1. THINK OUTSIDE THE FRAME
Someone recently asked, “Why not video?” And first, I don’t always want to be in front of a camera. I think it’s distracting and makes me think about appearance rather than the content of what I’m saying. It’s like staring back at yourself on a Zoom call, and then you lose the thread of the conversation. Second, videos take up a lot of space on your phone, and they’re inconvenient to share with family and friends. Finally, there’s a misconception that video captures everything, even though there’s a whole world of content happening just outside the frame. For example, “Where you coming from? Where are you going?” We created an audio experience that pulls people’s eyes away from the never ending carousel of video content on their phone screens and allows authors and listeners to look at the world around them and think for themselves.
2. PICTURE NEEDS A THOUSAND WORDS
They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but that’s actually not true. When reflecting on an experience, everybody remembers something different. Maybe I remember being stung by a jellyfish, but my brother remembers the book he was reading. And we also think about different things over time. Often when I look at an old picture, I think about what’s changed. “Oh, I would never wear something like that now!” Biograph allows people to preserve and experience the moment without getting bogged down in all the logistics. We’ve lowered the difficulties of writing, collaborating, and organizing, so that you really can have a thousand words.
3. INFINITE POSSIBILITIES
I’ve always loved the way that things sound, whether it’s a bus screeching to a halt, or it’s hissing pneumatic pumps, the birds flying overhead, cars whizzing by, and “all that jazz,” as my grandfather would say. My first phone was a Samsung flip phone that didn’t even have a camera, but it did have a voice memo app, and my friends have gotten pretty used to my crazy audio messages over the years. I’m able to convey so much more with my voice. Maya Angelou says that “Words mean more than what is sat down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.” For me, there are infinite possibilities of audio. I see text as a derivative of our instinct to make sound. Whenever I have an idea or message that’s too complicated to write, I always go for the audio note.
4. BUILD MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS
With smartphones, we’re constantly interrupted with non-urgent short text messages. And this back and forth causes a lot of fatigue. While voice messages require as much or more focus than a text, they don’t need to be as frequent because there’s more packed into one message. I have a group chat with friends living in Chicago, Tel Aviv, Miami, and Austin. Since we aren’t talking about tactical stuff like “what time’s dinner,” or “what are we doing this weekend,” we use the audio messages to remain a part of each other’s lives and share something more than the surface level. It’s near impossible to have a meaningful relationship without hearing all the nuance of voice. I can send and receive one audio message a week and know more about someone than if we’re constantly texting.
5. IT’S EASY
Everyone wants to have a better memory. But few people come home from a vacation, wedding celebration, or even a first date and write about their experience. I’ve been doing this for a few years as a sort of market research and it takes a lot of discipline. But every time I share these experiences, people are blown away. I found it’s pretty easy to write about something as it’s happening and even easier if you’re using your voice. We’re already telling our story like this every day through conversations. Biograph is designed to make writing more accessible for everyone and to enhance memory. My favorite time to write is when I’m walking outside. I’m more creative and energetic while on the move. I never considered myself much of a writer, but Biograph makes it easy.