Arianna Huffington—founder of the eponymous content website, obsessive sleep proselytizer, and alleged mattress destroyer—has a new project.
Obliquely named Thrive Global, the venture launched today. In a welcome note posted on its website, Huffington writes that the company was “born in response to the need to take control of our lives.” From what I can ascertain, Thrive Global is supposed to be the tangible culmination of Huffington’s long crusade against burnout and overwork.
Thrive Global is based on the truth that work and life, well-being and productivity, are not on opposite sides — so they don’t need to be balanced. They’re on the same side, and rise in tandem. Increase one and you increase the other. So there’s nothing to balance — increasing well-being and the productivity that goes along with it is a win-win, for work and life.
Thrive Global, she explains, has three parts: “corporate trainings and workshops; our media platform, The Thrive Journal, designed to be the global hub for the conversation about changing the way we work and live; and an e-commerce platform that offers our curated selection of the best technology and well-being products and services.” It also has several apps, despite its assertion that our collectively shitty relationship with technology is “one of the most pressing issues of our time.”
But that’s enough from Huffington. Let’s examine what’s really going on at Thrive Global.
The Thrive Journal is full of appearances from Huffington’s famous friends, like Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Uber Founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, and Justin Bieber’s sometimes enemy Selena Gomez. It’s supposed to provide readers with examples of people who are good at taking care of themselves, which I assume must be very difficult for someone with the resources of these rich people.
Bezos’ piece, “Why Getting 8 Hours of Sleep Is Good for Amazon Shareholders,” is a particular standout. “When you’re talking about decisions and interactions, quality is usually more important than quantity,” says Bezos, whose company was once the subject of a blistering New York Times investigation into its toxic workplace culture.
“I recently took 90 days off,” Selena Gomez explains in another piece. (Same.) “During that time I did not have my cellphone. It was the most refreshing, calming, rejuvenating feeling. Now I rarely pick up my phone, and only limited people have access to me,” says Gomez, who has 103 million followers on Instagram.
With verticals called “Wonder” and “Wisdom,” I look forward to The Thrive Journal’s future contributions.
The best part of Thrive Global, however, might be its store, which appears to be the lovechild of the crackpot InfoWars store and Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle abomination GOOP.
It has a phone bed ($100). It has a branded pillow ($88). It has smart jewelry ($175). It has a skin rejuvenating eye mask ($35). It has a brain sensing headband ($249). It has a “biologically correct” lightbulb ($25). It has pajamas ($205). It even has a wellness ball ($225).
If Huffington and her friends can’t help you—if the expensive, useless self-help gadgets don’t quite do it—don’t worry. They’ve got a solution for that too: