Spike in Traffic, Clubhouse, Founder's Stories

Sunday Beam #


February 14, 2021

Good Sunday 🌝! And Happy Chinese New Year! And Happy Valentine's Day! 💌

Kevon's family
This year is the year of the Ox 🐂

Last week I made a mistake and the first issue of Sunday Beam went out early on Friday, how embarrassing! 😓

The last few days were rough. Our confinement nanny went on a 4-day leave and I stepped in to help my wife with night feed. For every 3 hours (midnight, 3am, 6am etc.), we have to spend 1+ hour feeding her milk, burping her, and changing her diaper. Then the rest of the time is comforting her or getting her to sleep. You can just imagine how hectic that is.

The toughest part is that even though we rotated, we didn’t get deep sleep as our baby camera would broadcast any sound Avery made in her own room.

I have huge respect and empathy for other parents, as it is physically and mentally challenging to handle life, work, and newborn at the same time. (Join my tweet convo about this)

3 things I want to talk about this week:

  1. Metrics & learnings from the launch of my guide
  2. I know why Clubhouse is a hit
  3. Don't ever listen to founder's stories

Launched Last Week. 2,100 Visitors in 3 Days 🚀

It took me 2 months and 10,000 words to create the Building in Public guide and I finally launched it last week.

The results: 2,100 unique visitors in 3 days, 73% increase of Twitter followers in 7 days from 767 to 1327, #20 on Hacker News Page 1 for a day, 3 live sharing sessions, and regular mentions of the guide.

Were these good results? Heck yeah given I only started in Nov 2020.

A few hours ago, I published my reflections and learnings and am sharing these behind-the-scenes with you. You're the first one to read.

Why Is Clubhouse A Hit? My Own View 🎡

To me, it is a hit not because of its invite-only mechanism. The best part of the app is creating serendipity, making it super easy for people to take part.

Think about all these online events we’re attending, we have to register, wait for it, click on a link, then some stuff comes up and we ditch the event …. a lot of steps and overly “structured”.

I get to this understanding myself after running Toasty (video meeting platform) for 9 months during COVID. I saw first hand how serendipity<->conversations worked together. The best conversations happen when it is given a topic but then let people free flow, and Clubhouse nails this part.</->

No one registering, no more not showing up, no more pretending you’re interested in the speakers. They do well about keeping it simple and less is more. This level of “understanding of human/users” is why they blow up.

When you get everyone’s attention, you attract enemies. Twitter launched Spaces to compete and Facebook is said to be building a similar product.

The battle is now on! Can Clubhouse stay relevant?

Founder’s Stories 💢💢

When I was running Toasty, I attended a meeting with potential institutional investors. Half way through the meeting, a guy asked me “Where did the name Toasty come from?”

I was brutally honest that it was just a random name. Then someone commented that I should have come up with a better story about the name.

When I read Trevor McKendrick’s article on Why You Should Ignore Founder’s Stories, this memory came back and it made sense.

A lot of founders make up compelling stories to tell so that it sticks in people’s mind. It is a technique of storytelling. The truth is finding business idea is rarely an “enlightenment moment”; often it is through a process of understanding users, validating hypothesis, and crafting the best product ever.

What kind of founders do you want to be?

Inspirations ⭐

Who Are We Without Our Jobs? by Katie Heaney

I just went through this reflection, and I was so glad it happened when I just stepped into my 30s.

I mentioned a bit in my latest article that my life’s work so far has been on building the backbone of startups. When I stopped working on them, all my work was gone. There was nothing for me and I was a nobody.

I decided it is time to allocate time to establish my identity. This way I can accumulate my life’s work and build each bit on top of another bit. What about you? Have you started building up your own brand and credibility online?

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