Monthly Archives: April 2013


Free Chocolate!

Yep, you read that correctly – FREE CHOCOLATE!

Ok, so there is a slight catch…

We will send the first 100 people to get 100 Karmr points a chocolate bar completely free. To get Karmr points you start by registering with Karmr at or on our app from and posting some actions. These actions are things you have done, achieved or made happen and can be simple, everyday things, good deeds or anything else so long as it is something you have done. Next, people have to give you Karmr by clicking “+K” on your action. If what you have done has more impact then more people will give you Karmr – a nice picture helps too :) . If you want you can get your friends to join and give you Karmr for the things you have done.

Ten actions with Karmr from ten friends each = 100 Ks = ONE FREE CHOCOLATE BAR.

How does Karmr work?

  • Before you can post anything or add comments you must click the activation link in your registration email
  • Karmr is about actions so post things you have done, achieved or made happen
  • When you find an action you like hit “+K” to give it’s owner Karmr
  • When you give someone Karmr you automatically follow them. To follow people give them Karmr!
  • To access other parts of our app tap the menu icon or swipe right

Why are we doing this?

We have worked really hard to create an app that we think people will enjoy but as a content app we need erm, content. In order to get content we need users and rather than just paying for a load of advertising we thought we would do something a bit more interesting. Ultimately we are doing this to get people using Karmr and by the time someone has 100 points they will hopefully have had time to decide they like it as well as having generated some content for other people to find. We think that a bar of chocolate to show our appreciation for giving our app a try is the least we can do.

Terms & Conditions

Ok, so a few rules:

  • This offer commences 15th April 2013.
  • Only accounts with a verified email address can post actions (to avoid spammers & trolls)
  • Only Karmr given by accounts with a verified email address will count (so people can’t just register a hundred fake accounts)
  • We reserve the right to remove / discount non-active content – i.e. pictures of kittens, general statements or opinions, things other people have done (we are about actions)
  • Only one reward per household (sorry)
  • We reserve the right to alter or suspend this offer at any time (just in case)
  • This reward is in no way endorsed or supported by Cadbury (we asked but they suggested we visit the Cash and Carry :| )
  • To claim your chocolate please email and give:
    1. Your name and address for shipping
    2. Your Karmr username
    3. Verification code from the app or in the reward email

Redressing the balance of bad news with Karmr

Women Savagely Murdered In Lake

The Worst Market Crisis for 60 Years

Housing Doom Continue

Got your attention? These are just a handful of alarming headlines I’ve seen today.  In fact, for every positive story presented in the media there are 17 negative stories, yet this presentation of positive to negative events doesn’t tally with reality. For every good thing that you experience in your day to day life, do you experience 17 horrendous things?  Probably not – you’d be a very unlucky person if you did!  In fact you probably had more positive interactions today than negative, but in that case why does the media present such a negatively biased view of our world – we all know the answer to that -  bad news sells.

Research has shown we have a “negativity-bias.” We’re more likely to remember bad things than good things, we recognise angry faces faster than happy faces and our brains continually scan the environment for threats.  Doesn’t sound good does it? But there’s a good reason for this . This negativity bias helped us to survive in harsh climates when we were evolving on the planes of the Serengeti, when there really were regular threats to our lives. For example, if we heard a rustling in the bushes it was better for us to jump to the conclusion that it was a sabre tooth tiger that could eat us alive rather that assume it was harmless bird we could enjoy for lunch. Our ancestors who assumed the worst lived to see another day and passed their anxious genes down to us, even if they were wrong nine times out of ten.  So in these threatening conditions, it paid to have this negativity bias.   Nowadays though, we live in a much safer environment but this threat system is still just as active, if not more active, thanks to the media.

Our brains have evolved in a way that assumes this bad news will impact us directly. For the main part of human history we lived in tribes of 30-500 people, so when we heard of a murder or an imment famine, then our stress response, quite rightly, kicked in to motivate us to avoid any potential threat.  Today however we don’t just read bad news from our local community which may actually impact us, but rather we come under a deluge of stressful information from all around the world which has no impact on us whatsover – but our body and mind still respond as if it does.  Throw in the internet and global social networking and our brains become inundated with stress evoking news 24/ 7, providing us with an overly overly distrustful and threatening view of the world  that impacts our mental and physical well-being.

Karmr app however helps redresses this balance.

Karmr is a free social networking app that lets you get in touch with the many kind acts and achievements that everyday people are experiencing all around the world moment by moment. For example, scrolling through Karmr on my way home today, I saw that Paulo from Brazil had just organised a surprise birthday bash for his gran’s 98yr old birthday, together with a photo of her smiling face.  I saw Johnny from Colorado helped his son win first prize in his school fancy dress competition dressed as a robot. I saw Yen from London kindly buy a homeless chap a cup of coffee that brought a certain warmth to my heart.  Reading and sharing this kind of information feels good and there’s science to suggest why.

Neuroscientists have found that performing kind acts, or even watching others, evokes pleasure activity in the same parts of the brain as sex, drugs and rock n’roll, which is why we feel that “warm glow”  when giving money to charity or watching Amelie take her neighbour’s gnome all round the world.  What’s more, as opposed to with sex drugs and rock n’roll, when the alcohol runs out, the pleasure soon fades, but with kind acts, we can relieve the pleasure over and over again.  Not only have scientists found that kind acts make us happier, they’ve also found it improves our health and even make us live longer.

However, this app isn’t just about making people feel good, it’s about encouaraging and sharing with others.  As rearchers from Harvard have found, happiness is contagious.  They investigated the happiness and relationshipis between more than 5,000 people and 50,000 relationship bonds over a period of 20 years and found that when one person became happy, there was a 25% increase in the chances of a friend, a mile away becoming happier. They even found that their happiness impacted people they didn’t even know. A friend of a friend of the happy person was 10% more likely to be happy and a friend of a friend of a friend of the happy person was 5.6% likely to be happier.  That’s three degrees of separation away! To put that in the context of money, they found having an extra $5,000 increased a person’s chances of becoming happier by only 2%.  In the words of the lead researcher “Someone you don’t know and have never met—the friend of a friend of a friend—can have a greater influence than hundreds of bills in your pocket.” Through the Karmr app we can connect with one another directly and share the millions of good things happening moment to moment around the world, putting us back in touch with the common good in humanity,  improving our own well-being, the well-being of others and ultimately combat the media bias to see the world as it really is.

Get involved with this global project to uncover the kindness, good and trust within our societies and download Karmr today.

Behind the scenes at Karmr

I thought I would christen our new blog with a bit of background to Karmr and the team behind it.

At the start we were really just a team of one (me – Martin Saunders) and Karmr was a bit of a Friday project just before Christmas 2012 where I wanted to play around with a few ideas and make an app of my own instead of making things for other people all the time. Since then, what I thought would be a side project has completely taken over and is now my main project.

Who am I? Well, I am married with three fantastic children. I have a PhD in NMR (quantum physics with medicine) and I used to own a design and build agency in the Midlands which I sold via trade sale a couple of years ago. I setup TBC Digital as a vehicle to act as an agency while building a few of my own things – Karmr being one. As well as making tech things I work with the Computing at School group to try and get computing into schools and run Computing++ which is a tool to help schools find tech mentors to help them introduce computing to their curricula.

We also have Steve Price who is working on the server architecture and getting us in good shape to take over the world. Steve will also oversee the tech development process when there is something to oversee.

Finally we have a few advisors:

Nicholas Begley advises us on psychology. Before founding Psyt, Nick was Head of Research at Headspace where he worked on the development of two Headspace mindfulness apps, one reaching No.1 in the Itunes App Store in Health and Fitness and the other soon to be realised. For the second he was awarded $25,000 for the development of an online mindfulness app that used ESM methods in collaboration with Yale School of Medicine. He is a practising mindfulness teacher and has worked at the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) investigating the neural correlates of mindfulness for his Masters Dissertation in Cognitive Science. He has extensive financial experience working in the City as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and holds a First Class Honours Degree in Physics from University College London.

Grant Slatter advises us on design and user experience. Grant was previously a successful property developer and has a series of children’s books – The Oddies. Grant has a #1 Health and Fitness iOS app “Star Trainer” which provides a virtual personal trainer and is currently working on a new shopping concept “Shareight” to be announced soon.

So, what’s the big idea? Well, I do a load of different things and I like that. For example I have done a bunch of different jobs – I’ve been a milkman, a chef, worked in a timber yard, been a synthetic chemist, run a digital agency, been an iOS developer, made jam and metal safety guards (not at the same time) – and I have a far richer outlook on the world that I would have if I had just sat on my backside and watched TV or got a dull 9-5 job and never moved on.

The point for me is that doing things matters and this can be in all sorts of ways. It might be simple things like cooking or playing with your kids, it might be professional things like how you have done your job or it might be “good deeds”. The fact of the matter though is that by doing things you make an impact on the world and no matter how small this is it should be recognised and celebrated.

In terms of what this looks like, well the mechanics are a lot like other social platforms. The filter though is on things that have been done in a similar way to Instagram being all about images. One result of focussing on actions is that you realise that you actually do quite a lot of things in a day and almost all of these are positive. Even things like making yourself breakfast is a positive thing to do as you are caring for yourself. This implicit leaning towards positive content as well as the reward “+K” mechanism means that users of the app are encouraged and rewarded for doing good things and the balance of content for consumption is vastly more balanced than mainstream media and current social platforms.

One important question though – what is a good action? That is up to the users. What is good for one person might not be for another and Karmr recognises this by allowing users to follow people they give Karmr to meaning they curate their own feed of people that do things they find interesting and relevant, not just good deeds and world changing things (although we like them too).

So, Karmr is an open platform for actions. These actions will inherently lean towards being positive or being good deeds but any action is welcome – the community will provide the measure. We deliver a stream of content from these actions and hopefully people will enjoy consuming this and build relationships with likeminded people.

There is a second layer that allows physical rewards to be given and that allows corporates / charities to use Karmr as a tool to track their peoples actions with an option for privacy. Rewards allow brands to encourage a specific activity which associating themselves with that action type. This is essentially a marketing tool for them.

For corporates and charities we provide an ability to invite people to a group which they can choose to post their actions to. Optionally, group actions can be kept private so only the group will see what people are doing. The group organiser can then use this to track and measure activity. This might be used to run an activity based corporate incentive scheme in conjunction with Karmr Rewards (do 20 volunteering actions and get some vouchers) or by charities and social enterprises to measure the impact of e.g. volunteers.