Happiness Research Organisation
In July 2012, during his psychology studies, Kai Ludwigs asked his long-term friend, computer scientist Stephan Erdtmann, if he would like to work on a research app to measure happiness.
Stephan liked the idea and like this they began to work on the "Happiness Analyzer" (www.happiness-analyzer.com). One year later they had the first version ready and shared the idea with over 50 highly renowned happiness researchers.
Over 90% of the contacts gave us positive feedback to the idea, especially Prof. Dr. Ruut Veenhoven, the pioneer of happiness research from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, who supported the idea and consulted.
After some further tests and the proof that the "Happiness Analyzer" can measure happiness more accurately (Hendriks, Ludwigs & Veenhoven, 2016) Prof. Veenhoven told Kai and Stephan to continue with their idea and start the Happiness Research Organisation as an independent research institute to do app-based research with a focus on happiness, well-being, satisfaction and quality of life.
After some discussions Kai and Stephan decided to try it and founded the Happiness Research Organisation in July 2014 and moved into their office in Duesseldorf Germany in September 2014.
The first years
In the following years Kai and Stephan developed the Happiness Analyzer to an adaptable research app and developed the "App Research Framework" (www.app-research.org), which enables us to do app-based research in many different fields and has been used in various international research projects as well as for HRO's applied research projects.
Parallel to this HRO grew and we tried different applied fields for our technology, tried different methods and finally identified four main fields: Developing Research Apps, App-based employee surveys, App-based civil surveys and App-based customer surveys.
Based on the high interest for the new technology on an academic level we got more contacts to public institutions and finally, based on our applied projects, also more contacts to companies.
Today HRO is a well funded, independent research institute which works with public instutions such as the German Institute for Economic Research and different statistical offices, researchers from universities such as Cambridge University and the University College London and Corporates such as Accenture and Coca Cola.