One of the most common questions I get from readers is: how did you come up with this idea for a city? Why choose a happiness monitor?
The idea came to me when my family and I volunteered to wear these little electronic devices every day. A company who monitors what people listen to on the radio and on tv called us and asked us to participate. We had to agree to a few rules:
1) we would wear the device from the time we got up until the time we went to bed
2) we wouldn't tell people what we were doing or what the device was
In return, we were paid. Not a lot, but we were paid. On average, each one of us earned about thirty dollars a month. Yeah. Just for carrying these little square plastic clip-on things around with us.
We did it for over a year. It was actually fun. People would ask me what it was. I could say, "If I told you, I'd have to kill 'ya." It was kind of funny, especially at school where I taught, and the kids would ask me.
One day, I thought: I wonder what would happen if they could see what we were feeling?
The idea was born.