Nick Punt

Hi! I'm Nick, and I'm a product creator interested in elevating the human condition. I work in the emerging space of humane and calm computing, and I love inventing and exploring new mediums and experiences at the intersection of technology and psychology.

I don't publish much here anymore, favoring a 'working notes' site that I'm not yet sharing broadly. At some point I'll bring my more finished pieces back here.

My Background

Currently I'm cofounder/COO of a humane computer company, bridging my interests in mental health, education, OS design, and tools for thought. We're going back to basics to address what computing should be doing for us, building a "bicycle for our mind and heart" for our intellectual and emotional needs. We're building hardware because we think people should be rooted in the physical world, not a virtual world where the fullnesss of our humanity is compressed and lost. I can't wait to share more.

In 2020-2021 I stepped back to explore how to redesign our core digital experiences (operating systems, social media, tools for thought) to better align with personal growth and mental health. The rapid shift from physical to digital environments brought about by covid has shown that our devices are poorly suited to human emotions and needs, and my conclusion from doing exploratory design work is there is significant opportunity to rearchitect these environments in a more humane way. I published a bit of my work here: De-Escalating Social Media, a design proposal to make social media a kinder place, and Spaces, a concept piece for a new approach to organizing digital experiences built around core human needs.

In 2019-2020 I worked as a consultant with Mindstrong, an early stage mental health teletherapy company founded by the former head of NIMH. My work focused on reimagining both the core patient therapy experience and the internal tools and protocols for therapists, in service of reaching product-market fit.

In 2016-2018 I worked as VP of Product and Head of Design/UX at OneSignal, the largest service & SDK for push notification delivery. My work included redesigning the dashboard, launching several new features, and all manner of startup generalist work, in service of managing rapid growth following early product-market fit.

In 2011-2015 I cofounded EdSurge, the leading news source in education techology. At the time, the industry was nascent and needed a common ground for educators, technologists, investors, and change agents to make sense of what was going on. My focus was on building out the mediums we used to get the message across - newsletter, our web presence, and the edtech index, a comprehensive database of edtech products.

In 2009-2012 I worked as VP of Product at Uversity, a social network product for colleges and universities built atop Facebook. My work involved taking the founder's early ideas and finding a path to market at 150+ colleges & universities, balancing both student needs and school requirements, and facilitating research to ensure the solution worked to improve student outcomes as they made their transition to post-secondary education.

Before this, I earned an MBA and Masters in Education at Stanford, and a BA in Psychology at UC Irvine, and between high school and college I was a video game designer at Pandemic Studios.