About Tristan Harris

Tristan co-founded Apture in 2007, after stopping out of Stanford’s Masters Computer Science program. He is rated #16 in Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Entrepreneurs under 30. A Mayfield Fellow with the Stanford Technology Ventures Program in entrepreneurship, Tristan’s career spans the open content world of Wikia and the user interface engineering world of Apple. By the age of 20, Tristan had filed his first patents around new information navigation and browsing interfaces. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, eWeek, and he has given lectures and talks in conferences and universities across the world, including at MIT’s Media Lab and at Stanford University.
When not evangelizing Apture, Tristan spends his time reading about mirror neurons and behavioral economics, playing Yann Tiersen music on the piano, and dancing argentine tango in San Francisco. Tristan holds a BS in Computer Science from Stanford, with a focus in Human Computer Interaction

Tristan is a design thinker, philosopher and entrepreneur.

Tristan co-founded the movement for “Time Well Spent,” to spark a whole new ecosystem of software, websites and incentives built to help people spend their time, and their lives, well– not built to maximize engagement or screen time. Like the Organic food movement changed farming practices and created a new market for safe and healthy food, Time Well Spent aims to change design practices and create a marketplace for technology competing to make net positive contributions to people’s lives. Integrating insights from behavioral economics, psychology and product design, he has taught design workshops around in the world that support Time Well Spent, including the “Empowering Design” methodology.

Tristan was a Product Philosopher at Google until 2016, where he studied how technology influences a billion users’ attention, well-being and behavior. He led design sprints with product teams, including a meeting between Google’s lead product designers and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, international spokesperson for Mindfulness.

Previously, Tristan was CEO and Co-Founder of Apture, which Google acquired in 2011. Apture enabled millions of users to get instant, on-the-fly explanations without leaving their place, across a billion page views per month on its publisher network.

Tristan graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Computer Science, focused on Human Computer Interaction, while dabbling in behavioral economics, social psychology, behavior change and habit formation under Professor BJ Fogg in the Stanford Persuasive Technology lab.

Notable Awards & Mentions:

  • Rated #16 in Inc Magazine’s Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 in 2009
  • Stanford Mayfield Fellow in Entrepreneurship

Headshot photos for Press & Speaking Engagements: