How Blinkist is streamlining the way we read

Blinkist is on a mission to tackle information overload by enabling us to speed-read the latest bestseller in 15 minutes. But is it stripping the joy out of books altogether? We speak to the app’s co-founder Niklas Jansen

Time, or lack thereof, is one of the biggest enemies of the millennial generation. Speak to your average twenty-something and they’re probably too time-poor to cook their own dinner after a long day at the office, or to face getting the nightbus after post-work drinks, let alone bury their head in a book when they do finally get home.

Thankfully, the invention of Uber means that the days of three-hour nightbus journeys are long gone, and Deliveroo has your Monday evening sushi cravings covered. The prospect of getting through your to-read pile this decade, however, is still a daunting task for even the most avid of readers.

Enter Blinkist: the app that breaks down the latest bestseller into handy, bite-sized chunks so that you don’t have to. The Berlin-based company is your archetypal, millennial friendly startup, born out of a conversation between four friends sat around the kitchen table, who were all feeling jaded by the 9-to-5 grind.

“We started brainstorming a little bit and then we came to the point where we realised we all shared one problem, and the problem was not being able to read books anymore,” says Niklas Jansen, one of the co-founders and Managing Director of Blinkist. “We were avid readers at university, but working fulltime now we just [didn’t] have the time or the motivation to read a book anymore.”