We are launching Tideal today
Today, finally, after working on it for over 18 months, we are ready to open our doors and let the world into Tideal.
Climate change threatens much of what we hold dear on this planet. To have a fighting chance at slowing the heating down, let alone actually stopping it before we've gone too far, we need things to happen fast and in many fronts: we need international organisations and governments around the world to strive for ambitious climate policies; we need companies and research organisations to develop new low-emission technology; and we need action and smart choices from individuals just like you.
Individual action, taken by groups and communities of people, is what Tideal is about.
Tideal is a community-powered and data-inspired climate action platform. For the team behind it, it has been a passion project for quite some time already: a rough concept for the digital service we are launching now crystallised already in the summer of 2018 and the company behind Tideal was founded in the spring of 2019. As for the app itself, we have been building it now for over 18 months.
So, partly this endeavour has been one of pure grit and perseverance. As we are bootstrapped and fully independent, we have needed to live with the fact that part of the team has worked on Tideal part-time, evenings and weekends, while the other part has needed to bootstrap in their personal lives, too.
But more importantly, this endeavour has been one of luck and joy of getting to work with a talented group of friends on a worthwhile problem. Hmm, "worthwhile" is an understatement, let's rephrase that: the luck and joy of getting to work with a talented group of friends on a problem that defines much of our future.
With Tideal, we felt that are already plenty of compensation apps out there, but that we can make a meaningful contribution by building a truly great product that helps people to actually reduce their carbon footprint, not just offset it.
From a global point of view, we feel that we are privileged (economically, socially, and geographically) to the point that begs the question: if it's not going to be us lucky bastards putting some of our time and money on at least trying to provide solutions to important problems like the climate change, then who is it going to be? There are enough talented and privileged people working on social media ad algorithms, we're sure.
For more details on Tideal, head on to our about page.
How does Tideal work?
Some of you have been in our beta groups and know the ins and outs of this already, but if Tideal is new to you, below are some of the basics.
Our app runs in any web browser. It has been built with smartphones as a priority, but works well on larger devices too. It's made up of a few fundamental building blocks: challenges and groups. Through the mechanisms that these provide, we hope to achieve impact.
A Tideal challenge is always about a bite-sized section of human activity: commuting, showering, or buying clothes, for instance. We've calculated the carbon footprint of many common choices that you can make within these activities, and how much you could reduce your footprint if you change your ways!
We are launching with two challenges: showering and the daily commute. We vision that one day we'd be able to host somewhere around 10 meaningful challenges, and with those, cover a major chunk of the emissions that result from the life of a person living in the global north.
Tideal challenges are tackled in groups. Each group has a four-week change period, where the goal is to change your behaviour to more climate-friendly. When you join or set up a new group, we estimate your current carbon footprint related to that challenge and ask you to set a goal for reducing it.
Inside the group, you can cheer on each other's successes, share practical tips on how you're changing your behaviour, or even compete a little and see who can achieve the smallest footprint in that challenge.
As the group starts making changes in their habits and reports that progress through the app, we show the impact on the individual and group levels in terms of reduction to the greenhouse gases emitted. Together as the group, your impact will be bigger 😊
What's going to happen next?
After a wild launch party (with proper social distancing, of course) we will be back at building Tideal. As one of the first items on our product roadmap is redoing the group's feed (which in its current form may get pretty uninteresting pretty quickly). We are planning to reshape it to have fun and educational content, quizzes, polls, and daily report cards on the group's progress:
As a careful reader will glean from our homepage, we are also planning to pilot our educational and company offerings with some beta groups this year. The work for this is already underway.
And then what?
We like to think of Tideal as a startup: we are working to solve a huge problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed. We've designed and developed our platform to be scalable, providing high potential. This obviously comes with a high risk, which we are OK with: problems of this magnitude need solutions of equal magnitude.
What would provide real hope for the state of the planet is if thousands of people would start building things and movements with goals similar to ours.
Many of those projects and products would inevitably fail. A few would succeed. A tiny fraction could result in exponential impact.
And we: we would be cheering for every one of them.