When we started Hopin, we were after a feeling.
At the time, I couldn’t leave my home due to an illness — but I still wanted to experience what it was like to be with others, to be close to them.
We set out to build a virtual event platform where people could come together in a way that felt real and human.
Fast forward two years, and millions of people are using Hopin products.
We had always hoped that we had made a good product, but the fact that so many people started using Hopin spoke to something more significant.
We realized that people were looking for the same thing that I was looking for when I was stuck at home, unable to meet people.
They wanted to feel closer.
Closer to the action, closer to the people in their lives, closer to moments they didn’t want to miss.
And with that realization, we were able to put words to that vague feeling we had been trying to create all along. We understood our mission as a company:
We exist to make the world feel closer.
What closeness means
Closeness is about our ability to engage, to be part of something, to belong.
Our lives are shaped by the world around us — the people we come in contact with, the opportunities we have access to, the experiences we can take part in.
All of these have the power to transform our lives, by unlocking our potential and by giving us a sense of purpose and belonging.
The transformative power of closeness is something that I have experienced in my own life.
What I learned from my own experience is that so much of our potential can stay dormant unless we meet with the moments that can bring it to life.
So much of the warmth and meaning we can find in the company of people can exist only when we have the opportunity to be with those people.
For us to benefit from people, opportunities, and experiences, first we have to encounter and engage with them.
Which is where Hopin comes in.
For all the power that closeness has to impact our lives, there are so many barriers to it:
Where we live, our socioeconomic status, our physical ability, even a global pandemic. So many forces can keep us from the things that can bring us fulfillment.
When I look back now, I realize that this was the real reason for Hopin.
This is what feeling closer is all about — finding a way to overcome these barriers.
The world we imagine is one where everyone can have access to the people, moments, and opportunities they long for — no matter their location, their economic situation, etc.
A world where all people can be close to the things that can enable them to live their fullest lives — by enabling them to feel close to those things.
It was always our goal to make innovative products that captured the feeling of being part of an event or being with a group of friends, for example.
What we discovered is that closeness itself isn’t a physical state — it’s not about where you are or how far you travel — it’s a feeling.
You can be in a room with someone and feel far apart. Or you can feel close to someone who is in a different part of the world because of some ineffable thing that you share.
In our mission to make the world feel closer, our work is about opening up opportunities for closeness.
And that is the core of everything we have done and will do at Hopin.
This includes our social impact commitments.
Access to opportunity remains a vital way for people to improve their lives. But significant challenges exist to that access — from education, to gender equality, to affordability, to physical resources, and so on.
Beyond the products we build, a key part of our mission to foster closeness in the world will be to support initiatives and programs that expand access to opportunity.
Closeness is about how you feel.
That basic idea is what guides us and what we believe makes our mission so urgent and important.
Contact with other people, access to opportunities, the ability to take part in important moments. These don’t have to be a product of someone’s arbitrary circumstance.
We can validate all people’s curiosity, aspiration, dignity, desire for connection — in a word, their humanity — by helping them to experience closeness to the things that matter to them, even when they can’t physically be close.
At Hopin, this is what grounds us, what inspires us, and what instills in us a sense of responsibility.
We exist to make the world feel closer.
Learn more about our mission at feelcloser.com.