- Name of Startup: Silentus
- Year Founded: 2022
- Website: SilentusApp.com
- Type of company: Mobile apps
- HQ Location: Netherlands
Remove distractions, regain your time & boost your productivity.
Problem the startup solves:
According to McKinsey, there is an estimated 160 million digital workers in the gig economy (freelancing) on a part- or full-time basis. Their research work shows too that the average professional gets about 50 to 60 distractions per day, taking it approximately 23 minutes to regain focus every time. As a result of all these interruptions, workers lose around 480 hours of productive time per year per person. In addition, home-office and hybrid working setups are here to stay; this means that the amount of distracting elements will increase considerably, making it even more challenging for professionals to remain focused, meet their deadlines, and maximize their outputs during office hours; all this while dealing with other (household) obligations; resulting in many cases on unbalanced work-life scenarios or even burnouts. On top of it, the problem we want to solve grows bigger when we include other profiles who have a similar working routine or patterns than freelancer; for instance, small-business founders and full-time students.
In order to avoid this problem, digital workers currently use some well-known best practices recommended by productivity experts, like using phone’s ‘Do not disturb’ or airplane modes; nevertheless, this solves the problem of blocking incoming notifications at the expense of preventing users from receiving important calls or messages that are relevant for the work they are executing at a given time; for example, from their manager or their highest paying client. Furthermore, on some of the latest operating system versions, ‘Do not disturb’ mode offers the possibility to select contacts or apps from which user can get notifications during focus mode; however, setting this up requires that user goes through a process that takes between 6 to 7 steps that they need to repeat every time they want to edit their lists of allowed contacts and apps, a cumbersome process that also goes in detriment of workers’ productivity. Based on the previously described scenario, we decided to tackle this problem with Silentus, a productivity app that helps digital workers keep focused and more importantly, regain these 480 hours, that they can use later to grow their businesses or spend time with their loved ones. Silentus’ goal is to provide users with the fastest way to decide with whom they interact on their mobiles, meaning a quick switch from one allowed contact (or app) to another. In addition, professionals can use Silentus to track their time, stick to their goals, measure progress, and accomplish more.
Progress and current status:
Silentus went live for Android in the early days of August 2022. In the first 3 weeks, we onboarded our first 1,000 users and continue growing our users base with almost no investment on paid ads. We send individual invitations to professionals with profiles similar to the one of our user archetype. To date, we release bi-weekly update and continue developing our iOS version, which would be available in the last quarter of 2022.
What is a crazy story about the startup?:
Silentus is a truly post-Covid company: it was born and will remain as a remote-work organization. Both founders rely on tech tools to reach their goals despite the physical distance and time difference (Maimoona is based in her homecountry of Pakistan, while Hugo splits his time between Europe and Peru, his motherland). Worth mentioning that other contributors to the company are also in different geographies, and while one might think that this brings difficulties, it has actually spurred their commitment and willingness to deliver more.
What is a company the startup looks up to, and why?:
‘Remote’ is a company we look up to and primarily due to their goal to support workers to succeed under the new normal of remote work and/or hybrid workplaces. We believe that this new set-up is here to stay and we want to provide our users with the best tools to achieve their goals despite the circumstances.
The company in four years will be…
In 4 years, we want to be the go-to tool for professionals that are serious about making the most out of their available working hours, keep a well-balanced work-life routine, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. On the other hand, we measure our impact on the number of hours that our users save from distractions; however, preventing future burnouts due to unbalanced workload is another way to measure it, and finding ways to increase our impact on this area is part of our long-term plans as well.
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Author: Tom Heien