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-leads the movement for “Time Well Spent” – a community of entrepreneurs, engineers and designers creating technologies built to enhance users’ wellbeing, relationships and help them spend time well – according to their values – not maximize screen time.

Tristan has run “Time Well Spent” redesign workshops and meet-ups in San Francisco, New York, London and Berlin while teaching a new “empowering design” methodology – integrating insights from behavioral economics, social psychology, product design and ethics to close the gap between users’ intentions and behavior.

Tristan is also a Product Philosopher at Google, where he studies how technology influences a billion users’ attention, well-being and behavior. He has led design sprints with various teams, including a meeting between Google’s lead product designers and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, international spokesperson for Mindfulness. Previously at Google, Tristan worked on advanced personal assistance and productivity applications.

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: