Here’s to 26 Years
Sleep has rarely been a subject — for my college years it was the four to twelve hours between closing Netflix and waiting for a hirsute roommate to exit his shower and shave. Prior to that, it was little more than a command or a treasure, imposed or stripped away by a parent. Now, in starting Casper, sleep is that universe sized subject begging for failed attempts at perspective:
The average American sleeps for twenty six years of their life. That’s one more year than I’ve lived, twenty four more years than your typical person spends in the bathroom, and seventeen more than they spend watching television. In founding Casper, we looked at a lot of numbers — all the numbers — lead times, margins, costs and market sizes but also more compelling metrics like the the percentage of life’s total sexual encounters that occur on the corner of a bed. The one number that sticks, however, is the 26 years and its monolithic significance in the human lifetime.
Building a guiding thesis on sleep is a fool’s errand: is it wasted life? is it just a daily due to pay for our waking lives? if time moves slower in dreams, are we dreaming more than we’re awake?— does that make it more than half our mind’s life? At Casper, we made the early decision that romantic awe would be our company’s approach to sleep. ‘Romantic’ in that we don’t want to build Casper solely on arguments like “our mattress will provide you with better vertebrae alignment and thus improve your sleep.” And ‘awe’ because we have no interest in reducing the behemoth that is an individual’s relationship with sleep to a singular understanding or business strategy. We plan to remain happily agnostic — celebrating the beautiful impossibility of perspective on twenty six years of unconsciousness.
Here’s to 26 years.
— Luke, co-founder of Casper