by David Cohen, published on July 2, 2009 03:26 PM|
People often take different paths before starting online-media companies, but one would be hard-pressed to find a path as unique as that taken by Daniel Pinchbeck, who founded Evolver two years ago.
Evolver is the parent of Web magazine Reality Sandwich, which says its "subjects run the gamut from sustainability to shamanism, alternate realities to alternative energy, remixing media to re-imagining community, holistic healing techniques to the promise and perils of new technologies."
The company also launched in beta form a social network called Evolver, and Pinchbeck says, "Our intention is to promote social change and consciousness change through online collaboration and offline activations, creating local groups called Evolver Spores. We have 20 community groups already meeting, in the United States and abroad."
According to Pinchbeck, Reality Sandwich gets around 75,000 unique visitors per month, while Evolver gets around 1,000 uniques per day. He added, "This is without any marketing, other than my talks and media appearances."
But Pinchbeck didn't move to the Web after a stint in corporate America. His journey was quite the opposite, in fact.
He published a nonfiction book called Breaking Open the Head (Broadway Books, 2002), about psychedelic drugs and shamanism. "I underwent a tribal initiation in West Africa taking iboga; also worked with a tribe in the Amazon who use the psychedelic drink ayahuasca, visited the Mazatec Indians in Mexico who use magic mushrooms, etc.," he said.
Then came nonfiction book No. 2, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Penguin, 2006), which was a best-seller, with 150,000 copies in print in the United States. Pinchbeck said he looked at the Mayan Calendar and Hopi prophecies "and the unsustainable nature of our current society, predicting a massive transformation in our lifetimes."
Pinchbeck is also the subject of a documentary now in production, 2012: Time for Change, in which Sting, Ellen Page and David Lynch join economists and environmental scientists.
Finally, Pinchbeck was the subject of an interview by Stephen Mooallem in Interview Magazine.