#30: Michael Jelly On the Meaning of Life and Creating a Data Utopia With Magicflow

Hello! I’m Julian and I’m a Gen Z entrepreneur, software engineer, and podcaster. I am the fusion of an ambitious entrepreneur, a tech whiz, a futurist, a productivity aficionado, and a self-improvement junkie.
I am currently the Co-Founder & CEO at Mindflow (https://apple.co/3QFdPlE). Previously, I was the co-founder & CTO at Vize and worked as a Software Engineer at Meta, LinkedIn, and Goldman Sachs.

What if we created a world where we use our own data to augment our thinking, extend our memory, to automate our chores, and to track and improve important things in our lives?

This is the vision of what a utopian future of responsible data usage looks like from the perspective of Michael Jelly, today’s guest.

This vision is in stark contrast to the way the world works today, where data about us is predominantly used to manipulate our behavior for the benefit of third-parties.

This utopia is the premise on which Michael’s company, Magicflow, is centered on. Magicflow is a productivity tracker that helps you focus, get into deep flow work sessions, and identify the things that are obstructing your flow. Today, Magicflow is a productivity app but Michael has a much broader vision of how data can be used to enable us to live healthier, more productive, and fulfilling lives.

Apart from being a brilliant founder, Michael is an incredibly curious and deep thinker, which is why this conversation naturally ran on to be close to 2 hours long. It’s a big time commitment but once you experience a bit of Michael’s mind, you’ll find yourself hooked in the flow of the conversation.

💬 Discussed in this episode…

  • 7:42 — Why did you choose the founder path out of all the different paths you could have taken?
  • 10:37 — Michael’s thoughts on the meaning of life
  • 14:35 — How Michael found what was meaningful for him
  • 20:45 — Michael’s vision for a utopia of the world
  • 23:12 — What is the meaning of life when we don’t need to work?
  • 30:42 — We are the gods of AI
  • 32:15 — the impact of Tim Urban’s Wait But Why Blog
  • 34:09 — The great filters of human civilization
  • 39:45 — Applying the great filters concept to startups
  • 43:50 — The Utopia that Magicflow is predicated on
  • 52:05 — How Magicflow works
  • 58:30 — Improving your productivity
  • 1:00:50 — Magicflow’s current state and top challenges
  • 1:04:48 — Finding a reliable marketing channel for growth
  • 1:09:42 — How to decide WHO to build for
  • 1:19:25 — How to think about Product-Market Fit
  • 1:24:01 — Michael’s biggest productivity hacks
  • 1:30:55 — Divergent vs Convergent thinking
  • 1:38:20 — The advice Michael would give himself on his first day as a founder
  • 1:50:30 — Michael’s vision for who he wants to become and what he wants to achieve, create, and give

Check out Magicflow at: bit.ly/magicflow-itf Get 50% for 3 months (after a free trial) using the code REINVENT.
Follow Michael on Twitter: https://twitter.com/michaeljelly
Connect with Michael on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-jelly

💣 3 Value Bombs

💥 1. The Great Filter theory says that at some point from pre-life to superintelligence, there’s a wall that all or nearly all attempts at life hit. There’s some stage in that long evolutionary process that is extremely unlikely or impossible for life to get beyond. That stage is The Great Filter. Michael brilliantly creates an analogy of how this concept can be applied to startups. What are all the steps in the startup journey and the filters that most people never get past? Awareness of these filters can help you understand what you need to do to prevent dying as a company.
💥 2. It’s quite possible that as technology advances and the world becomes increasingly abundant, work may no longer be necessary. So then what is the meaning of life if we don’t need to work? Michael argues that work is just one source of meaning in your life and there are many other things that give you meaning. And perhaps the most powerful thing about a post-work world is that you no longer need to work for money (an extrinsic motivator). Michael brilliantly states “Once the voices of extrinsic motivation die down, you actually have much more space to listen to your intrinsic motivations”
💥 3. The feeling of PMF is when people are coming and banging on your door because they want your product

People & Resources Mentioned 

🌱 This podcast is sponsored by Mindflow, a personal growth focused social app. Embark on growth journeys that make it fun and easy to take action, become 1% better every day, and share the things that are meaningful to you. Share your growth journey with friends and support them along their journeys, on a social platform that is authentic, raw, vulnerable, and doesn’t have likes or put you in comparison mode. Check out Mindflow on the App Store: https://apple.co/3BY7Nry


🎙️ This podcast was recorded in a studio provided by Founder’s Inc in San Francisco. F.inc is a community of relentless founders building epic companies: https://f.inc

▶️ You can see the video recording of this episode on our YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/@inventing.the.future

🙋🏻‍♂️ YOUR HOST: Julian Alvarez is the Co-founder & CEO at Mindflow. Learn more about me through my growth journeys on Mindflow (@infinitejulian) https://apple.co/3BY7Nry

🚀 OUR MISSION: Our mission is to introduce you to the ideas and entrepreneurs that will inspire and empower you to solve the world’s biggest problems.

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Episode 30