“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 was invented in 1654
  • Bayesian inference was invented in 1763
  • Economics as a separate discipline was invented in 1776
  • Experimental psychology was invented in the 1830s
  • Humanistic psychology was invented in the 1920s
  • Project management was popularized in the 1950s
  • Rational emotive behavior therapy was coined in 1955
  • Transhumanism was coined in 1957
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy was developed in 1960
  • Behavioral economics was popularized in 1979
  • Positive psychology was coined in 1998
  • Open science was coined in 1998
  • Lifehacking was coined in 2004
  • Quantified self was coined in 2007
  • Human virtual assistants were popularized around 2007
  • Life automation was popularized around 2007
  • Lean startup was coined in 2008
  • Effective altruism was coined in 2011

Technological advances

  • Home automation was popularized around the 1900s
  • Modern digital computers were invented in 1948
  • The Internet was invented in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Modern spreadsheets were invented in 1979
  • The World Wide Web was invented in 1980
  • The first modern online dating site was launched in 1995
  • Modern videoconferencing was popularized in the 2000s
  • Modern smartphones were popularized around 2007
  • The first modern cloud-based file hosting service was launched in 2007
  • Modern digital project management tools were popularized around 2010
  • Nootropics were popularized around 2011
  • Digital virtual assistants were popularized around 2011
  • Smart homes were popularized around 2013

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 thinking and execution to millions. Advanced control systems may help people 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 can be considered an HI on demand service. We can’t clone you (yet), but we do the next best thing: we act as your second brain and set of hands. 

In the near-term, UP may move from a one-to-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. UP in 10 years will hopefully look radically different than UP today. And UP in 100 years….

In the very long-term, we ultimately aim to help billions of people live the lives they truly wish to live.