-messaging and profile systems that would become known as online social engines. In time the communities I created grew and the software that powered them improved. Before the PostMood project, I was known for my SSS theory for enabling online relationships to flourish and my handling of brands within the realm of social media.

Who do you admire in business?

I admire anyone who gets it done. In my time I've met many wonderful people with great ideas and those ideas are easy to abandon in the real-world of mortgage payments, deadlines and supplier negotiations. My business partner, Tony Spooner is someone who gets things done. We met through his work in the greetings card industry and whilst his digital product was relatively simple, he taught me to appreciate the minutiae of attention required over the longterm to achieve absolute completion.

Please recommend a website that helps you promote or run your business

Canva is a great website for rapid development of visual ideas. It's like an online version of Photoshop with almost no learning curve. Whilst our core system is extremely complex, our social media posts, adverts and reports require simplicity and clarity to succeed. Canva provides both of those things and it's practically free of charge.

What is the best piece of business advice you've been given?

I was once told that I'm too much of an introvert to thrive in the agency environment. I guess their advice was to find another career. Instead, I began to study the strengths of the introvert in the digital arena. It turns out that our deeper level of emotional awareness (often incorrectly seen as a social fear) is perfect for moderating, theorising and constructing within the social media field.

What is your motto?

Freedom, Love, Faith. I have it tattooed on my left arm. The company itself is not allowed a motto- everyone should have their own.

Where do you see the business going from here?

We have two objectives. The first is to increase the overall level of human happiness by a marginal degree. We believe we're achieving that through making happiness something that can be studied on a personal level. The second objective is to understand the correlation between shifting emotions and the huge stuff - economy, politics and health. That's something that will take a lifetime.

Have you entered an award before?

We entered and were shortlisted for the South West Business Awards in the category of Business Innovation. Although our small team is nomadic, I operate the company from a rural location in the Cotswolds. It's an area that provides the perfect combination of lifestyle, connectivity and quiet for me to thrive in and we are always keen to promote our little silicon village.

Where did you hear about the GWG Awards?

The Awards were brought to our attention by a member of our test group. We send out laptops to those with minimal experience online and ask for their feedback when improving the interface. It's a good base level test. One of those testers now engages with the site everyday and calls it "genuinely useful" - she kindly wanted us to be nominated.

September 2017