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What is Breather?


Wow, ok, so today is the day.

Big launch in front of thousands of people, press, etc. It’s all happening. It’s real.

Today is the day I launch the company I conceived of around a year ago. It’s a company called Breather. A company that I have been working on crazy hard for a very long time.

This is so big to me right now that I don’t even know how to begin, so let’s just do it this way, by telling you what I wanted to change.

I was sick of walking around in cities everywhere, trying to find a place to go.

I was no longer willing to have meetings in coffee shops, either.

I was annoyed of having to take phone calls in the street, with sirens passing by me.

I was sick of having to scavenge for electrical outlets when my phone was dying.

More than anything, I wanted a place to rest.

I’m an introvert— but a very specific kind of introvert.

I’m an introvert that needs to talk a lot for work, that needs to meet a lot of people, and that needs to recuperate mid-way through the day.

Starbucks wasn’t cutting it. Hotel lobbies weren’t cutting it.

I’m also medicated for epilepsy, and I need my sleep. So when I was under-slept, there was nowhere for me to go.

I would find myself wandering around in a city, practically ready to rent a hotel room so I could nap for a couple of hours and go to my end-of-day meetings or parties.

This is why I started working on private space, a long time ago.

I wanted space I could go to, anytime.

Not just space, but nice space. Well-designed rooms. Rooms that were quiet. Rooms I didn’t need to ask permission to get into. Rooms I could just go to whenever I wanted.

So that’s what we made. That’s what Breather is.

What we tried to do with Breather is to create on-demand space, the way it was meant to be.

Grab your phone, open an app. Reserve a room near you, anytime, anywhere. That’s Breather.

Where do the rooms come from? Well, we work with the owners of real estate in cities everywhere.

We use lock systems like Lockitron to open the doors.

The rooms are always clean, and always safe. They’re affordable. The wifi is always good.

The rooms are always open– and we’re going to get them wherever you want them to be.

So essentially, what is Breather? It’s peace and quiet on-demand.

It works in the middle of the places you travel to, and the city you live in. You can rent them, wherever they are, for as long as you want, with your phone.

If you’re a member, you can access them anytime.

Wow, it’s crazy I’m even talking about this. Honestly, I’m exhausted.

So I’ll let you go to the site, here, and see the rest.

Thank you for your support, and thanks for being understanding of the radio silence during this time.

P.S.: If this works, we are going to be changing the landscape of cities forever. So if you want to come do that with us, as an engineer, a designer, or anything else, email us. We want to hear from you.

* Filed by at 4:10 am under business

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64 Responses to “What is Breather?”

  1. Mitch Joel Says:

    I am so proud of you, Julien. So looking forward to seeing your presentation at Le Web (all the way from here 😉 Have an amazing time. Enjoy this moment. You deserve it!

  2. Carlos Pacheco Says:

    Brilliant idea! Congrats on the launch and making it happen!

  3. Nica Says:

    Oh my God, Julien, this is such an awesome idea – and you’re going to make it happen! Congratulations and good luck!

  4. Kiri11 Says:

    Sounds really cool. Hope it works. Looking forward for it!

  5. Ben Breen Says:

    Perfect! Love the concept. Looking forward to taking a breather in London already. Congrats & I wish you all the very best with it.

  6. Dave Doolin Says:

    Four years ago I would have said “No effen way.”

    Today, “Where do I sign up?”

  7. Damon Ragusa Says:

    I need a Breather…

  8. David Shaw Says:

    What an inspired idea! This could solve so many problems. With so many empty buildings and high streets the could really take off! Wishing you every success. And please bring this to the UK 🙂

  9. John McLachlan Says:

    Congratulations Julien. What freaking great idea.

  10. DGS Says:

    A world class start up. Great blog. Formidable. We at home are very,very proud.

  11. Daniel Castro Says:

    This seems pretty neat. I am not entirely certain if the concept is needed though. Although I enjoy the idea, I am not sure if there is a big audience out there for this. I’ll be interested to see how it plays out,

    Best of luck!

  12. Carole Says:

    This is a very neat and original idea, Julien. I wish you all success with it.

    Given human nature, my first thought is to wonder how people will exploit an opportunity in unintended ways. What is your take on the possibility of people using breathing spaces for less than savory or illegal activities that are not detectable by cleaners post-use? Have you built in methods to help deter that kind of thing? Is it something you even worry about?

    Considering the typical cost of cleaning services, I am quite curious about the pricing structure. And how you are going to vet members before giving them access.

  13. Maritza Molis Says:

    Really sweet! Your an amazing innovator. I really needed breath this past weekend. I myself am an introverted person, but love my peace and quiet when drained. I cant wait to experience it!

  14. Joe Says:

    Ha! When I first read “Breather” I thought is was weather for bros. Great concept. Can people rent out parts of their homes with Breather? It seems like you could crowd source this really well. Joe

  15. Hannah Pasternak Says:

    The website is beautiful, and the idea sounds inspired. I hope that you can realize your dreams of making space for a Breather globally!

  16. Elaine DeLorenzo Spitz Says:

    Julien – this is brilliant and I eagerly await more details.
    Keep dreaming BIG!

  17. Aaron Farr Says:

    This is an amazing idea and one I’d definitely use. Congrats!

  18. Denise Says:

    Wish I had thought of it! Love the concept and look forward to watching it take off and participating in Denver!

  19. Umar Siddiqi Says:

    This is amazing. Say goodbye to hotel rooms

  20. Fabrice Calando Says:

    This is amazing Julien! Congrats on the launch!

  21. Josh Says:

    Congrats and good luck. Sounds like a great idea.

  22. Greg Isenberg Says:

    Proud of you buddy. This is amazing and you will (and are) killing it.

  23. Ken Says:

    As a business traveler and entrepreneur, I usually find myself in dire need of a place for a breather. This concept, if pervasive enough could really fill a huge need. Like you, I also happen to like having a mid-day nap to be productive and sharp for the rest of the day. Great idea!

  24. Gaetan Lanthier Says:

    This is such a great idea! Refreshing idea! Congrats and good luck!

  25. Andrea Says:

    This is such a great idea! A couple of years ago I was assigned reading for school while vacationing. Our flight was not scheduled to leave for a couple of hours. At check out, we asked if I could use a small conference room or open room to read for an hour and the room coordinator responded that she would rent a conference room for $500! She stood firm on this so I did what reading I could do without being distracted in the hotel lobby.

  26. Sean Canny Says:

    Awesome! Inspirational! Well done and good luck!

  27. Nicole Says:

    This is… I’m speechless. This needs to happen. I need this. It’s like Zipcar or Car2Go, but for quiet time! Sweet, sweet, beautiful quiet time….you have (potentially) done a wonderful thing for introverts everywhere.

  28. Michael Hyatt Says:

    I LOVE this idea! It is definitely something I will use and recommend. Kudos to you for thinking of it!

  29. Nick Morgan Says:

    What a wonderful, wonderful idea! You deserve all success! Good luck and I hope you get the breather you need when you need it!

  30. Grace Says:

    My introverted and even extroverted clients are going to love this.
    I’m off to share this now!

  31. Kyle Reed Says:

    Love this. I am excited to check this out and see what you have been up to.
    Thanks for finishing this idea.

  32. Dave Delaney Says:

    Way to go Julien. I have been excited to watch as this comes into reality.
    Best of luck today and in the future. I know this will rock as much as you do.

  33. Jeff Sass Says:

    Congratulations! Hope you find the time now to… take a breather. (Couldn’t resist). Brilliant idea I can’t wait to try out during my frequent travels. Very proud of you for making this happen! Congrats again to you and the Breather team.

  34. Roberta Says:

    Hello Julien, I think this is a great idea! I want to help you to bring it to Venice, where I believe it would have great success!

  35. Louise Depocas Says:

    Bonne chance Julien!

  36. DC Says:

    Fabulous! Can’t wait to see what’s available in San Francisco. Will link your website on my Facebook. Brilliant idea and a million cafes filled with people on laptops will thank you. 😉

  37. Jean Powell Says:

    Purely awesome. Bravo. As a weekly globe-trotter and writer, my heart thanks you.

  38. Imahni Says:

    This is THE best idea. Thank you!

  39. Carla Says:

    Oh my, how I wish there was a service like this in Brazil, more specifically in São Paulo. We do need it here. Quiet places are hard to find. 🙁 I hope Breather grows enough to reach out here.
    Congratulations for the project!

  40. Rico Compagnie Says:

    I wish you good luck! I hope Breather will conquer the world! I’m really curious for the future.

    How do you see Breather in 5 years?

  41. Lian Says:

    Love the name.. Love the concept.
    Is Israel on your map?

  42. leoboiko Says:

    Great idea.

    Question. How do you stop sweethearts from using them as cheap love hotels? Or, you just let them?

  43. Mikael Says:

    Awesome concept! I found I needed this a lot when I was traveling abroad. Congratulations on the launch!

  44. Murelle Says:

    Congratulations! What an awesome concept! As a sales person and traveler, and someone who also needs a piece of quiet time in the day for my sanity, this idea is incredible! Can’t wait to make use of it!

  45. Alison Gibbins Says:

    Fantastic news Julien! You’ve really put your BitNorth talk into practice. I can’t wait for Breather spot in downtown Toronto… after a tiring night with my kids, I could really use a half hour lunch time nap.

  46. Leigh Says:

    Extremely original idea. I’m going to tell all my friends about it. Congrats!

  47. Jo Says:

    Cool stuff. All the best.

  48. Kath Scott Says:

    Congratulations!! What a fantastic idea! I think this idea has the power to change how we organise our time forever. I will be sure to use it if it makes its way to Australia. Thank you so much and good luck.

  49. Flo Says:

    Great concept for regular road warrior.

  50. Cassie Says:

    This sounds like an awesome idea! Congrats on giving it a go – look forward to seeing it develop.

  51. Claude Oggier Says:

    I can only join the crowd and say Congratulations! I am convinced that there is a big demand out there for your awesome idea. Keep going;-)

  52. Nicky Says:

    This is the most amazing and best thing ever! Thank you so much for this creation. I live in Berlin and also work in Hamburg and London sometimes. I love this!
    Best Nicky

  53. Tunie Says:

    Oh wow. This will be huge – and what a great name! I see all sorts of auxillary services you could offer alongside as well.

  54. Natacha Says:

    Wow! It is mind-blowing idea and I can’t wait to use breather! Also I’m amazed by your saying “I’m an introvert– but a very specific kind of introvert.
    I’m an introvert that needs to talk a lot for work, that needs to meet a lot of people, and that needs to recuperate mid-way through the day.” because this is EXACTLY me and I used to feel like people don’t understand that feeling until now, thanks to you! I live in France and I can really see how it could have a huge impact on people crazy lifes in Paris! I’m nearly an engineer (graduation date in two months) and I would love to be part of Breather if you want to develop it in France.
    Anyway, congratulations!

  55. Mitch Says:

    I like it. Sharing the link with all my professional buds (mostly lawyers– sorry 🙂 who can and will use the service!

  56. Lori Says:

    Oh my goodness, Julian, I can’t even tell you how necessary this kind of thing is. As a perpetual commuter, when I had my car but was too far from home to go back to nap or take a break all I wanted was a sanctuary that I could go to that a.) I didn’t have to pay for and b.) deal with too many other people. This is genius and it’s going to be so successful.

    How many locations do you currently have? Can you get one in Philly? ha

  57. Vanessa Says:

    Such a wonderful idea! Any chance you’ll bring Breather to Europe soon?

  58. Jan Drake Says:

    Awesome idea. Here’s how large a problem it is:


    Glad you’re doing this.

  59. Sabi Says:

    You are truly such an inspiration. I read your guide to not giving a fuck last night. Today, as I was roaming the streets, I could literally feel the change, and I was even feeling more confident in myself! The world needs more people like you. Last night I had a break down with all the stressors since Summer break began piling up, and something really just tipped the boat over last night. Incidentally, it was someone who messaged me on Facebook. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but I feel that Facebook is the source for many people’s giving fucks, and giving fucks is a big reason for stress. So, after getting all my close friends’ emails, I deactivated my account. I don’t hope to return in a very, very long time.
    I would say you sort of changed my life. Even if it has only been a day. So thank you for being there for me, in a way.

  60. Carolynn Says:

    CONGRATS! Just an amazing idea! Will share with everyone! Good Luck!

  61. Bill Hibbler Says:

    I’d love to know the pricing but what an amazing idea! Can’t wait to take a Breather in Austin.

  62. Letitia - The Fashion Editor Says:

    I second the brilliance! And I second the need. Everything you state is what boggles my mind endlessly: why there is no peaceful place to retreat to for work that isn’t called Starbucks. Thanks for this! I’ll be the first to sign up as I’m already stalking Breather…

  63. rao vat da lat Says:

    Oh my goodness, Julian, I can’t even tell you how necessary this kind of thing is. As a perpetual commuter, when I had my car but was too far from home to go back to nap or take a break all I wanted was a sanctuary that I could go to that a.) I didn’t have to pay for and b.) deal with too many other people. This is genius and it’s going to be so successful.

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