About Animist

Michael McDonald, Founder
Animist is just one person at the moment. I am an entrepreneur and Web usability consultant living in San Francisco.

I single-handedly developed and still maintain (as CEO) Worldisround, a website for sharing travel photos (more than 6,000,000 photos and counting).

I am also a Meisner-trained actor, a productivity geek, and I have this radical notion that businesses should exist to make peoples' lives better, rather than making the most money possible by any means necessary.
I can easily be reached via e-mail at .
You can learn more about me at my homepage, www.kelek.com.

About Animist
"Think less. Do more."
Animist provides software solutions for busy people, helping them focus and organize their lives. Animist's first product, Animist Notes ("Remember everything."), is a deceptively simple Web-based service for writing and searching notes. (It's like having a million post-it notes, with a search box.) Notes can be used for Web bookmarks, class notes, research, customer support, writing, personal account information, etc. The possibilities are infinite.

Animist's first product, Animist Notes ("Remember everything.", is a deceptively simple Web-based service for writing and searching notes.

Notes does what 'knowledge management' (KM) was trying to do: organize huge piles of information. But KM was over-hyped by marketers and over-developed by academics so that the term became meaningless. KM failed because it wasn't designed to be used by busy people. Busy people need something that is fast, simple and intuitive. By avoiding the intricate forms, databases, hierarchies and filing systems the cluttered KM, Animist Notes provides only the bare essentials: writing notes, and searching notes.

The vision behind Animist can be summarized in two words:
Increase Flow.
By 'flow' I mean being in a state optimal experience, 'in the zone', fully immersed in what you are doing. Read wikipedia entry for a more detailed description, or check out Mihály Csíkszentmihályi's book Flow.

Animist creates software, primarily Web-based, that helps you get more out of your life. With Animist Notes, you can remember more with less effort: declutter your head while at the same time increasing your human potential. And that is only one piece of the puzzle; there are several more equally powerful Animist services being planned.

  • Never compromise your integrity.
  • Good software makes the user feel smarter.
  • Good design is elegant. (Elegance is the measure of the grace and simplicity of the design relative to the complexity of its functions. — Leslie Segal)
  • Effort is the opposite of power.
  • Attention, not time or money, is your most valuable resource.
  • Advertising and any type of unwanted or unexpected distraction decrease flow, and are to be avoided at all costs.
  • Be the change you want to see in the world.
  • Technology begins and ends with people.
  • Live and die by customer support.
Business Model
Animist will sell premium subscriptions, rather than advertising.

That means providing an invaluable free service to a lot of people, and finding a couple small niches (e.g. companies and organizations, professionals) who are willing to pay for the more powerful features.

Animist is currently a bootstrap company. I would be interested in discussing seed funding with angel investors, but I am not actively looking.