Each day when I walk through the door with my Mutewatch on, I feel happy. The entire Mutewatch team is blessed with all the fantastic people helping out in all kinds of ways; from putting the Mutewatch into production to spreading the word about it.
I like things with a story. This little gadget round my wrist is a symbol of the past three years during which we have fought hard to get it to the market! I also like products that are hard to get, and in fact I’m carrying one of the 77 (beta) watches that exist in the world today. When we launch, there will be 2500 products spread across the world and many people have waited a year for their watch. I sincerely hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!
Lovely friends, distributors and Facebook fans that won beta watches – tomorrow they will be shipped to you!
Thanks for following <3
Check out our competition on Facebook where you can win one of the first 50 beta Mutewatches in the world!!!
Enter the competition by April 29. Good luck!
Mai-Li Hammargren by Flemming Leitorp
It’s strange how much I enjoy wearing my Mutewatch. I mean, of course, I should love it since I’m one of the co-founders of the company, but I honestly like it as a consumer as well. I am in fact the initiator of the company; from the very beginning I wanted to solve the problem of constantly waking up my boyfriend in the morning – after he’d just gone to bed after a long night’s work as a film photographer. A situation in which my mobile phone (that I otherwise use for practically everything) just wasn’t enough.
Reading the post by Robert Ahldin on Facebook about how he enjoys waking up silently makes me happy. I use it more during the day at the moment. My fav area of use right now is keeping track of when my Skype meetings are on and when to return phone calls. Second favourite: when people sometimes stop me on the street or at restaurants and ask me where I bought that watch (imagine how I almost burst with pride when I tell them that we developed it ourselves and that it’s out on the market in July).
Those of you who have been following us for a while know that we are aiming to go global from the very beginning. The core team of eight people; Oscar, Johan, Gustav, Livia, Tua, Gabriel and I, use all the methods possible in making this a reality.
My top “Going Global on a Shoestring” tip is Skype. What an excellent tool. And to make it feel more “serious” – book the meetings in advance so that people are prepared. Plus, be punctual – it’s hard to blame the traffic.
The prototype that I’m wearing in the picture above is from the first trial batch from the factory (yey!). The finish is still not complete but it WORKS amazingly, and that’s the vital point. The photo is taken by my friend Flemming Leitorp in Copenhagen. He is a wonderful person and I truly recommend him as a photographer. He even made me (not sleeping properly for three years) look OK. Check out his homepage.
This is what I, Alex Winfield, look like on a typical Wednesday morning.
Whilst I do, admittedly, spend most of my days doing nothing, I do nothing in a rather more complicated and systematic way than I could.
Imagine for a moment that, whenever given the opportunity, I have a tendency to stay in bed all day doing nothing but reading and writing things on my laptop. I’m probably not even dressed *now*. That looks pretty lazy, right? For a lot of years I thought just the same, before I realised that I am afflicted by a far more complicated and sinister disorder. I’m not sure if it has a name. I’ve reached the point where I have so many blogs, sites, forums, youtube channels and email accounts to regularly check that it takes so long to “complete my rounds,” to patrol them for updates and to consume them, that by the time I have finished sufficient time has passed that I can plausibly check them all again. It is impossible, now, for me to “just check” the internet, for the activity of doing so expands like a pressurised gas, growing large enough to fill whichever gap of free time I release it into. My browsing has reached critical mass.
Twitter informs me of both a new Cracked article that I must read – 9 Famous Movie Villans who were right all along, and that Ryan O’Connell has published an examination of Sophia Coppola’s career over at Thought Catalog. Both sound fantastic. By the time I’ve finished reading both bracketed numbers are appearing all the way across my tab bar. Facebook (3), Gmail (4) Tumblr (14) – this one is especially deadly – and there’s a Seananners video in my Youtube sub box before I can even get around to xkcd. By that point it’s gone 5pm which means because it’s a Wednesday that Zero Punctuation is probably updated, or else will be soon. Another week has gone by and I’ll I’ve accomplished is to not fall behind.
I love every second of it. And it’s that love, I suppose, is the reason why I’m getting into such a dangerous spot. The point that I was trying to make, of course, is that no lazy person could absorb data from so many contrasting sources with this degree of dedication. I’ve developed a streamlined and efficient system of circular browsing to impose order onto this constantly-updating mass of pictures and words; if that’s not time management, I don’t know what is.
Tumblr at its finest:
Article by Engadget here
Yesterday Mutewatch made the design of Mutewatch official – aiming to give the world a sneak peek of what we’ve been working on the past two years…
What we thought would be a small little happening turned out to be a BIG BANG ! The minute Engadget (and shortly after Gizmodo, read it here) wrote about Mutewatch our server broke down because of the amount of people entering the website. We started to get e-mails from small blogs that had written about us after noticing the stream of people entering their pages after searching for Mutewatch on Google. People left comments on our facebook page about wanting to order one, e-mailed us, texted us etc etc.
So what did we do? Even though it was after hours in Sweden I managed to get a hold of the mobile number for the CEO of Crystone (after highjacking the power from all the tv-screens at some random rock bar as I was picking up a delivery in the middle of nowhere with low battery on my phone). He organised so that 600 other websites were shut down in order to try to get our homepage up and running – but it still wasn’t enough. Things got even worse (better?) when Sweden started to get what was happening and published interviews made months ago, pictures of the product, sharing on Facebook – not aware of the fact that the current break down was evidence of Engadget’s power and the huge interest in the product, all over the world!
We’ve been working in the basement – hoping and dreaming that in the end you will like what we do. What a reaction! It’s only been 24 hours since the press release and the amount of e-mails we’ve got from people all over the world providing us with their advice, help and cheerful greeting is just madness. Thank you all!! We’re listening, we’re excited and we’re looking forward to provide you with Mutewatch!
People stay tuned! We promise to provide you with some more info about the product within short as we continue our hard working journey! This will be a great deal of fun – and we’re happy that so many have joined the ride already! Keep on providing us with your thoguhts – we love it!
Mai-Li et al.
Madonna by Mert Alaş & Marcus Piggott for Interview May 2010
“And as the usage of digital communication has increased exponentially, our efficiency has paradoxically declined: we spend so much time checking our inboxes or refreshing our Twitter pages that our attention spans are fractured into a thousand tiny fragments” says one of America’s pre-eminent literary critics, John Freeman here.
We will launch Mutewatch as a tangible solution to the distaste people are starting to feel against constantly being online and never quite focused on the present. We foresee that the world will experience an anxiety-ridden “hangover” when realizing that the Facebook/Twitter/Blackberry/iPhone party has not only stolen our time and our mental presence, but also influenced our personal wishes and dreams. We hope that we can encourage people to turn off all their electronic equipment in order to expand their concentration span and use digital communication as a tool instead of being a slave to it.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live more in the present for once, spending time with the ones you love or simply immersing yourself into an interest that you’re very passionate about? At the same time, one has to be realistic; most people will have an appointment; a train to catch, a call to make etc. that will need their attention at at least one point during a regular day. Mutewatch will be that gentle tap on your shoulder giving a hint that it’s soon time to leave, but without distracting you before this point. A process of change takes time – a new habit takes 21 days to create.
Most people fall for Mutewatch because of its design. The physical product is however only the top of the iceberg of what we wish to communicate with this brand.
Try checking your email not more than four times a day and see what happens…
“If I know that I am going to be interrupted I can’t concentrate, and if I suspect that I might be interrupted, I can’t do anything at all.”
Sartre may have said that hell is other people, but for me and for the novelist Neal Stephenson hell is the onset of cognitive paralysis that sets in after losing concentration. The internet -above all- provides too much stimuli and leads people to experience cognitive dissonance, i.e., overwhelming feelings! Facebook and other social networking sites take up too much of our time, likewise, the time spent on these sites is often valuable and important. We re-connect, we network, we socialize, and learn. I still can’t figure out if social networking is ultimately good, useful to a democratic society, or detrimental to humanity. Are we loosing touch with what truly matters while busy worrying about how many Facebook friends we have, or how big our bum looks in our most recently “tagged” photo? Not really! Sure, society is superficial and meritocratic, but would you rather live in a world without online social networking? Ways of socializing shifts concurrently with politics and technological innovation, but the need for social spheres like Facebook, or in fact the internet as a whole, has existed since at least the sixteenth century. The first social networker was the French aristocrat Madame de Sevigne who spent a great deal of time writing letters, and created a salon culture revolving around her- the olden day equivalent of blogging, tweeting and blackberrying. Jurgen Habermas may theorize on the death of the beurgous public sphere, but anyone who’s heard of Asmallworld, knows that his thesis does not hold. The internet is the axis that contemporary socializing revolves around. I mean, where else but the internet would a girl who thinks she is a robot become fast friends with a boy on another continent, who happens to like girls with robot-psychoses? People who are anti-internet are most likely sceptical to globalization as well.
Nonetheless, the constant bombardment of stimuli we are subjected to is the source of procrastination, the countless wasted hours. Perhaps internet stimuli – the social networks, the blogs, the emails, the youtube videos- is not so different in its power to distract as other kinds of stimuli was to our ancestors? I imagine the writer Oscar Wilde one hundred and twenty years ago, quill in hand, head poised over his empty parchment paper (or whatever it is writers wrote on in 19th Century Britain), deep in thought. Just as an epiphany strikes, and he motions his hand down to write the opening line to An Ideal Husband, his wife walks in with the post. Several invitations to various events and dinner parties are placed on the side of his pulpit. He thanks his wife. Now what should he do? Open his post, or write down those sentences? Of course, his livelihood is more important than the stack of correspondence placed before him, but a writer’s happiness also depends on the acceptance of his peers and therein lies the dilemma.
Everything in moderation, oui? The well-known productivity guru and knowledge worker Merlin Mann has created the bible of online time-management websites. 43 folders began as a little experiment in 2004 and has grown into a monster, a maze of tips and tricks for the creatively challenged, or just plain curious. Check it out. It may help you discover ways in which to work more efficiently.
The links between time management and stress levels are well known – it’s not generally a matter of doing better or having more discipline, it’s often a matter of doing less and of blocking and planning your time instead. Writing a quick “shitty first draft” is often my way of getting started on a piece of coursework for university. An excercise that helped me get through essay writing hell last week was Merlin Mann’s “dash” – a short period of focused activity- that helps you nip procrastination in the bud. After spending a few days in the library researching I had an idea of what to write, but absolutely zero inclination to get started. What I did was do ten minute “dashes” of focused writing, with obligatory two minute breaks in between. This post explains it all: http://www.43folders.com/node/47330/317729
Another good website -the right kind of stimuli!- is Zen Habits. A friend recommended it to me when I was feeling very stressed. They post a new blog / tip each day and I’ve found it helpful in prioritising and working out how to get the interesting and important things done, whilst not letting the rubbish get me down:
Due to a slightly obsessive personality I am always reading a few self-help books, I have been reading the dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for life” for an embarrassingly long time now. I think you should read it.
By Desirée Wariaro