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What Is Blinkist And Why Is It Being Talked About Around The World?

What started as an idea by three students, has become 'one of the world's best apps’. But what’s with all the hype?
by Tom Farrar | May 13 2022

Founded in 2012, the Blinkist app was created by Holger Seim, Sebastian Klein, Niklas Jansen, and Tobi Balling out of their love for reading. Since then, it has been named by both Apple and Google as one of the best apps in the world, made countless headlines in The New York Times, The Guardian, and TechCrunch, and praised by the likes of Tim Cook (Apple’s CEO) for its noble mission.

But why the hype? Because Blinkist is trying to make the world a smarter place, by helping millions read more books.

“Blinkist has helped me read more — period. I love that I can get the key learnings from 10+ books a week, and immediately implement them in my own life.”
– Hitha Palepu, entrepreneur and author
Three of the Blinkist founders (L to R): Holger Seim, Niklas Jansen, and Tobi Balling

The Blinkist app collects key insights from over 5000+ of the world’s best nonfiction books into snappy 15-minute reads and listens. After successfully securing $35 million in funding and quickly acquiring over 21 million users, Blinkist is one of Europe’s most exciting companies.

“Blinkist encourages you to read more nonfiction books. The app contains cleverly written digests — called Blinks — where books are broken down into their main arguments.”
– The New York Times

The app was born when 4 university friends wanted to read more, but could never find the time. They wondered how they could read more books, but in a shorter amount of time. Whilst they were studying, they used to write notes for their textbooks, which provided huge value when they were trying to remember all the books they had read. They decided to put all the notes into an app, to have access to them anytime, anywhere. Then, Blinkist was born, and today their app is used by millions of people all over the world to access thousands of amazing books and discover new great authors.

The app is a favorite among book lovers who use Blinkist to keep their mind young:

“Thanks for the daily inspiration and for keeping my brain young @blinkist! Absolutely LOVE and recommend your service to book lovers and people who wish they had more time to read!!!”
– Debby Tomlinson (@Tomlinsonsd)

Here’s why so many people are talking about Blinkist.

1. One Of The Best Apps In The World

The sleek and simple design makes it easy to learn from some of the world’s best books in minutes – whether that’s through listening or reading.
“Blinkist is one of the world’s best apps.”
– Apple

Blinkist has won numerous major awards from Apple, Google, and the United Nations. Notably, the app was acknowledged for its contribution to Global Education and Learning by the UN.

“With Blinkist you can boost your knowledge and gain new perspectives so that you can be a better professional, a better partner, or a better you.”
– The United Nations

Plus, Blinkist is addressing a problem a lot of us have—we want to read, but have very little time. With Blinkist it’s possible to race through that reading list by squeezing reading into the day in 15-minute bursts, like during a commute, or whilst cooking.

By resolving a reading problem, and benefiting millions of people around the world, Blinkist employees are very proud and passionate to be a part of the team.

2. A Book Explained in 15 Minutes

It takes the average person 10 hours to read a book, which is a lot of time many of us don’t have. It’s difficult to find time to read widely recommended classics like The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, or the latest bestsellers like, Thinking Fast and Slow, or Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.

With Blinkist, it’s now possible to gain an understanding of ‘must-read’ titles in just 15 minutes. The busiest people including top CEOs, full-time moms, and leading intellectuals turn to Blinkist to fit reading into their hectic days and keep up-to-date with the latest titles.

“I use Blinkist when I’m in between meetings and can’t get a giant task done, but at least I can be productive.”
– Sarah Schupp, Professor & Founder of

Plus, every month the titles in The New York Times bestsellers list are added to Blinkist, as well as new recommended reading lists based on latest trends and areas of interest. This way, Blinkist ensures there’s always new, powerful things to learn from some of the world’s most important and relevant books.

3. It’s Backed by Science

At Blinkist, there’s a dedicated team of experts who sift through the millions of books published each year to find the best ones out there. Blinkist doesn’t just have bestsellers, but also the hidden gems, the timeless classics, books written for intellectuals, by intellectuals –– because Blinkist has built an app with serious purpose and intention.

When we started most apps were for social media or gaming. We wanted to do something different and build an app that would add genuine value to someone’s life.
– Holger Seim, Blinkist co-founder

Once the books are selected, the specialist editors identify the key ideas and themes from each book, and turn them into useful summaries of insights. The best part, all of the content is created using neuroscientific principles making all the information easy to understand, but hard to forget.

Actionable examples, case studies, and anecdotes help deliver information that’s relevant, useful, and applicable to a person’s life. Plus, Blinkist is tailored: as soon as people start reading, the app will start to recommend new titles that they’ll love, based on their unique interests and individual preferences.

4. It’s Built by the Smartest People in Europe

Blinkist does not rely on algorithms to create the book explainers, it relies on people. The Blinkist team read, edit and record each pack of insights in house. It’s a team of experts, specialists with PhDs and diplomas, people who are hungry, eager, and passionate for understanding and sharing knowledge.

To ensure the app, and the content, is the best it can be — Blinkist has built a team of over 200 qualified people who want to make powerful information available to millions.

5. Learning On The Go

Learn on the go

The app really took off when the audio feature was introduced. It made it possible to listen to every title in the app, so that learning could take place whilst commuting, working out or cooking.

It made the app accessible to many more people, it meant that learning never had to take a back seat – and most importantly it allowed even more people to fit reading into their life.

Today, listening to Blinkist is the most popular way to consume all of the actionable insights. Which is no surprise, as over 30% of people learn and retain information better when it’s heard as opposed to read.

6. The Best Startup To Work For In Germany

Some of the smartest minds in tech, marketing, writing and data are building Blinkist. The startup employs around 150 people, from over 50 countries. People have moved countries, even moved to the other side of the world to land their dream job with Blinkist.

“I moved to Berlin after living in New York City for ten years to work at Blinkist. I knew I would be working alongside some amazing people, building a revolutionary product. This, mixed with an exciting new culture and the way of life Berlin offers made the move an easy decision.”
– Carlos Alvarado, Country Manager at Blinkist

People have left Silicon Valley, and the world’s most powerful, influential and innovative startups (including Google, Soundcloud and Twitter) to be a part of Blinkist. This makes the Blinkist office a creative hub of extraordinary thinkers, constantly exchanging ideas, and pioneering new ways to learn.

7. One Of The Most Heavily Backed Startups In Europe

The app quickly caught the attention of some big players in the startup world, quickly raising over $35 million to become one of Europe’s most backed startups. VC giants Insight Venture Partners, (who were early investors in Twitter and Tumblr) were particularly impressed with Blinkist, and wanted to support their reading revolution.

“As a concept and an investment opportunity, Blinkist offers something genuinely unique. The company presents an exciting model which is defining and spearheading a whole new category of self-development.

…We only want to work with the brightest and most ambitious teams, and we know that Blinkist and its founders share our vision for making a positive, global impact.”
– Harley Miller, Vice President at Insight Venture Partners.

8. Join A Global Revolution Becoming A Smarter World

The app grew by over 10 million users in just 3 years, making it one of the fastest, most disruptive and exciting startups around. Recognition from The New York Times, Forbes, The Huffington Post and The Guardian, to name a few further emphasizes the excitement surrounding the app.

“As a productivity coach and one of the life long learners, I can’t tell you how happy I was to find Blinkist. If you enjoy nonfiction reading and are short on time, Blinkist will be your new favorite App.”
– Karen Trepte, Huffington Post

However, the most exciting thing about Blinkist is it’s only just getting started. There may be over 5000+ titles on the app but 70 new ones are added every month, inspiring people to continue learning and constantly widen their horizons.

If you’re someone who’s curious, or wants to push themselves or build a company with similar impact to Blinkist—download the app now and surprise yourself with how much there is to learn.

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