Gentle Beta

A Gentle Farewell

Gentle is shutting down on May 15, 5pm PST.
The project's source code will be released.

May 15, 2020

Gentle has now fully shut down. All data has been deleted.

As always, reach me directly at!

Heyo! I'm Andrew, the creator of Gentle. If you're not familiar, Gentle is a mobile app where you write requests for kindness and reply to others. It's cute, anonymous, and moderated. It's been my side project for three months.

In the past few weeks, around 6,000 people have joined Gentle's iOS beta. It's been a privilege to have so much interest, praise, and support for my work. I got lucky with the beta launch (see HN and reddit) and I'm so grateful. I don't take it lightly that I've received lots of mail like this:

I just answered a few letters and it felt so good and special. I feel needed and connected once again.

You've already contributed a serious net positive to the world with this beta.

I love this app and it has a huuuuge potential.

Unfortunately, I've decided to stop working on Gentle

What on earth happened? To be transparent: I realized that I can't commit the time and effort to keep Gentle going. There are a few reasons:

  1. The pandemic has convinced me to prioritize my full-time job. I believe it's where I can do the most good right now.

  2. Moderation has taken a toll on my well-being, and I don't have time to commit to community building.

  3. I've had some personal happenings that need my attention more.

I'm sorry to anybody disappointed by my decision. I hope you understand. 🙏

What will happen to Gentle?

Bringing in helpers isn't a solution because I'm not available to coordinate it. I'm also not interested in selling Gentle.

I've decided to shut down the beta and release the source code for the project. This includes the Flutter app, Firebase server code, moderation dashboard, landing page, and my design files in Figma.

Sharing the project's files is no substitute for keeping it going (or maintaining it as open-source), but I hope it inspires you. Remix it. Take its parts. Build things that bring kindness into the world, because we sure need more of it.

Timeline of shutdown

May 8 Time of publication
  • Version 0.1.0+8 of Gentle is available to beta testers with the ability to export your messages via email and clipboard.

  • New TestFlight beta signups are closed.

May 10 10pm PST
  • You will no longer be able to send messages on the app. You'll get an error when you try.

May 15 5pm PST
  • All server data will be deleted, and you will no longer be able to access or export your messages.

  • The TestFlight beta group for Gentle will be deleted.

  • All Gentle codebases will be released under an MIT license.

  • The master Figma file for Gentle will be shared, freely available.

The Future Soon!
  • Products like (and inspired by) Gentle will contribute to a generation of more compassionate people.

  • You'll have a lot of fulfilling days and memorable experiences.

If you're interested in my future projects, you can follow me at @andrewthebold or reach me directly at