Hunter Lee Soik | What If We Could Build A Database Of Dreams?


Hunter Lee Soik
What If We Could Build A Database Of Dreams?

Founder of Shadow

DO Wales 2014
Running time: 23m 56s

Filed in: Technology


Hunter Lee Soik is founder and CEO of Shadow that is building the Wikipedia of dreams. Do the Japanese who sleep the least also dream the least? What does your dream mean? What is the global dream trend for 2014? If you walk 10,000 steps, will you have more positive dreams? If we eat chicken after 9 pm, will we have a certain type of dream? Hunter’s dream is to answer these questions by building the first global resource for dreams.

Hunter doesn’t really believe in limits. Since he was a kid, he's always seen obstacles as opportunities: to make ourselves vulnerable, to learn about each other, to stretch way beyond our boundaries.

Looking at life this way is generally exhilarating. But it can also be exhausting. So a year ago, when his work with the Watch the Throne tour wrapped up and he suddenly had some free time, Hunter did what most of us would do. He slept. And in that sleep, the deepest I had in a very long while, he dreamed of SHADOW.

SHADOW is the world’s first alarm clock that helps people remember and record their dreams. It transcribes your dreams, pulls out the keywords, strips away any data that could identify you, and pushes it to a giant global data cloud—where other SHADOW users can see global dream patterns and find dreamers like them around the world.

Why does he care so much about dreams? Because we sleep for a third of our lives, and we forget 95% of our dreams within five minutes of waking up. But some really pivotal things—laws of physics, technological advancements, classic works of literature—were born of dreams. We’re socialized to think of sleep as inactivity, but certain parts of our brain—the parts that handle things like problem-solving and memory—are most active while we’re sleeping. That’s a huge amount of potential we’re forgetting each morning.

Like astronauts gazing back on Earth for the first time, SHADOW is a way to see the world from a different angle. It’s also a bit of a gamble. SHADOW wants to create a global dream community and assemble the world’s largest dream database.