Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 27, 2012.

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Imagine a movie that includes every day of the rest of your life…

/// Thanks to all your support!! The App has launched! www.1SecondEveryday.com ///

On the day I turned 30 years old, I started recording 1 second every day for the rest of my life… and I think you should too.  When I turn 40, I'll have a 1-hour video that encapsulates my 30s.  If I live to see 80 years of age, I'll have a 5-hour video that summarizes 50 years of my life.

Each second has a story. 

I gave a TED talk on this project at TED 2012!        Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson
I gave a TED talk on this project at TED 2012! Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson

I spent a couple of years saving enough money to afford taking a frugal year off from work.  I wanted to spend it doing all the important things I never had time for… travel, family, and my own personal creative projects.

This is 1 Second Everyday… me at age 30 (original):

This particular project has had such a profoundly positive impact on my life that I think everyone could benefit immensely from doing it too.  It's easy to do—the process requires very little time or effort, but now I’m trying to make it even easier, so everyone everywhere can experience this exciting project.  In collaboration with the extremely talented developers at Alchemy50 here in Brooklyn, I've spent the past few months developing an App that will make it extraordinarily easy for anyone to do too.

home screen
home screen

This project initially started as just a fun way to chronicle my year off, but it quickly turned into something more important.

Recording one second every day suddenly allowed me to easily reflect back on my life—to look back at my day-to-day decisions.  I started re-evaluating how I approached each day.  Quickly, I was able to see when a couple of days would go by when I hadn't done anything remotely interesting or outside my typical routine.

We have a tendency to pull cameras out when we're doing something fun or interesting, but we probably don’t think to record when we're just sitting at home watching TV.  Recording a moment daily started encouraging me to wake up and seize each day.  

Quick interview with CNN regarding 1SE:

Click for video interview. [2 minutes long]
Click for video interview. [2 minutes long]

I don't know about you, but I've always felt that I have a pretty bad memory.  If you asked me about a particular year—say, 2007—I really couldn't go into detail about it.  Sure I remember where I lived and where I worked.  I could probably find some photos to remember a couple of notable events by, but what about all the days in between?

What did I do then?

Just because we didn't do anything world-shaking one day, doesn't mean we should forget that day ever happened.  Perhaps use your less-enthralling days to inspire you to do something cool tomorrow.  Instead of letting the days, months, & years blend together into a hazy mush, make each day have meaning!  This project continues to provide me with priceless data on how I'm living my life, and it can do that for you, too.

Reliving the past month in 30 seconds—or a year in 6 minutes—provides a treasured perspective on life.  It holds me accountable for making every day count.

iPhone 5 Ready!
iPhone 5 Ready!

Some App Features

  • The App accesses the videos in your camera roll, so you can start recording 1 Second Everyday RIGHT NOW!!  Effortlessly compile them the day you get the App!
  • Setup friendly reminders so you never forget a day!
  • Keep multiple timelines!  You could have one for yourself… for each of your kids… your dinner… what you wear every day… etc!  Looking forward to endless creative interpretations!
  • iCloud backup of your chosen seconds.
  • Compile any given amount of time desired—a month, a year, or just select a start and end date.
  • Post your compilations directly to youTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Tumblr 
  • You can continue to use the iPhone’s Camera App, or any video App you currently use.  The 1SE App will use any videos in your camera roll.  But if you want to record your second directly from the App, you can!
  • Optimized for iPhone 5 users.
  • Once you've selected a day's second, you can remove the original video from your camera roll.  The App copies the moment and keeps it within the App itself.
  • Your seconds are privately held on your phone.  You never have to share this with anyone if you don't want to.  The primary purpose of this App is to help you remember your own life.  Sharing is optional.

About the Developers

Alchemy50 is an application design & development studio in Brooklyn.  Their roots are in financial software, but they broke out of their corporate shackles three years ago to pursue more freedom in the types of projects that they can apply their talents to.  They've been fantastic to work with, and have been a closer partner with me on this project than I ever would have imagined. We've had hours of conversations debating the finer points of the project itself as an exercise, and the app design is a great reflection of the soul of the project as a result of that.

Additional thoughts

  • Digital Cameras have made it easy to capture our lives, so most people are over doing it. And just because we can, doesn't mean we should. The limitations of rolls of film used to force us to prioritize what was worth capturing & what wasn't. I believe we should record less, & live more. Ruthlessly record only what's most important.
  • Sure people have been doing projects like these with photographs for years, but movement & audio are crucial to remembering a moment.  A photo can't capture my dad's voice… his laugh… or the way my mom's expression changes when I surprise her.
  • This project has produced an interesting side-effect: it encourages me to do at least one interesting thing every day.
Send your compilations directly to social networks.
Send your compilations directly to social networks.
  • I rarely capture the best moment of a day.  A lot of the seconds you see are actually from before or after a moment I want to remember, but seeing the moment I did capture still brings me back.  Trying to record the perfect second puts too much pressure on myself, and becomes a chore.  Wouldn't it be better to fully live an experience, than risk missing it while trying to capture it?
  • Writing things down on a journal just doesn't generate the same results as actually having an audible/visual trigger to jolt your memory.
  • I personally don't add filters, and I almost entirely shoot in first person perspective because I want to remember things exactly as I saw them with my own eyes.
  • I like to think of each second as a "Save Point," as if my past was a really complex video game.  Each “save” allows me to return to where I was and how I felt, and to connect the dots to remember un-captured events that transpired between any 2 recorded seconds.

My Story

February 20th, 1981 

I am born in Peru. 

1987 

My family moves to New Jersey.

1996-1999 

I spend my high school years making 3D computer animated short films for fun.  At this time I begin to come into the fullness of my geekdom and movie buff-ness, and develop a passion for story telling, so short animated films become my way of exorcising those creative demons.

2000-2004 

I move to Brooklyn and enter Pratt Institute of Art and Design as a Computer Animation major.  My time is spent in being mesmerized by extraordinarily talented artists and I am immersed in non-stop inspiration.  While other animation majors students focus on courses in that field, I can't help but explore classes in a spectrum of artistic disciplines, including film, graphic design, and photography.  By the time I conclude my last class, I’ve realized a most important lesson: all knowledge is connected.

2004-2006

I start working in advertising.

2007

I discover—and become addicted to—TED Talks.  Like many people who are drawn into the world of TED Talks, it becomes a life goal for me to be worthy of that stage someday.  To have an Idea Worth Spreading.

2008

I spend my rare free time working on personal creative projects and teaching classes at schools like Pratt & NYU.  One of these projects is directing a music video composed of 45,000 photographs.  The video ends up on the front page of Digg, Gizmodo, and Wired, and is staff-picked by Vimeo.  This is an exciting, exhausting time for me, but I’m not in a situation that allows me to dedicate myself fully to this kind of work.

2009

I'm still in advertising… constantly working long nights and long weekends. I find myself increasingly dissatisfied creatively.  My social life is nonexistent, and don't get to spend enough time with my family.

Another 100+ hour work week.
Another 100+ hour work week.

October 2009

I watch a TED talk by Stefan Sagmeister—The Power of Time Off.  My life is changed forever.  In his talk, Sagmeister (also a Pratt alumni) explains how his creativity has benefitted from shutting down his studio every seven years and taking a year off from work.  I'm instantly inspired.  I immediately start crunching numbers and looking at my savings.  I figure out how much I will have to save in order to take a frugal year off from work, and start saving saving saving.

Feb 20th, 2011

I turn 30 years old! I quit my job!  I start a year off from work so I can do all those things I’ve never had time for, like travel, spend time with my family, and focus time on my own personal creative ideas.

The first of these ideas is a project I call "1 Second Everyday."  The concept is simple: every day I record one second of video—something that will help me remember that day.  I then begin chronologically compiling these tiny slices of my life into a single, continuous video.

March 2011

The 1 Second Everyday idea begins as a fun way for me to chronicle my year off, but it quickly grows into something more important.  It allows me to easily reflect on my life and to look back at my decisions.  I start re-evaluating how I approached each day.

After only a few weeks of compiling clips, I’m able to look at the video and identify instances when several days go by without anything remotely interesting or outside my typical routine occurring.  It starts encouraging me to wake up & seize the day.

I decide to continue doing this for the rest of my life.

March 27th & 28th, 2011

I forget to record a second. It torments me, but I learn a valuable lesson: when you're not doing anything interesting, it doesn't occur to you to capture the moment.

April 15rd, 2011

A once in a lifetime opportunity pops up on my Facebook feed.  TED decides to hold the first ever TED talk auditions. I have doubts about anything in my life being worthy of the TED stage, but I’m plagued by the thought that if I don’t apply, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.

April 23rd, 2011

It occurs to me that my 1 Second Everyday project might be an "Idea Worth Spreading."

April 25th, 2011 

(thank to the 1SE project, I now know exact dates for these notable moments)

I post my one-minute audition video to TED with just minutes to spare before the deadline.

May 6th, 2011

A dream comes true, and my life changes forever.  I receive an e-mail from TED that out of hundreds of submissions, I'm one of 17 (including Reggie Watts!) to be chosen to audition live on stage at a special TED event in New York!  

May 24th, 2011

TED talk day. Many fly in from around the world to audition, but I only have to take the subway.  I've never been more nervous.  Worst-case scenario… I tell myself to just speak from the heart.  I walk off stage convinced that I was horrible.  I unintentionally close off my talk by saying that I'd like to build an App that would make this easy for anyone to do.  Ultimately, I’m happy just to have done my best and pleased that I now have a photo of me with a TED sign behind me. I’m convinced it'll be my last Facebook profile photo ever.

Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson
Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson

June 6th, 2011

I fulfill a lifelong dream to drive around the USA to the West Coast, return through Canada… and do it slowly.  My friend Schoneck and I head off, and will not return to New York until 95 days later.

June 15th, 2011

I get a phone call from TED, asking if I'd like to come speak at TED2012. I freak out!  Somehow, I’m able to keep it a secret for the rest of the year.

October 26th, 2011

A catastrophic event hits my family.  I don't forget to record a second every day.  It devastates me.  Learn a valuable lesson, when you're going through horrible times, it doesn't occur to you to capture the moment… but my 1SE project forces me too.  

December 24th, 2011

After 2 months in the hospital, my sister-in-law returns home in time for Christmas.  In the months that follow, I'm grateful that I kept recording 1SE.  Reflecting on the bad times allows me to better appreciate the good times.  Before 1SE, this wasn't easy to do.

January 11th, 2012

The secret is out.  TED announces the speaker program for TED 2012. Now I can tell my friends and don’t have to freak out alone!

January 25th, 2012

Finally, after a long absence, I fly back to Peru to spend time with family.

February 20th, 2012

I turn 31. It's a wrap for the first year of my lifelong 1SE project.

February 27th, 2012

The TED conference begins & I'm utterly overwhelmed in every conceivable level.  I meet some personal heroes of mine included Bill Nye (the science guy).  I mention to him how nervous I am about speaking at the end of the week.  He replies, "if you weren't nervous, it wouldn't be worth doing".

March 2nd, 2012

One of the best weeks of my life comes to a close as the TED conference concludes, and I give my TED talk

TED 2012: Full Spectrum.  Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson
TED 2012: Full Spectrum. Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson
TED 2012: Full Spectrum.  Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson
TED 2012: Full Spectrum. Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson

June 29th, 2012

After a meticulous search for the right developers to team up with in order to bring my vision of the 1SE App to life, I get rolling with the über-talented crew of Alchemy50 here in Brooklyn.

RIGHT NOW!

We're almost done!  We just need your funding help to get this thing out of development and onto your phone!

The Future

My first priority after the completion of the iPhone App is to get an Android version out as well.

After that… well... I can't give anything away, but I have some rather ambitious goals for the future of this project.  Stay Tuned!

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Credit: App Preview Demo music by nullsignal

I can be a tad bit superstitious sometimes...  the day I announced I would build a 1 Second Everyday App & the day I showed it to Apple.
I can be a tad bit superstitious sometimes... the day I announced I would build a 1 Second Everyday App & the day I showed it to Apple.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I've been recording my daily second for over 20 months now. I did it for a full year before I started using my own experience to design an App that would make it extraordinarily easy for anyone to do the same with their own life.

We've been hard at work on this App for several months—making sure all the technical hurdles were out of the way before we launched this Kickstarter campaign, so that we could guarantee prompt delivery of the App & show it off in action.

At this point 80 - 85% of the base functionality is in the App. We still need to add that last 15 - 20%, which consist mainly of social integrations and the overlay of text on exported videos. Once that stuff is roughed in, we have to go back and polish everything in the app… the interactions, animations, layouts (so they match our designs), etc.

Finally we'll put it through as rigorous a testing period as we can, trying to squash any remaining bugs before we submit to the Apple App Store.

The biggest challenges we've faced have been with the manipulation of video itself - mainly adding/overlaying text to the video. This has taken a lot of engineering discovery time, and thus far has not been solved when exporting videos. We've run into other strange things that have forced us to change course from the initial plans - a good example of this is that we initially thought we'd be able to use the native camera, but apparently it violates the Apple ToS to have an app launch the camera in Landscape mode, so we ended up having to build our own camera module. Although we believe this will work in our favor long term.

A potential risk to our App delivery date (before 2013) could be the App Store approval process. Also, if we can't get the text overlay worked out in time. But we're confident we can. Although it's still a risk worth mentioning.

FAQ

  • No guarantees yet... but I'm dreaming up ways to make this intuitively possible in a future update!

    :)

    Last updated:
  • Unfortunately I couldn't afford to build both iPhone & Android simultaneously, & clearly I couldn't even afford to finish the iPhone version without help (hence Kickstarter). Making an Android version is a priority for me, but it's largely dependent on the success of this one first. So far so good though!

    Keep in mind that the Kickstarter funding goal for this project, wasn't what it cost me to build this App, it's what its costing me to FINISH it. And I've exhausted all my savings to get this far. Also, a very considerable percentage of these funds will go directly to Amazon, Kickstarter, Taxes, & the App Store when I deliver the App to every backer.

    But now that this iPhone version is funded, I've started to do all the preliminary work necessary to bring this App to ANDROID users next. But there is no overnight solution. I need to seek developers. I need to find out how much it'll cost. And how long it might take. All before I can give you any promises or guarantees. But please be patient. Trust that it's a huge desire for me to bring this to every platform, but also a priority to do it right.

    As evidence of my commitment to bring this App to Android users as soon as possible, this is where I was last week before the project was funded:

    http://i.imgur.com/ee8z0.jpg (hint: Google NYC HQ). And I'll be there again this week to meet & chat with developers.

    Many have asked if I could add a tier or stretch goal for Android users. The problem right now, is that I can't guarantee it yet. For example if I end up with 30k or 40k above my goal… that might not be remotely enough to build the Android version and just wouldn't be fair to those backers. I would have to wait until the App made some money on the App Store to help fund the Android version.

    I hope that makes sense to everyone. I've taken a leap of faith funding this App with every penny I have. I can't commit to funding an Android version until I have capable Android developers who can give me highly educated estimates on what it'll cost me. And based on early talks, it could easily be 75-100k or more.

    I wouldn't blame any backers who are Android users if they canceled their pledge. But I am hoping to be able to make it official before the Kickstarter campaign is over.

    If you are or know talented Android developers, feel free to send me recommendations!

    The best I can offer in the meantime: When I send out surveys to all backers at the end of the campaign, I'll ask you if you would like the iOS version or the Android version (if & when released). That way I could gift an Android version to all backers who were kind enough to support the project in good faith at this early stage.

    THANKS!

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