“If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants.”

 Isaac Newton (and many others)


We designed UP because, to our knowledge, nothing quite like it existed. In our 20 years of upgrading people, we’ve never seen a program like UP. But it seemed painfully obvious that something like it should exist. It was at least a worthy experiment. 

This may be true because it takes a while for conceptual and technological changes to propagate throughout society. It’s a lot to learn and master. We learn something new to incorporate into UP literally every week.

Here are just a few key advances that have shaped UP so far.

Conceptual advances

  • Expected value as a concept was developed in 1654
  • Bayesian inference was introduced in 1763
  • Economics as a separate discipline was introduced in 1776
  • Experimental psychology as a practice was introduced in 1879
  • Behavioral psychology was introduced in 1913
  • Humanistic psychology as a practice was introduced in the 1950s
  • Project management was popularized in the 1950s
  • Positive psychology was coined in 1954
  • Rational emotive behavior therapy was introduced in 1956
  • Transhumanism was coined in 1957
  • Cognitive psychology as a practice was introduced in the 1950s
  • Personalized learning was introduced in the 1960s
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy was introduced in the 1960s
  • Lateral thinking was coined in 1967
  • Behavioral economics was introduced in 1979
  • Emotional intelligence was popularized in 1995
  • Open science was coined in 1998
  • Positive psychology was popularized in 1998
  • Lifehacking was coined in 2004
  • Quantified self was coined in 2007
  • Human virtual assistants were popularized around 2007
  • Lean startup methodology was introduced in 2008
  • Effective altruism was coined in 2011

Technological advances

  • Home automation was popularized around 1900
  • The electric refrigerator was invented in 1914
  • The television was invented in 1927
  • The microwave oven was invented in 1945
  • Modern digital computers were invented in 1948
  • The Internet was invented in 1969
  • The term nootropic was coined in 1972
  • Handheld mobile phone was invented in 1973
  • The first personal home computer was invented in 1976
  • Modern spreadsheets were popularized in the 1980s
  • The World Wide Web was invented in 1989
  • The first modern online dating site was invented in 1994
  • Modern videoconferencing was popularized in the 2000s
  • Modern smartphones were popularized around 2007
  • The first modern cloud-based file hosting service was invented in 2008
  • Modern digital project management tools were popularized around 2010
  • Digital virtual assistants were popularized around 2011
  • Smart homes were popularized around 2012

Future advances

These advances have enabled the current version of UP to exist. But what we can do today is only the beginning. Down the line, machine learning and distributed workforces may bring better critical thinking and execution to millions. Advanced control systems may help people more easily stay on track with their goals. And neurohacking may allow us to radically upgrade our intelligence.

Ultimately, we may have AIs that assist us in everything we wish to do in life. Right now, the best we have are HIs (human intelligences). UP in its current form can be considered an HI on-demand service. We can’t clone you (yet), but we do the next best thing: act as your second brain and set of hands.

In the near-future, UP may move from a one-on-one facilitation model to a fully automated software model. We wish to serve anyone who wants our help, not just a select few.

In the long-term, our aim is to incorporate every relevant conceptual and technological upgrade our species develops. Hopefully, UP in 10 years will look radically different than UP today. And UP in 100 years, who knows…

We do know that we ultimately aim to help billions of people live the lives they truly wish to live.