NOTE: This post was originally created as an email response to a user. I’m reposting here for the benefit of the broader community – Alene.
We have been collecting a lot of customer feedback that speaks directly to the effectiveness of N.O.W.’s 3 minute duration.
Since a product like N.O.W. has not existed before, we have found that there are certain expectations as to what it should do based on other modalities, and audio products currently available in the mindfulness meditation genre–but N.O.W. really is different.
I hope you’ll find my explanations as real and as compelling as I know them to be. 🙂 And my information is wordy, but please be patient with me this one time because it’s all really good stuff.
Based on our prototypes and earliest user testing, we have known before N.O.W. was officially released that people felt we should offer a longer tone sequence length (various suggestions were made – 10, 15, 20, 30, 60 minutes).
But, we have also known from the start that the three minutes is completely correct. It may seem counterintuitive to not offer more when some people say they want more, but here is our reasoning, and it is entirely directed by something a bit larger than us–like any truly special product, there is a level of nearly unexplained inspiration, and with N.O.W. that has been unescapable:
When people experience the tones, it often feels incredible–for some, it is the first time in a memory that they come into awareness and a release of thoughts–and this can be incredibly profound. It can also create the desire to keep it going, to give more of that good feeling. But in fact N.O.W., in that 3 minute session, already did all it needed to do–it brought in some Presence. Boom. No time required.
We want N.O.W. to be as easy and habitual as brushing your teeth. The only way that we have found that normal people will in fact use this regularly, every day, is if the sessions are short. The very moment a longer duration is offered is the very moment that people have to create “special” time to listen for longer, and then soon it becomes the exercise that must be put off until later, when there is more time. And later often gets put off to the next day. And so on. What we ask with this product is for the opportunity to give a dose of eternity in a very short time, and let that dose work on you for the rest of the day.
The most important work of N.O.W. comes not during the session itself but in-between sessions. We are less about the enjoyment of the tones (although the tones are beautiful and very enjoyable) than we are about what happens to a life when it starts to be less ego-driven and more informed by consciousness–it is this consciousness that allows for huge change, deeper connections, a play of synchronicity in life.
We had talked about making choices available, but it was soon apparent that people would feel they were failing themselves if they only chose the shortest time and ignored the longer times–we would be inadvertently setting people up to feel they were failing themselves, or giving them a chance to compare poorly with what could happen if they chose a “longer ” session.
MOST IMPORTANT: While solu co-founder Michael Joly is an audio product designer, he is also someone deeply related to sound in a way that is unusually metaphysical; during development we came to know, without question, that if the sessions are longer they will quickly become tuned-out background sound and not an experience for intentional listening, and this is a serious destruction of what the tones are meant to offer. This might not be true if we are marketing to the meditation practitioners of the world, but in fact it is our desire to bring this release of stress and ego to everyone, not just the mindful-initiated.
We might one day offer a product that runs longer, and we are open to this, but it won’t be N.O.W., it will be another product for a new reason.
What exists now, is N.O.W. in all its strange perfection.
Yes, so many people have wanted a N.O.W. session to last longer–almost everyone who was an early tester in fact. But then an amazing thing happened: as these people incorporate using the N.O.W. system, twice a day or at least once, things start to change for them.
We hear about documented physical results, mental changes, emotional breakthroughs, and inexplicable life shifts. Time is going to show a consistency in these early patterns, but they are already too much to ignore as we have had glowing testimonials from our early users. We are joyous.
So my suggestion? Take this gift and use it twice a day for 3 minutes. And judge the results for yourself.