“Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.”
We designed UP because, to our knowledge, nothing quite like it existed in the self-development space.
In our 20+ years of helping people grow, we’ve never seen a program designed like UP. We’re attempting to build an evidence-based, scalable program that measurably helps a high percentage of participants reliably and cost-effectively flourish. If it already did exist, we would generally expect to see thousands or millions of flourishing people raving about this “Program X”. Over time the research literature would be replete with quality data independently verified by experts and the public alike. In the best case scenario, the program would be integrated into schools and subsidized by governments around the world. But we don’t see anything even close to that. So we decided to take a substantially different approach to see how far we could get toward the ultimate goal of a flourishing world.
We aim for your theoretically highest possible ROI. We do this by helping you complete your second highest ROI project better than you would have on your own. Then your third highest ROI project. And so on. If you don’t at least make your money back then we will have clearly failed.
We build a quantitative model of your values and use that as the basis of your UP. We research you and attempt to quantify your best potential upgrade projects before spending your resources on them.
We build you a personal team fully dedicated to your life goals. This means you go from 8,760 hours/year to allocate to tens of thousands of hours. With a personal team, if you can’t or don’t want to handle something, your team can. This can save you an enormous amount of time, money, and pain and can massively magnify the amount of value you can create and capture in your lifetime.
We serve as a systems integrator for your life. Modern life is extremely complicated and it takes huge levels of effort or a substantial dedication to simplification to stay on top of everything. We can ensure each tool (e.g., project management, communication, home, fitness, etc.) works reasonably well with each other and with your wetware.
We do more strategic life planning than anyone else we’ve seen. This may help you achieve much more in life than you would using your current strategies. ~700,000 hours is an enormous amount of time to allocate (or misuse).
We fully optimize your exocortex (i.e., digital mind). We can ensure most relevant thoughts you have are captured and processed in a digital form and, when appropriate, accessible to your team.
We practice open science. Our results–flattering or unflattering–are available for the world to see and criticize. Whereas many in the self-development industry unintentionally or intentionally deceive their customers, we work hard to represent our impact as clearly and honestly as we can. We believe in building an evidence-based self-development industry, similar to the development of evidence-based medicine.
We aim to beat your counterfactual outcomes. Many self-development practitioners ignore counterfactuals. With UP, we can only claim success if you succeed in such a way that you otherwise would not have without UP. If you would have achieved your goals more cost-effectively on your own or with an alternative practitioner or method, then we’ve failed. This is a much higher standard to reach.
We do team-based forecasting of your short-term, mid-term, and long-term life outcomes. This helps you achieve significantly better calibration and resolution with your predictions. In other words, you may actually “know” (some of) what will happen to you in life and can plan accordingly.
We are heavily rationality-based. We’ve done thousands of hours of work debiasing ourselves and attempting to see and navigate through the world more clearly.
We regularly operate from a first principles perspective. We attempt to see your world with fresh eyes, as if we’re children encountering something for the first time or as if we’re physicists developing a new theory based off of the extremely well-substantiated standard model. This often yields novel insights into how you can grow.
We design your UP as a novel experimental intervention based around your particular life circumstances. We take a substantial amount of baseline and follow-up data to see how well we’re actually impacting your life.
We are more comprehensive than any other program we know of. Our standard life taxonomy is 2x more detailed than anyone else’s we’ve seen. If you don’t have a good model of what you’re trying to improve, it's much harder to effectively improve.
We are heavily technology-centric. We built a database of over 1,700+ tools, tested hundreds of them, and provide tailored recommendations for you based on your specific needs.
We operate from a radical accountability perspective. Insofar as possible, we don’t let you forget or procrastinate on any of your goals. You either succeed or pick better goals. And given our compensation is tied to your success, we are even more motivated to be effective in helping you.
We do more personalization than any other program we’ve ever seen. We co-create your UP with you from beginning to end based off of what works best for you as a highly nuanced individual. We don’t do cookie cutter.
We are heavily science- and evidence-based. We’ve built UP around our thousands of hours of study of scientific papers, books, textbooks, encyclopedias, podcasts, shows, documentaries, blogs, etc.
We design for your entire extended self. We help you intelligently manage the needs of your temporal, non-biological, and other selves. You’re not just the voice inside your head reading this sentence.
We do intensive environmental design. We work with you to fully optimize each environment you live, work or play in.
We do intensive incentive design. We determine what carrots and sticks are helpful in motivating your behavior. For example, we may pay you if you achieve your goals or donate to a charity you despise if you don’t.
We’re more meta than any other program we’ve ever seen. We subsume any other effective program, course, tool, expert or the like into your personal UP. We see other providers as collaborators, not competitors.
We attempt to teach you everything we know that's relevant to helping you achieve your life goals. This is an audacious goal given no one–including us–knows exactly how to do this yet, let alone teach it. We still try. This is something like getting a PhD in self-development. Your tests are how well you do at achieving your goals.