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Grayscale photo of Chicago during the pandemic
SF AppWorksMar 17, 2020 4:11:00 AM2 min read

Our Response in the Space Between Stimulus and Reaction | SF AppWorks

2020 writes a bleak year in history. COVID-19 has swiftly unhinged our entire structure of interconnectedness. It changed the way we eat, live, and interact with each other. Can you remember what a handshake feels like?


"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom."


-Viktor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and holocaust survivor


We're in that space now, and as innovators, we can't help but ask: 'how do we facilitate growth in that space? How can we best serve a world that is hurting?'

 Chicago during the pandemic

Photo of Chicago, IL amidst stay-at-home order, Unsplash, by Benjamin Suter


In the short term, we've tried to contribute by empowering our innate human instincts to help each other out. Our Handlebar Mutual Aid platform, which connects people in need of help with those willing to provide it, all through SMS, is now being piloted in American cities. 

The world is going virtual. In the past month, a third of Americans have bought groceries online for the first time. Grandparents are Facetiming grandkids for the first time, and people are discovering that they can improve their physical and mental health via videoconference. In keeping with the core ethic of innovation, we're using this time to reflect on what we see as emerging and improvable landscapes. Then, we'll help redefine them.


Related: What is Rapid Prototyping


Take aging.


Within two decades, older adults will outnumber kids for the first time. Society will struggle to support our aging population, but technology can help. The truth of the matter is that Aging is Happier, More Productive, and More Complicated Than We Think. We've worked closely with McClellan Masson, first at AARP, then with various retirement communities, to develop technology that helps seniors age more safely, socially, and comfortably. We've also partnered up with Covia, a remarkable nonprofit, to develop various digital solutions to help our aging communities.


Get a Free Copy of "The Innovation Cookbook"

Untitled design - 2021-04-09T113614.213

In our latest eBook, we share in-depth ideation strategies and tactics on how to integrate a more innovative thinking in your day-to-day life. Get some key innovation tips from product developers, designers, and technologists.




Small Start, Big Change


We've had fun tapping into the behavioral science of micro habit building, bringing our users in-home training options that promote mental and physical wellness. Check out PushApp, a free micro-workout app that we built to help people incrementally build strength throughout the day, without the sweat.


Related: The Pushapp Strength in Minutes


close-up image of a bridge at dusk

Photo via Pexels, by Ioannis Ritos

This is a scary time, but we can collectively practice empathy by remembering that no matter who we are, there is always someone more adversely affected by this situation. We're all doing our best to make our response in the space between stimulus and reaction one we can be proud of, and help construct the bridge from problem to solution. 


We hope you are doing well, and would love to hear what you're up to! Connect with us via email or social media to share your updates. 


Thanks for reading, and take care.


Written by MaCall Manor and Andrew Greenstein, on behalf of SF AppWorks