Kindly

Chat with helpful strangers. Private, anonymous, & safe.

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Jordan Walker — Co-Founder, Kind.ly
We just soft launched our app Kindly, so it was awesome to see that Ryan mentioned us on this week's PH Radio show! Our work is still cut out for us, but @gregkucsan and I wanted to share the early release w you with the hopes of getting some feedback!

Kindly instantly connects people looking to chat about common life issues (think relationships, stress, creativity blocks...) in one-on-one anonymous chat sessions with other users who’ve volunteered to lend their ears.

I think most of us have experienced moments in life when we get stuck and could use a different perspective from someone outside our friends and family. Therapists obviously have a place for many issues, but sometimes you just need an outside ear from someone who’s been through a similar experience. We believe most people are kind and will take a few minutes to help a stranger given they have the platform. I'm curious to see what people think of this idea and how we're approaching it.

Anyone looking to be in touch, I'd love to meet all of you: Jordan@Kindlychat.com
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Ryan Hoover — Product Hunt
I met @jordanwalker at the NYC happy hour a month ago where I was introduced to a pre-release build of Kindly. I really like the direction and as I mentioned on Product Hunt Radio #18 (published this morning), it's built a product on a behavior often found on Whisper private chat to connect people for on-demand therapy/advice.

Sorry to keep plugging but a while ago I wrote a piece about how technology can make the world more empathetic, pointing to examples like Secret, HandUp, Jelly, and even Snapchat. Kindly fits in this category too, of course. cc @abramdawson @nbt

@jordanwalker - How are you seeding the community?
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Jordan Walker — Co-Founder, Kind.ly
Thanks @rrhoover! We're actually seeding the community with psychology students from various universities and a handful of real psychiatrists are occasionally available. However we're aiming to build a true peer-to-peer support network, and at the moment anyone who wants to can lend their ear.
Nikhil Basu Trivedi — Principal, Shasta Ventures
@jordanwalker nice job with the app! @rrhoover showed it to me a few weeks back, and i've been getting the notifications since... what do you think of other products like 7CupsOfTea that are trying to build similar marketplace/communication platforms? it feels like someone will nail this on mobile
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Jordan Walker — Co-Founder, Kind.ly
@nbt Thanks for checking it out. I've enjoyed using 7 Cups of Tea and similar web apps, but it just feels like a mobile first experience has been lacking, and I think it's necessary for a community like this to become ubiquitous.

You never know when you'll have that moment when you'll be inclined to reach out for a chat. Having a helpful peer in your pocket who's already volunteered to lend their ear I believe will help people feel less isolated in their lives and give them a sense of relief. This is all from personal experience btw.

Other than being mobile first, our main differentiator is that we essentially allow anyone who signs up to lend their ear. 7 Cups feels a bit clinical to me whereas a chat session on Kindly should feel as if you're talking with a friend who's gone through a similar life experience. There's a pay it forward theme to Kindly, where one day you might be using it to vent, but the next week you might be killing time when you receive a push notification saying "someone else in the community is looking to talk, are YOU available?" That feels powerful and human.

Of course, we do have a weighting system for our listeners, so while everyone can be a listener at this phase, certain people are matched ahead of others based on their prior engagement and ratings. It's all a bit of an experiment at this phase, but we're seeing very promising behaviour! BTW we have a very strict flagging/reporting policy.
David Spinks — CEO, CMX Media
@jordanwalker Is there a risk involved in letting anyone be a listener without proper training in how to deal with different situations that someone might have when calling in?
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Jordan Walker — Co-Founder, Kind.ly
@DavidSpinks Yes and we're working on this the best we can. We are consulting w/ psychiatrists, social scientists and various experts on mental illness to curate resources in-app and to implement the right features to allow for a safe community.

As it stands now, we have a one strike flagging policy, where if a user is flagged for being inappropriate they receive an alert letting them know their account has been temporarily suspended with instructions on how to un-suspend. We also provide notes to new users entering their first chats framing the kind intentions of our community. At the end of the day, you might get a great listener who changes your perspective and offers a positive experience, or you might find someone sub-par and then you hopefully move on.

Every listener is rated at the end of their chat sessions, so we're building data on who our best listeners are, and we'll be able to match them to chat requesters accordingly. It's top of mind for all of us.
David Spinks — CEO, CMX Media
@jordanwalker Interesting, thanks for the answer. Cool to see you thinking through the reputation dynamic here. I'm sure it's a tough nut to crack. LMK if I can be helpful at all on the community/trust front.
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Jordan Walker — Co-Founder, Kind.ly
@DavidSpinks Yes would love to be in touch. My email is Jordan@Kindlychat.com
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