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Show HN: Mindset – Self-Improvement Hypnosis (apple.com)
101 points by mindsetalex 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 87 comments

I downloaded this and will give it a good try and a fair review.

Very nice job with the "Sneak Peak" and I think your pricing is good, but I am still very annoyed by needing to give you my email after I downloaded the app.

Thanks, we would appreciate any feedback you have.

Yeah we wanted to give people a chance to experience hypnosis first hand before making them commit to signing up. Sorry you feel that way, we believe having user accounts is integral for successfully using the app because it allows progression, stats, personalization etc.These help develop it as a habit which is fundamental for fully changing your deeply ingrained attitudes and perceptions.

Accounts just mean a unique identifier on your server, and don't inherently require personal information. I.e. you can probably set it up so an account doesn't need an email address.

We're using Firebase for our back end which requires either an email or phone number for the user. However, if you want to be sly you could just put in another username in there and it should/could still work (don't hold me on that). Just means we can't contact you with email so push notifications are hopefully turned on.

Firebase has anonymous accounts which you later can connect with a new login provider (password, FB, google, etc) to provide persistent login.

While this is true. Name one mainstream app that actually does this or at least doesn't replace it with the (way worse) phone number option?

While there are many bad examples, that should not be a reason not to do it right ;)

Urban dictionary



I deleted at email request.


Just finished the first session, feedback so far:

No offline option, I live in a poor service area so that's a long term deal breaker for me. I tend to queue up everything when I'm at uni. (Coursera, Lynda, Pluralsite, LinuxAcademy, Podcasts, Headspace all offer offline downloads).

The app crashed on my ipod touch, and of course it crashed at a pause in the narration so it took me a minute to notice, then I had to restart.

No seek option that I could find, so I had to start from the start.

I would prefer a one month free trial than a curated foundation set.

I also vote for a webapp (again with offline).

Thanks for checking it out!

An offline option is definitely something we will be implementing in the future, hope to see you back when we do.

Sorry, it crashed! We're working on a bug fix atm so hopefully it won't keep happening, has only happened to a couple of users so I'm not sure why... We don't have a scrub/seek option due to the fact that being interrupted in the middle of a session would effectively mean you are brought out of the state and would need to re-enter but we could consider adding it in cases of early interruptions etc.

We actually do have a one-month-free trial of the premium service, if you tap the subscribe button it will tell you about it. However, I definitely see how it can be confusing without tapping 'Subscribe', and we'll make it clearer in the new version.

Really appreciate your frank feedback, we're still-relatively-new developers and the app is quite fresh so ironing out these bugs/improvements is really important to us.

I appreciate the seek option isn't much use generally, but this was about 3 minutes in during the intro.

I have no problem shouting you guys a couple of cups of coffee for the service (assuming I like it).

Yeah definitely makes sense for that, we'll add it in for you next update :)

Cheers, I hope you like it as well!

Hey there, just letting you know hat we’ve listened to what you said and added a skip intro function and fixed the crashing issues.

Cheers We’re still working on the download and save function but it will be our next update!

@dang would it be possible to change the link to our app store link? Clearly the websites copy is lacking. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mindset-simple-hypnosis/id13.... Thanks

Sure. Url changed from http://www.themindsetapp.com.

(It's better to email us at hn@ycombinator.com with this kind of request. We don't see most comments on the site and I only ran across this one randomly.)

Thanks for doing that and for letting me know!

Went to your site. Clicked the link down-page. In iTunes, received: "The item you've requested is not currently available in the Australian Store."

(I'm in Adelaide.)

Thank you! We had an old link connected to that button - should be fixed now.

yeah, it worked for me... (the AU Store)

Sweet as, let me know if you have any questions/feedback!

Tried and I'd say I liked the idea. Just a small suggestion, (only if you dint already consider and discarded the idea) Why not allow pack based subscription? By that I mean, I might not really be looking/interested in public speaking pack or I might be only interested in public speaking pack.

It'd be great if I could chose limited number of packs for a lower amount. Just my two cents.

Thanks for the suggestion! Yeah, we did consider that but we felt that it would lead to the paradox of choice; where choice overload could harm the overall usability and enjoyment of the app.

We overall prefer the subscription model that gives you unlimited access to the entire library, like Netflix and Headspace, then the pick and choose method of traditional cable companies.

I appreciate the idea tho, we will continually add more packs to hopefully provide greater and greater value. You are also able to suggest new packs and we'll add the most popular!

Fair enough. Even though I feel netflix model is for a different scale of lib, I totally understand your point and particularly it makes sense at initial stage.

And yeah, I did suggest couple of packs I thought I could use. Good luck. :)

Cheers man, appreciate the positivity.

Awesome, thanks for taking the time to check it out :)

>The self-taught developers orchestrated a successful debut which saw them reach Top 10 on bleeding edge curation platform Product Hunt, a shoutout from Eddie McGuire on Millionaire Hotseat and 1000 new users in a week to boot.

That's from the press release on the website. Yet there are only 8 ratings in the app store and no reviews. Seems odd.

Heres our PH page: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/mindset-3. We're actually Australian devs so a lot of our reviews are in the Australian store. We have ~20 reviews across the different stores.

What does it do? I see benefits but I don't understand how the app will help me achieve those.

You listen to science backed hypnosis sessions aimed at retraining certain behaviours, such as procrastination, focus and motivation. All of these behaviours are targeted towards self-development, and the sessions are around 20 mins on average. The app is best used on a daily basis to help you gain control over your subconscious.

Don't you think this information should be included somewhere in the website?

I just read every single piece of text in that page and didn't get any useful information. Even reading the information in the "Science" page (linked at the top menu) doesn't clarifies anything. Considering the current stage of the landing page, it would be better to simply redirect the user to the iTunes page (since there is no Android app yet) and let the user try the app immediately rather than confusing them with irrelevant information.

I'll change that if possible to make it easier. Is there a way to change the link? What sort of information would you think would help explain it better? Cheers

> Is there a way to change the link?

Ask one of the moderators; @dang for example.

> What sort of information would you think would help explain it better?

Considering how much skepticism people have towards Hypnosis in general, I would prefer to read a clear explanation of what the app actually does. Your comments here [1] and here [2] are on point. I would prefer to read that explanation more than trying to decipher what the website is trying to promote.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16580325

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16580340

Cheers for the feedback. We'll definitely add explanations along those lines to the website. The site clearly needs to be improved but the in app explanation is a lot clearer in how it works etc.

Interesting! Can someone provide some source for this “science backed” bit? I’m a bit skeptical, but willing to give a try if the science is convincing

I was skeptical before as well! I first came across its legitimacy in the 'Science Vs.' podcast ep on hypnosis.

On our site we've compiled some of the latest research into hypnosis and it's effectiveness. http://www.themindsetapp.com/science/

The research field is still quite young but the evidence is coming in fast. Once we reach a certain scale and funding we will also conduct research specifically into the effectiveness of app-based hypnosis but we believe it would be aligned with the effectiveness of hypnosis in general.

What's the point of it being an app instead of a podcast or audio file downloads then?

An app ensures progress, so our packs are designed to complete one session after the other since each behaviour is relatable within a pack. It also means you stay on track and listen daily. There's also the standard app benefits of accessibility, usability and a better experience than having to source and download audio files which might not be up to a good standard. Similar to how meditation apps like Calm and Headspace greatly increase the effectiveness and amount of people meditating due to the reasons above.

Based on my experience with Headspace (meditation/mindfulness), I can second the benefits of having a dedicated app for this kind of stuff. While it's mostly just audio files and a few videos, having them wrapped in a neat package and adding a sense of progression really matters.

is this similar to meditation?

Hypnosis and meditation do share some similarities but are actually distinct neural states.

We think of meditation as cardio for the mind, improving your overall mental health and well-being through mindfulness. Hypnosis is more like strength training, where you focus on retraining the thought patterns relating a single behavioral area.

Hypnosis doesn't involve being mindful of your thoughts like meditation, instead you become hyper-focused on what the hypnotist is saying, so its actually quite different.

Was asking myself the same thing, there's not much helpful info here and this keeps getting upvoted with no discussion, makes me feel like inflated votes for exposure

I think a lot of the people here are checking out the app and seeing the how it works/the benefits there, but I can provide some more info here for you. As I said in the other comment just then, you would listen to hypnosis sessions designed to retrain thought patterns that are affecting your poductivity and self-development. This includes behaviours such as concentration, confidence and much more. If there is anything you have questions about, feel free to ask them here and I'll respond asap!

Have listened to the first session and here's my feedback:

- Really like the voices used; slight scottish accent is quite pleasant

- Helped dissuade me of some of my more immediate concerns about hypnosis

- Was a bit longer than i'd like, will be a tougher to fit in to my schedule than 10 min Headspace sessions

-Overall great looking app and I'll keep trying the rest of the sessions

Thanks for your feedback, glad you liked it!

That’s one of the reasons we put that introductory session in; to help get rid of some of the misconceptions surrounding hypnosis.

We know it can be a bit difficult to fit in but think of it as the same amount of time as short tv ep but instead of draining your productivity you’re actually improving yourself.

Cheers! We believe that in order for hypnosis to be successful it needs to be packaged beautifully and intuitively (have you seen any of he other apps out there)

Apologies if I missed it but is there any way to sign up to be notified when the Android version becomes available?

Yep! On the website if you press the "Coming Soon" button with the Android icon on the home page, it takes you to a page when you can subscribe to be notified when the Android version is released.

If anyone is interested in an Android version of Mindset feel free to join the waiting list and we'll give you early access when it becomes available :)


ETA on Android app release? I'd be very interested to try this out.

Sorry we don't currently have any ETA since we had to learn to code to develop this app, and we decided to focus on iOS development first. We're looking into Android development now but don't want to estimate a time yet since it would be based on little knowledge.

You should try this Mindset app - I suppose it helps with procrastinating but I am on android and slacking off on Hnews;)

How does this differ from headspace? ~ A daily headspace user.

We take inspiration with what Headspace did for meditation: make it accessible and mainstream. That being said although Hypnosis and meditation do share some similarities, they are actually distinct neural states and do massively different things.

We think of meditation as cardio for the mind, improving your overall mental health and well-being through mindfulness. Hypnosis is more like strength training, where you focus on retraining the thought patterns relating a single behavioural area.

Hypnosis doesn't involve being mindful of your thoughts like meditation, instead, you become hyper-focused on what the hypnotist is suggesting and taking it on board. Meditation helps you be aware of your thoughts and feelings and try to change them actively, while hypnosis is retraining the subconscious attitudes and perceptions that are instigating those thoughts and feelings in the first place.

We believe that Headspace and Mindset solve different problems and are actually quite complementary.

Out of the 1000+ users, has anyone written an honest review? I'd be interested in hearing what people have to say. Does this work? Any side effects?

We've had ~20 ratings but maybe 6 written reviews who have all had a great experience with it. From email correspondence with our users they are experiencing improvements in the topics they've focused on.

Regarding side effects, there isn't any unless you have a psychological disorder but thats in rare cases. Our tracks simply provide positive suggestions to your subconscious regarding a specific topic.

On a personal note, I've been using it every day and can honestly say its really helped me especially with my public speaking and procrastination and has helped me sleep better (a massive help for my daily productivity). I would recommend giving it a go if you have an iPhone and would be really happy if you could provide an honest review of your experience.

>I've been using it every day and can honestly say its really helped me

How do you know this? It seems to me to be quite difficult to test properly.

I've been tracking my time regarding accomplishing tasks/procrastinating and have noticed a definite shift.

Additionally, I have done two presentations and my performance was commented on by my colleagues as a lot more confident and self-assured (I definitely felt that way).

Sleep is easy to quantify: I used to struggle to fall asleep until 1-2am and now I am falling sleep before 12 every single night.

This shows that there has been a change, not what caused it. How do you account for placebo effect and self deception?

It's extremely difficult to account for those effects in a one-man-study, but the science has shown that it definitely causes distinct neural changes in the brain: https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2016/07/study-identif...

And other studies have shown that placebo cannot account for the majority of effects of hypnosis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4812013/

>It's extremely difficult to account for those effects in a one-man-study Then how can you draw any conclusions?

>https://med.stanford.edu/news/ ... This shows that the brain is altered during hypnosis. This is also true of sleep and many other activities and not too surprising.

>https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ ... Not very cited. The question isn't so much "how much of hypnosis is placebo?" but more "how did you account for placebo in your testing?".

What we want is documentation that your specific device / method has lasting effects in double blind trials. If you can't provide that, how can you sell the product?

Was just talking about my own personal experience as founder and daily user, in the vein of an experience review as one user requested in another comment.

https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/hypnosis-for-ptsd-ev... A placebo-controlled study found that it was effective as a treatment for PTSD and had significant and durable effects weeks after. As well as trials in treating IBS https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11151439 showing similar levels of long-term effectiveness. These trials are only a subset and only show the effects removing the effects of placebo in double-blind trials and the ability for long-term effects; not evidence that our app works.

There is also evidence that hypnosis is highly effective in conjunction with CBT in treating psychological disorders, but similarly, the research is still early and not immediately transferable to Mindset https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/doi/ab.... Additionally, a (small) study found hypnosis had a significant ability to enhance self-efficacy, affect, and sports performance in soccer players https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/pdf/10.1123/jcsp.2.2.....

Currently, we're relying on the evidence supporting hypnosis itself rather than research conducted into the efficacy of Mindset. Considering the stage we're at we think that's reasonable, especially considering we provide a significant opportunity for users to experience the effects themselves in the app.

In the future, however, we definitely will conduct double-blind trials into the effectiveness of Mindset but it is just not possible at this time.

Thanks for taking such a considered look at the app, appreciate the interest!

I appreciate your answers, thanks.

No worries Bill, I understand that hypnosis has a lot of negative perceptions and stigma surrounding it and that it will require strong scientific evidence to fully become mainstream and accepted.

This is a problem with 'apps'. They don't have enough fund/resources to release proper full version, so they offer halfsies, just iphone app and promise android in distant future.

This is wrong way to go about your business, in my expert opinion. I just don't care, this might be the most brilliant thing ever, you just made yourself obsolete by this in my view.

If they went with PWA, which clearly their 'app' can easily be, they could develop business instead of fishing people.

Sorry what do you mean release a full version? This is a full version on one platform. Its important to validate that you're solving a real need and since we only know how to code iOS apps it made sense to focus on it first.

Native apps are a lot better in my opinion; i can really notice the difference between PWA vs native.

Why may I ask is it obsolete?

Android apps don't make money. It does not have anything to do with a "full version".

very cool - trying it out, listening to the first session - hoping I'm not in a Black Mirror episode...

Cheers. Haha don't worry you're not... yet. Kidding but would love you're feedback on how to session goes!

Downloading the app doesn’t seem to work on my iPhone 7. Just keeps saying it’s connecting to Apple Music.

That's really odd, haven't heard of that happening before. What software version is your iPhone? Does it let you download it to your phone at all? Or is the button not letting you download? Sorry about this!

iOS 11.2.6. Its up to date. I can download it if I search for the app from the app store.

Have you got it to work? The issue was a broken link on the website.

Monthly subscription for a simple app, which basically plays audio files?!


Yeah, same for Netflix; I can play a video with mpv, why pay for an app playing videos? /s

No. Netflix provides for a small amount of $.$ a huge catalog of movies and tv shows.

This app provides for the same amount an App with audio files which content or amount doesn't reflect at all the value it might and probably not provide.

And it is a subscription model. WTF. Wtf do you need an subscription model for that? I tell you, because people forget to unsubscribe and thats how they plan on making more money...

Subscription model reflects the ongoing and increasing value that the app provides. If Netflix only had x amounts of movies and you could only watch it once then a subscription model wouldn't make sense.

Mindset is designed to be used on a daily basis and we have been and will continue to add value throughout the lifetime of the product.

If anyone accidentally renews the subscription we'd be more than happy to refund it because it's not worth destroying a consumer relationship forever for $6.99 :)

I think and believe that there was someone and thought if they should sell it as subscription or as a package.

The reason why subscription won, was money. Its like every other gym membership out there.

One day, you will be able to sit in front of the numbers and you will not do the right thing. You will see exactly how many people paid for a year subscription and stopped using the app after 1-3 month.

And yo uwill have the number later on on who is having an on going subscription and who is not using it. And you won't stop the subscription for the customer.

We don’t have a yearly subscription so I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

If they accidentally renew we will. It makes business sense to keep customers happy and we want our users to really be getting the benefits of the app.

I feel that you may have a negative view of the entire subscription model not our application of it :)

Many apps are very similar approach and provide a lot of value to users - see Headspace and Calm with meditation. These apps, similarly to us, provide effective content and ensure a great experience in developing a productive habit. This productive habit rewards you every day with self-improvement. Would you group these apps in the "srsly?" bucket?


It just occurred to me that Show HN would be a great way to distribute snow crash.

What's that?

The digital version of a fictional drug from Neal Stephenson's novel of the same name.

Mindset is more like a digital smart drug not a mental virus hahaha

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