Getting Inside the Head of David Cameron, Your Mum, or Anyone Else for that Matter

What if you could get into the head of your customers so that you could get them to take the actions you want them to?

Well, wonder no more. Marketing technology start-up Crystal Knows can do just that.

Crystal Knows might possibly be the most fun I’ve had online since I first joined Facebook. With this app, innocent online stalking can actually become a useful endeavour.

In short, the app analyses data about anyone who has an online presence and suggests a personality profile:

Crystal Knows


How accurate is Crystal Knows?

Crystal uses data provided by end-users as well as thousands of publicly available online data sources to find information written about or by the person you are researching. Crystal then runs a personality detection analysis on the text to match with one of 64 different personality types within a few seconds.

The “accuracy confidence” index above indicates 1) how much relevant data was found for David and 2) how much of it was able to be used to determine personality.

What Crystal can tell us about communicating with people

Crystal suggests tactics for communicating (speaking, emailing, working and selling) with the person you have researched as well indicating possible traits that may or may not come naturally to that personality type. These insights are ‘based on several widely-accepted personality assessments’, like the Five-Factor Inventory, DiSC, and True Colors. These suggestions are intended to provide useful insights to improve communication with anyone that has an online presence, but Crystal is ‘not intended to provide a 100% perfect personality reading’.

Crystal Knows


How to write an email the Crystal way

If you are using Gmail as your email client, Crystal has a Chrome extension which can analyse your emails and makes suggestions to optimise your response in real time (plans are in place to extend Crystal beyond Gmail to other email applications).

Crystal Knows for Gmail


No one knows you like Crystal Knows you …

The fun doesn’t stop with people personalities. Click on the Relationships tab and you’re able to run an assessment on your relationship with anyone you work with (an upgrade will allow you to assess your relationships with people outside of your organisation). The app suggests insight into how your two personality types respond to one another at work, when communicating, in times of conflict, when you’re in group situations and on a personal level.

Crystal Knows Relationships

“Crystal is a new technology built upon an age-old principle: communicate with empathy.”

Crystal Project Inc. is located in Nashville, Tennessee and Boston, Massachusetts and ‘pursues a mission to help people understand and communicate with each other better at work and in life.

Crystal was founded in 2014 by Drew D’Agostino when he and his team started developing applications for Crystal in the Harvard Innovation Lab. Drew co-founded and was previously CTO of, an event management and engagement technology.

An upgrade feature from Practice (free and unlimited access) to Apprentice ($25/mo) or Master ($49/mo) unlocks features like email corrections (in Crystal for Gmail), suggestions, templates,
and relationships.

So, what’s next for Crystal?

To us, the possibilities seem vast and incredible. With automation on our doorsteps, the potential for getting email communication right on a massive scale is just the beginning of the prospects we’ve been wildly imagining for Crystal – if, of course, Drew is willing! Our conversations with Drew were temporarily put on hold as the number of sign ups to the Crystal Project has meant he has to stay close to his team and the app to ensure everything works the way it should.

It sounds like the app that wants to change email forever – by getting inside our heads – might soon be doing just that.


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Lara Doyle

Lara Doyle

Senior Content Manager, TFM Insights

Lara Doyle is Senior Content Manager at UBM EMEA, Tech a global events business, and covers Technology for Marketing, eCommerce Expo and London Technology Week.

April 17, 2015

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