2017 New Year's Update from Kati and I

*Below is an update from Kati and I for 2016 that we sent out to our friends and family. I wanted to share it here too*

Hello friends and family,

Happy 2017! It's been quite a while since our last update, so here’s the latest from Kati and I.

We bought a house in February! We walked in and loved it and the real estate agent told us we had 8 minutes to make an offer (there was already another offer pending). So we did a quick survey of our other impulsive decisions (get married, start Kindara) and decided to pull the trigger. The former owner was a lovely old woman, born in Germany during World War II. She was a painter and photographer, and we connected with her. She liked us too, and although tragically she passed away 3 days later, the last thing she said to us was “This was a happy house, keep it happy”. So we call our house “Happy House” in her honor.

Happy House in Gunbarrel just outside Boulder (Gunbarrel is the new Brooklyn, you heard it here first)

Happy House in Gunbarrel just outside Boulder (Gunbarrel is the new Brooklyn, you heard it here first)

In March Kati finally got her driver’s license: A great accomplishment! I bought her lessons for her birthday in 2015 and they paid off.

In April I became an American citizen! The ceremony was beautiful and Kati and I both shed happy tears. :)  Now I hold dual citizenship with Canada and the US.

I got a signed letter from Obama and wore a tie of my granddads, who always loved the US of A.

I got a signed letter from Obama and wore a tie of my granddads, who always loved the US of A.

In June we went to Apogaea, Colorado’s regional Burning Man event. We organized a small camp of about 25 of our friends, and had a lovely and hilarious time in the mountains of southern Colorado.

In July we decided to do a camping trip, just the two of us. We started out at the Great Sand Dunes National Park, enjoying beauty and recreation in the dunes for a night before heading off to a National Forest.

Colorado can be counted on for natural splendor and unpredictable weather

Colorado can be counted on for natural splendor and unpredictable weather

Unfortunately the weather was uncooperative and we spent a single freezing freezing cold night there, trying to stay dry in the rain. We called off our camping trip, packed up and went home where we spent the rest of our 4th of July weekend introducing Kati to entire (original, original cut) Star Wars trilogy. She is now one with the force.  

August brought Kati's birthday, and my mission to teach her how to drive stick shift, so I wouldn't have to drive the 20 hours to Burning Man by myself. In Kati's words "Will is a good teacher and exercised unending patience as I crept up and down the streets of our neighborhood at 15 miles per hour (and only once broke down crying in a cul-de-sac 100m from our front door -Embarrassing!)".

Terrified? Not at all. Kati learned quickly, and did her share of the long drive to and from Nevada in September.

Terrified? Not at all. Kati learned quickly, and did her share of the long drive to and from Nevada in September.

Kati and I at our annual pilgrimage to Burning Man. We noticed many more foreigners this year. Burning Man is going global.

Kati and I at our annual pilgrimage to Burning Man. We noticed many more foreigners this year. Burning Man is going global.

Will and I at our annual pilgrimage to Burning Man. We noticed many more foreigners this year. Burning Man is going global.

In September we took a detour on the way back from Burning Man, and stopped at Meow Wolf, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Meow Wolf is a 20,000 sq/ft interactive art installation/puzzle, in an erstwhile bowling alley in Santa Fe. Anyone who is interested in art, this is THE go-to art experience destination. 10/10! A must see!

Creatively, Kati has been working on CordSnaps, making art, and doing freelance graphic and UX design for companies all over the country.

Kati's new site that showcases some of her design work

Kati's new site that showcases some of her design work

If you or anyone you know needs design work, let Kati know. She offers a free consultation and is excellent at what she does.

I've now transitioned away from running Kindara full-time to sitting on the board. This fall I built a music studio in the house to have a space for my music making adventures without interruption, and I'm currently on walkabout in Bali until April, taking some time to relax after 7 long years at the Kindara helm.

A Christmas sunset and our first ever Christmas tree at Happy House.

A Christmas sunset and our first ever Christmas tree at Happy House.

We hope 2017 will be a year of fun, prosperity, learning, and love for you and your loved ones. :)

Much love,
Kati and Will

When Bad UX Signals Massive Opportunity

Every once in a while I discover a business that is succeeding despite terrible visual and user experience design.

This is a real anomaly these days, because over the last decade as engineering and manufacturing have become commodities, design has emerged as the key differentiator for breakout products.

Pretty much these days, you need awesome design to win...

Read More

Unfortunately, Kindara is needed more now.

*Note: The following views are my own and not necessarily those of Kindara*

I woke up this morning feeling sick to my stomach.

We started Kindara to help women feel powerful about their reproductive health in a society that tries to make them feel weak, and for the past 7 years it seemed as though were were succeeding. 

Social attitudes and willingness to speak openly about reproductive issues and menstruation seemed to be shifting. I took some pride in the idea that perhaps in a very small way, Kindara played a role in moving this shift along.

And now this. Misogyny is striking back. 

A woman's right to make choices about her own body is suddenly in question. A woman's right to access basic reproductive healthcare is in question. Terrifyingly, a woman's right to be treated with basic respect and compassion is in question. 

This is all sickening. This is not the world I want to live in. And unfortunately it underscores the ongoing need for Kindara and others like us.

Women need allies now more than ever and Kindara can be one of those allies: A place for women to feel safe, respected, and cared for in a culture that will increasingly attempt to make them feel scared and disrespected. A place for women to get access to the information, resources, and the care they need in a culture that will attempt to spread mis-information and block access.

With the political system and large swaths of misogynistic voters leading us backward, away from a loving and just society, Kindara can continue to be a delivery vehicle for information, compassion and progress wrapped in a tech startup. A commitment in technology that together we'll end misogyny by fighting it wherever it rears it's ugly head. A device + community as a beacon to keep hope alive and signal that someones cares and wants to help. 

The opportunity in this crisis is for us to provide the basic blocking and tackling that women are increasingly going to need for the next 4 years. Namely: safety, compassion, community, access to information, and access to care. What the political system is going to take from women, we can give to them. 

This is one of the moral imperatives of our time, and something we can all be proud to fight for. If you are reading this, you're likely uniquely positioned to face this challenge and make a difference. Let us all rise to meet it.