Nicho Plowman Journal

Insight Timer Story – by Co-owner Nicho Plowman

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We are often asked questions about Insight Timer and how it was that my brother Christopher and I came to be the custodians of such a well-known meditation app.

Five years ago Christopher and I were both getting further into Vedic Meditation (a 20mins a day, mantra-based practice) and I had just completed a year-long course to become a teacher in the Vedic tradition. As I became busier teaching, and as our collective experience of meditation become more permanent (including a memorable retreat in Rishikesh, India), Christopher and I started to consider how we could use our combined decades of business and company-building experience to join forces in a conscious endeavor.

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In 2014, after a few years as Vedic meditators and with my teaching in full-swing, we felt that teachers of all persuasions could benefit from using an app to connect more easily with their students. However, we felt strongly that building something from the ground up would be difficult, so set about finding an app to acquire. With our lengthy backgrounds in technology, venture capital etc, we had plenty of scars on our backs to know what wouldn’t work!

In September 2014 we flew to San Francisco to meet Brad Fullmer, the owner of Insight Timer. Originally called Zen Timer, the app was the first meditation app in the Apple Store in 2009 and had been slowly developed by Brad in the ensuing years. With 100,000 users and a strong community feel, we felt the potential was there to provide a conscious platform for teachers and meditators of all persuasions around the world.

Insight Timer App screenshots

Insight Timer the World’s Favourite Meditation App

In April 2015 we completed our acquisition from Brad (who remains a shareholder today) and set about making refinements to the app’s features in order that teachers and users could continue to benefit from being part of a conscious community. With so many people meditating every day, this conscious entity that Insight continues to be means that it attracts all the resources necessary for its constant, progressive evolution.

Similar to an individual meditator attracting their own resources and needs, the Insight community does the same thing. From a strong management team and supportive shareholders, to incredible teachers and a vibrant community, it has its own constant access to the infinite resources necessary for its continuing expansion.

Four years in and Insight is now more used on a daily-basis than all other meditation apps, combined. And there are 1,000s of apps in the marketplace. From 100,000 users in 2015, we have grown to 10 million in 2019 all through organic, word-of-mouth growth. Our teacher community, which started with 10 teachers has now grown to almost 5,000 and from 100 online meditation groups there are now 7,000. From 500 meditation sessions a day, the community now meditates almost 600,000 times a day. In increasing numbers, our teachers and publishers are able to derive an income from their passion, whilst our users are continually accessing new and refreshing content from a library of almost 30,000 free meditations.

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Our teachers span the entire range of meditation modalities and traditions and include some well-known teachers like Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, alongside new arrivals including Sarah Blondin and Jennifer Piercy. Jennifer’s Yoga Nidra for Sleep has been played over 7 million times whilst a range of teachers, some of whom were new to teaching only a few years ago, have millions and millions of plays to their name. Not only are they now able to justify their time on creating and publishing, they are also able to connect with millions of meditators who make up the Insight community.

Insight Timer App logo

The Insight team, our shareholders and our community of teachers and meditators, have come together this past few years as part of something very special; a conscious entity that is deserving of Nature’s underlying love and support as it continues to serve the demands of these challenging times.

It is warming to be part of Insight Timer’s growth. The app’s popularity a shining example of the world’s growing awareness of the many benefits of daily meditation for our health and wellbeing.

Nicho

Insight Timer Video Transcript

The Insight Timer Journey

– When my brother Christopher and I bought the meditation app Insight Timer in April 2015, little could we have imagined that the app would have reached very much close to its 10th birthday, given it was launched on the App Store in 2009, that in fact it would have reached 10 million users, which it now has as of last week.

It’s been a very special few years as the custodians of the app, from a small start of 100,000 registered users to now 10 million users. There were five, maybe 10 teachers on the app. There are now thousands, five or 6,000 teachers and publishers. There were a thousand groups of meditators, there’s now somewhere between four and 5,000 groups of meditators. And each day, we used to do about 500 sessions a day, I think now we’re doing something like 600,000 sessions a day.

So it’s been quite a wonderful journey to observe and to be part of. Christopher and I often say we’re custodians of a conscious community. It’s a conscious organism that has been attracting the resources that it’s needed whether it was Christopher’s and my involvement or the involvement of an amazing team and management team, an amazing group and community, and whatever Insight needs, it’s just continued to attract it and it’s been truly something very special.

There’s a wonderful breadth to the community of Insight Timer. There’s also an enormous range of publishers and teachers, each of whom make their own contribution to the app and to the content. The guided meditation library now has 28,000 different pieces of content uploaded. And that’s a range of things, whether it’s more traditional types of meditation, all the way through to more modern approaches to mindfulness. There’s everything there that someone might need whether they’re investigating stress or sleep or anxiety, things that maybe children might find of interest, and that broad depth and range, all of which is free to any of the Insight Timer users, ensures that people can come along whether they have had little experience of meditation, or they are new to meditation, or in fact that they may actually be quite experienced meditators, in which case they can use the Timer, which was the original functionality that existed in the app when it was launched in 2009 as Zen Timer, the first meditation app in the App Store 10 years ago. So there’s a huge range.

There are now courses, so teachers are able to publish courses. Some are seven days, 10 days, whatever it might be. So there’s a whole range of courses there for people. But once again people can really delve into and work at least on an individual basis with issues that might revolve around mental health, stress, anxiety, sleep, all of these things which meditation does such a wonderful job of assisting with and alleviating.

Nicho Plowman is a Vedic Meditation teacher now based in Sydney after more than five years teaching in Paris and around the world. After 20 years in the demanding corporate and start-up world he is passionate about making the powerful benefits of meditation accessible to everyone.

Co-owner of Insight Timer, the #1 Free app for meditation and sleep, Nicho teaches Vedic Meditation to people from all walks of life across Sydney and around the nation. Due to his business background, Nicho has a keen interest in helping dynamic business owners and senior executives apply a conscious perspective to their commercial interests. Look, feel and be better.

Would you like to improve your world? Listen to Nicho’s Vedic Meditation introductory talk below.

Nicho Plowman is a Vedic Meditation teacher now based in Sydney after more than five years teaching in Paris and around the world. After 20 years in the demanding corporate and start-up world he is passionate about making the powerful benefits of meditation accessible to everyone.

Co-owner of Insight Timer, the #1 Free app for meditation and sleep, Nicho teaches Vedic Meditation to people from all walks of life across Sydney and around the nation. Due to his business background, Nicho has a keen interest in helping dynamic business owners and senior executives apply a conscious perspective to their commercial interests. Look, feel and be better.

Would you like to improve your world? Listen to Nicho’s Vedic Meditation introductory talk below.

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