World Mental Health Day 2023: Tech with Intention from Nothing’s CEO Carl Pei 

Tech with Intention from Nothing's CEO Carl Pei 

A lot of today’s technologies are created to make our lives easier. What we don’t realize is how our mental well-being is being affected by the same technologies. Carl Pei’s Nothing Phone (2) took a different turn from what most smartphone brands do—and this could be one of the most positive impacts a phone could have in today’s digital landscape. 

In this post, we’ll peek through the intentions of Nothing Phone (2) and learn how we can contribute to mental wellness by looking at how Carl Pei and his team have designed this remarkable phone.  

The Link Between Mental Health and Technology 

Technology has progressed to make our everyday lives easier and faster. Like most things invented, there are some underlying negative impacts of technology. One of the most evident in today’s society is how it affects our mental health. 

A study has shown that decreasing time on social media reduced loneliness levels for adults aged 18 to 22.¹ This is because digital communication lacks physical presence, intimacy, and non-verbal cues, which are key to building and nurturing meaningful relationships. 

Furthermore, negative social media experiences contribute to loneliness. A recent study revealed that a mere 10 percent rise in negative social media experiences accounted for a 13 percent increase in loneliness in adults.² 

Today, technology is becoming bigger, better, and more efficient, and part of that advancement is keeping us glued to our screens so that we can’t even figure out reality from fantasy. 

Nothing Phone (2): The Key to Better Mental Well-Being in Technology 

The newest addition to the Nothing family, the Phone (2), just got released on July 11, 2023, and it is the perfect digital technology that can positively reshape and affect mental health as a whole. 

The new model also carried a few technologies and features from the previous version, the Phone (1). But let’s look at how Carl Pei’s Nothing Phone (2) can change the world’s take on digital health. 

Dynamic LEDs 

The Phone (2) has a dynamic LED at the back, which can adapt to the apps you use on your phone. A few examples are how it lights up to update an Uber’s progress or show the phone’s battery level. Users no longer need to access and open their phones to view their Uber status or to see if the phone needs recharging. 

Since the LEDs are on the back of the phone, it allows users to maximize the potential of their smartphones without having to check the screen. People can also customize the glyphs’ patterns and styles for different notifications. 

Operating System 

It runs on Nothing OS 2.0, their monochromatic operating system intentionally designed to allow users to remove app labels. Most of our habitual smartphone activity is tied up with the icons and names that we know. With this functionality, we can have a more mindful experience while going through our phones. 

Furthermore, the OS also has a widget system, allowing users to set up important apps and icons on their homepage, keeping them from accessing the menu where all the apps are. 


Carl Pei’s idea is simple: to keep people from constantly checking their phones. This design restructures the concept of smartphones that other brands have built around their products. Carl Pei said that the monochromatic touch makes it boring to look at and even pick up. 

“Colors are the building blocks of branding. For years, consumers have been primed to look at Facebook and Twitter’s Blue or Instagram’s Hot Pink.” – Carl Pei. 

The addictive aspect of a phone is when people fall into the loop of opening their devices and then forgetting what they were supposed to do. People can do more on their devices without opening their apps, and the monochromatic approach of Nothing Phone (2) with the LED arrangement at the rear of the phone compels people not to pick their phones up constantly. 

Read More: The Competitive Advantage of Embracing Remote and Hybrid Work in the Tech Industry 

What We Can Learn From Carl Pei and His Actions 

Carl Pei’s goal of rewinding today’s digital technologies is an effective strategy to reshape the habit of checking our phones constantly, ultimately reducing screen time. 

As employers, we have the opportunity to learn from Carl Pei’s examples and how he approached the industry with a better and clearer intention that you can use for your business: 

1. Clear and Genuine Intention 

Carl Pei positioned Nothing as a brand that intends to improve health care through holistic wellness. Many investors poured in, all with a divided intention of curiosity, opportunity, and optimism about Pei’s technology and how it can address mental illness through prevention. 

As employers, you can adopt Pei’s intention and focus more on what benefit you can provide clients and employees. Our society has evolved where people recognize clear intentions and are more attracted to them.  

2. Brand Image 

With clear and honest intentions comes the creation of a better brand image. People can trust your vision by seeing your genuine actions toward the better good of society. Aside from creating a brand image, it also attracts better candidates into your organization. According to a survey published by Forbes, people gravitate toward brands with solid purpose.³ Here’s the data: 

  • Four times more likely to place trust in the brand. 
  • Four times more likely to buy from the brand. 
  • Four times more likely to tell their family and friends about the brand.  
  • Six times more likely to advocate for the brand in challenging times. 

3. Investment Opportunities 

On June 28 of this year, Pei and his team closed in on a $96 million funding round, which will be used to invest in long-term technology differentiation. With most of the investors’ hands on deck, they can, together with Pei and his team, develop Nothing to be at par with the world’s leading smartphone brands and manufacturers with a unique purpose. 

It’s undeniable that Nothing’s mobile inventions are one of a kind, striking the curiosity of many investors due to their phone’s design and structure. With a solid purpose, you don’t just attract customers and candidates but also investors who believe in your vision and support it along the way. 

4. Enhancing Mental Health 

The primary purpose of the Nothing Phone (2) is to help improve mental health through a series of features and functionalities that other brands don’t have. In the workplace, a company that ensures their employees’ mental health can expect better retention rates, maximizing overall productivity and minimizing tardiness and absences. 

The American Psychological Association said that 81 percent of people would choose a company that supports their mental health, one of the main priorities many employees find in their jobs.⁴ 

Pei understands the pros and cons of technology on mental health, and that’s what the Nothing brand is about. Prioritizing mental health can lead to a better, more inclusive, and more attractive brand in the eyes of candidates, clients, and investors. 

Read More: Raising Awareness About Mental Health in the Workplace 

5. Intentional Design 

The most important thing we can learn about Carl Pei is the power and importance of intentional design. Finding purpose and meaning does not end with the goal but lives on as we operate and navigate the world of work.  

In a company, we must be intentional in our vision by incorporating our operations, hiring processes, promotion requirements, quality assurances, and client and partner relations, just as how Carl Pei, despite being a new company and competing against bigger corporations, created a smartphone that defies today’s mobile standards.  


Like Carl Pei, who focused on people’s mental well-being in technology, we also prioritize our employer partners by allowing them to allocate time and resources to the other parts of the business, letting them do what they do best. 

At Focus People, we provide the right ground for you to touch base with suitable candidates, ensuring that our expert recruitment teams take care of everything from application to onboarding—we’ve got you covered! 

Contact us today and learn how Focus People can help. 


1. “The Link Between Loneliness and Technology.” American Psychological Association, May 2019,

2. Primack, Brian A. “Positive and Negative Experiences on Social Media and Perceived Social Isolation.” Sage Journals, 21 Jan. 2019,

3. Aziz, Afdhel. “Global Study Reveals Consumers Are Four To Six Times More Likely To Purchase, Protect And Champion Purpose-Driven Companies.” Forbes, 17 Jun. 2020,  

4. “Workers appreciate and seek mental health support in the workplace.” American Psychological Association, 22 Jul. 2022,

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