Tech

Tidyread: A Founder’s Journey to Taming Information Overload

Living with ADHD, Jared created Tidyread to reduce information overload with AI summaries, targeting entrepreneurs and managers

Living with ADHD, Jared has always grappled with focus and information processing. "I often get distracted easily," Jared recalls, "whether it's reading or communicating with others, even the slightest noise can disrupt my concentration."

His struggle was evident during high school exams when he had to wear headphones and even cover his ears to block out distractions.

From Information Deprivation to Information Anxiety

After graduating from university, Jared joined Netease, a leading Chinese internet company, as a front-end developer.

The environment was dynamic, and his colleagues were exceptionally talented. Yet, Jared found it difficult to keep up with their conversations and thought processes. "These challenges made it difficult for me to obtain sufficient and effective information from daily life," he explains. "I began to experience what I call 'information anxiety.'"

To mitigate this, Jared turned to meditation and psychological practices while optimising his information acquisition process.

He initially used news apps to expand his information sources but found their algorithmic recommendations unhelpful. "They often exploited my weaknesses, triggering FOMO or satisfying my desires, leaving me feeling out of control and frustrated."

Discovering RSS and the Birth of Tidyread

The discovery of RSS was a turning point. "RSS aggregates information without ads and algorithmic interference," Jared notes.

He started building his own RSS system using tools like Jike, Feedly, Inoreader, RSSHub, and FreshRSS. This setup allowed him to manage his information sources more effectively, giving him a sense of control. However, it wasn't a perfect solution. Many RSS feeds only provided titles or truncated summaries, and the accumulation of unread information led to its own set of challenges.

The advent of ChatGPT and OpenAI's API offered new possibilities. In March 2023, while working as a front-end team lead at a pre-B round company, Jared combined RSS and AI to create an information digest script.

This script sent AI-summarised and translated news digests to his team's group chat daily. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, significantly easing Jared's information anxiety.

"This experience planted a seed in my heart to productise and refine it for more people," Jared says.

When his company faced funding issues, he seized the opportunity to follow his passion. "I officially started my first entrepreneurial venture, Tidyread."

Building a Solution for the Modern Information Age

Tidyread aims to establish a sense of order in information reading. "The project's name hints at its goal," Jared explains, "to reduce information overload through customisable AI summaries, translations, filtering, and similar information merging."

Tidyread integrates information into a digest at fixed times, helping users read more in less time.

"We want to create a customised information acquisition process for our users," Jared says. Targeting entrepreneurs, investors, and managers, Jared plans to reach these users through platforms like LinkedIn and relevant Reddit boards. SEO is also a key strategy.

Managing a startup team without funding has been the biggest challenge. "Without project income, we can't offer material rewards to everyone," Jared admits.

However, the team remains cohesive through profit distribution incentives, a people-oriented management style, and a goal-oriented approach.

Looking Ahead: Goals and Vision

In the short term, Tidyread aims to increase user retention and acquire its first 100 paying customers.

"We focus on pinpointing issues through analytics and iterating features to improve retention," Jared explains. In the long term, the goal is to make customized information digests accessible and convenient for all users. This involves creating a vibrant information exchange community and developing features that lower the threshold for users to get started.

Reflecting on his journey, Jared says, "My ideal is to run a small yet beautiful business, not needing many people or earning a lot, just continuously generating profitable user value."

With Tidyread, he's well on his way to achieving that vision, turning his personal struggles into a solution that helps others navigate the modern information age.

Find out more about tidyread.ai.

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