Sound Waves

Forbes, Bird, Lucas and Morrison are creating an app, Myndsetter, to help students release stress

After months of mapping out designs and ideas with scientists and mentors, senior John Forbes looks forward to the upcoming November launch of his new subscription-based app  MyndSetter.

“The name ‘Myndsetter’ relates to how this app uses music to set people’s minds from an unwanted mental state to a desired, productive state,” Forbes said.

Created with the purpose of helping people transition from a stressed to a relaxed state of mind, MyndSetter focuses on boosting productivity.

“Stress is a common issue for both students and adults,” Forbes said. “I knew that if I could utilize music in a way that could directly affect people’s mental states, it would be a great way to bolster productivity for everyone.”

Forbes enlisted the support of business mentors and friends, reaching out through LinkedIn to the Vice President of Business Development of a similar stress-relieving app, Headspace, for advice on his product.

“I mainly discussed different designs with him, and I got his opinion on them,” Forbes said. “It was motivating to receive his feedback on my ideas.”

Forbes received constructive criticism of his then developing idea, setting it on the course that it is on today.

Forbes also took multiple Massive Open Online Courses, MOOCs, on business literacy to strengthen his field of knowledge and expertise on building a successful brand.

“These courses gave me a more in-depth look at business strategies, and it taught me how to fix some of my previous mistakes with running a business,” Forbes said.

This product was brought up from an accumulation of experience that Forbes gained from dozens of past failures, according to Forbes.

“What I learned most from my last business was that I found myself too concerned and stressed over profits,” Forbes said. “That only seemed to bring fatigue and diminish my passion.”

Now, Forbes focuses his resources on product development, future goals, and social impact. He also does his best to keep his team motivated as the product moves to its next stages.

“This wasn’t something I just created overnight,” Forbes said. “I made sure to take the right steps in connecting with the right people and following the advice of my mentors throughout this process.”

One such mentor is a UCLA Masters Candidate in physiological science who helps research the scientific backing of his product. He has given Forbes multiple tips on product content, such as the types of music played, that would increase the efficiency of MyndSetter in targeting individual moods. Another close mentor, Dave, gave Forbes almost two hours of his time simply to discuss his business idea, helping Forbes refine his marketing plan to ensure a successful launch.

However, Forbes is also working with RUHS students such as Matthew Lucas, Thunder Bird, and Hannah Morrison, who have each provided their unique, substantial help to build the product.

With Lucas creating the audio itself and Morrison researching the linguistics to be played over the audio, Thunder Bird develops the structure and code of the app. Bird has been applying his knowledge from UCODE, a business that hosts software programming classes, to design the structure of the app.

“I’m still getting used to Apple’s coding language, but it’s still a fun experience being able to work on something that will have a real-life impact,” Bird said.

While Bird admits that creating an app is never easy, he feels that MyndSetter will be worth the struggle.

“This is a really interesting app that I would recommend to anybody,” Bird said. “I’m glad I got to work on this project.”

Not only has Forbes gotten closer with his teammates, he admits that this business has helped him clean out some harmful habits of the past such as binging TV shows and movies in his down time.  

Focusing on an app to boost other’s productivity helped Forbes become more productive himself. He would receive about four hours of sleep while working on MyndSetter, teaching him to work more efficiently.

“One day we’d be researching linguistics and music theory, and the next day we’d be brainstorming ways to make this app affordable for students to use regularly. I learned to keep my priorities straight and get rid of distractions,” Forbes said.

Forbes has also grown through the basic struggles of failing numerous times before reaching a goal. Forbes’ mindset has always crafted discouragement into encouragement throughout this process.

“I came into this business knowing how hard it would be,” Forbes said. “It is the process itself that drives me. I know that I am gaining valuable skills and strengthening values like hard work every time I overcome a failure.”

Forbes’ efforts at productivity have paid off. With the release date now set for the start of November, Forbes already has a marketing plan encouraging high school students to try out subscriptions for MyndSetter when it releases.

“It’s an idea I had been developing for years with, because I am one, students in mind, but now, I finally have the support necessary to execute it,” Forbes said, “It can relieve stress from schoolwork and other stressful areas of life, like sports.”

Forbes has taken interest in the concept of music and its effect on the human brain from an early age. He frequently used music as a source of refuge on a daily basis, and after an insightful conversation with a family friend who gave him confidence in his idea, Forbes realized how music-based stress treatment could be put on a larger scale for the public good.

Focusing on the app’s future, Forbes hopes to gain feedback to further improve MyndSetter.

“I’m really excited for this launch, and I hope my business ends up inspiring other young business-minded students as well,” Forbes said. “All of those cold emails sent to business leaders and the networking that resulted from them have really paid off.”