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Hackernoon logoOur Storytelling Platform Built On ‘Kokorozashi’ by@HUP

Our Storytelling Platform Built On ‘Kokorozashi’

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Amicus Humani Generis - Storytellers & much more...

Dear reader, 

Even though we do not want to believe that you do not know yet about HeadUP, we kind of understand this eventuality and the reason(s) why; and it is all fine, no hurt feelings (not like these guys below)...  

As people used to say, it is never too late. To solve this "temporary lack of awareness", we believe that it is now time to reveal a bit more about us and how this whole project of free online storytelling started.  Take a comfortable seat, please tighten your belt, and watch our two trailer videos :).

Overview of the concept

 And a second one with the same spirit with a different angle + cool keywords/subtitles:

You got the big picture already, right? Well, let's get into the details now then. How to write a good « About us » story? Difficult question but luckily, we have the answer. A very very « powerful » marketing structure… 

The 6 “W”

WHO is HeadUP for?

For everyone who has a story to share and on any topics!
For everyone who wish to read stories from all over the World and in various languages.

WHAT is HeadUP?

In short, HeadUP is a dynamic, free, online platform that allows users to share inspirational stories, ideas, and promote businesses to an international audience. 

WHY HeadUP (The story behind)?

The idea itself was born on an ordinary evening in the depths of the Tokyo underground. My name is Thibault Defrance (as you certainly noticed already I am French but this is just a fact and will probably not influence the progress of your reading) and I was invited to pitch a project to Yamamoto Gakko, a sort of Japanese TEDx event where you have 3 minutes to introduce a project in front of an audience of Business (wo)men or Ambassadors. 

The topic of this conference was about defining your "Kokorozashi", which translated from Japanese means your project for the community without expecting a return on investment (if you get ROI good for you but this is not what should motivate your action). It was the first time I discovered this concept. On the way back home, while I was standing at the extremity of the last cabin of the train (listening some good Colombian salsa and thus, in a pretty good mood since my landing in Japan a month earlier), I got  struck by the manner in which my fellow transit riders journeyed home with their heads hanging, conveying a collective sense of sorrow. I asked myself what is going on here. As a side note, Japan is well-known to be the country with the highest level of suicide.

While literally everyone else in the train was at this same moment looking down with a sort of despair, I suddenly got a feeling of revolt and thought, whatever is going on in their life, these people should lift their ‘head up’. 
Then I got a flash… 

I decided to create an online space, free, where people can write anonymously if they prefer (as it is often simpler to share your life stories to unknown people, most of the time by fear of being judged or too much history/proximity with your relatives or friends) on any topics, without feeling any pressure. Such a platform would also inspire readers through the discovery of other people life trajectories. The concept of an online storytelling platform naturally named HeadUP was suddenly born... at least in my mind. 

Like an evidence, I instantly thought of my friend and flatmate, Juan Carlos Tabares, simply because he was one of the greatest example of this mindset of keeping the "head up" in any circumstances and since he is « The Great Architect" - super strong IT engineer who make things happen. 
Leaving the Den-en-toshi line to reach our share house (yes like in the series Terrace house :) at Miyazakidai (South West Area of Tokyo) I was more excited than a kid the night before Christmas....

I was waiting impatiently for Carlos in the living room (returning from work too) and when he opened the door I told him "Mate, we need to talk I want to share something important with you". After one minute telling him about this idea of a storytelling platform, Carlos said it is perfect I already have the architecture for it. In fact, two years earlier, as case study for a job application, the company requested from him to build a website. This same old website « lost in a drawer » could finally be restored to its former glory and be upgraded to fit with our needs. Stars aligned! 

Few glasses of wine later, the whole project was conceptualised. A week later, we were drawing a draft of the first logo on a napkin at the « Green Cafe ».

The gist of this platform: sharing the common human experience that is optimism and innovation and providing its users with a medium to use their own experiences and ideas in a way that inspires the local and international community.

Since its founding in 2016, HeadUP has evolved into a dynamic, multilingual platform that attracts users from across the world who wish to communicate their own inspirational messages and share motivational business ideas. HeadUP’s sleek, professional user interface is available in EnglishFrenchSpanishJapanese and Chinese Mandarin. Yes… this is really cool, right ?!

Users are also able to post both under their name or anonymously. Site contributors can seamlessly interact with other user’s content through popular modern features such as upvotes and comments. This multi-faceted and flexible combination of blogging, social media, and business promotion in a variety of languages has allowed the site to attract a constantly growing, diverse group of users who generate a wide range of content for a variety of purposes.

And this is just the beginning ;)! A lot more is coming… Indeed, to further spread the message of the HeadUP project, we have undertaken an advertising campaign that is as unique as the site itself, from social media promotion to mysterious graffiti tags in cities worldwide. 

Merchandise such as tote bags and T-shirts are also available, and users are able to create a Patreon account (contact us if you are interested and do not know how to proceed). 

Recently we launched our own HeadUP Characters for online messaging (Android & iOS): LINE STICKERS and WHATSAPP & G-BOARD STICKERS (yes, we made an App for this :)!

The HeadUP user interface is constantly evolving, with new features being introduced regularly in response to its constantly growing and diversifying user base and content. 

To Inspire Your Community, Promote Your Business… Transmit Your Optimism to the whole world! It is 100% Free, easy to use, and you have control on your stories (write under a Pen name or Anonymously). Do you really need another reason to use it?


Anytime you want and anywhere you need... HeadUP does not sleep :).

HOW to use HeadUP?

Wait a minute this does not start with a « W »… well, nevermind, no need to over-engineer things, we can just rename this section the « 5W1H ». 

So, how? A simple as putting on your socks every morning. 

Option 1: You want to read only, then just google, bookmark the website (not compulsory but it will definitely make your life easier) and... start reading!

Option 2: You also want to write and share your story, then just sign up (it takes less than a minute) and start posting :).

In a nutshell, it has been a very fun journey developing HeadUP and a great pretext to keep in touch with all the talented fellows who joined us on this mission.

I’ll finish by inviting you join the movement to motivate others, share your innovative ideas, and transmit your optimism!

Oh, and don’t forget the fundamentals : « ALWAYS KEEP YOUR HEAD UP! »

To learn more about HeadUP, visit or contact

We are also reachable on
Instagram :
Facebook :
TikTok ID : headupspace 
Patreon : Become a Patron

First published on HeadUP


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