The original paparazzi is thought to be Tazio Secchiaroli, famous for his 1958 photograph of King Farouk of Egypt sitting in a cafe in Rome with two women, neither of them his wife. The former King tried to break Secchiaroli’s camera, cementing his reputation as an ”assault photographer.” Thus, a new type of media – candid, unstaged shots of celebrities, often in compromising positions – was born.
Today, unfiltered moments are the norm on social platforms. Celebrities can more easily than ever share experiences directly with their audience, though this comes with its own challenges around negativity and criticism. Nonetheless, social media is an increasingly visible way for celebrities to break down stigmas around mental health, from Naomi Osaka withdrawing from the French Open to Ariana Grande giving away a million dollars of free therapy.
Our latest investment, Mindset, is part of this zeitgeist, but with a twist. Mindset is an audio platform that allows internet native celebrities to share untold, vulnerable stories with their audience. Unlike social media, it is a new type of digital wellness space in which the artists and users alike come for only one type of content: raw, authentic audio storytelling that makes people feel better. This space is non-obvious wellness; it looks nothing like a therapist’s office and patient chair, or any digital therapy platform.
At its core, the Mindset container is the “Mindset”: a series of 10 short form audio episodes by one artist told directly to their listeners, with no ability to screenshot or share outside the app. Like our other audio investments, principles of consistency and constraints as a north star serve as an important way to establish trust with listeners.
Mindset is your favorite artist talking about the first time they had a panic attack, or the shame of crashing their parent’s car as a teenager. It’s a five minute audio booster called “When Everything Sucks.” It’s a livestream Q&A that reimagines group therapy in a completely new format. Another unique aspect of Mindset is the community, across thousands of in-app comments and many active channels in a 30k member Discord.
Mindset can uniquely build this platform – trusted by users and artists alike – because they are them. Eric Nam and his brothers Brian and Eddie created Mindset out of their first company together, a kpop podcast network called DIVE Studios with over 3 million social followers and a powerful part of the Mindset flywheel and trusted brand.
In the next couple weeks, the app is relaunching with exciting new stories from both Western and Eastern artists, and community features to further deepen the artist and listener experience. We are grateful to partner with the Nams on their journey with Mindset.