Inside the Clubhouse

The suprisingly compelling audio app that has consumed my life.

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  • Other people HATE IT because it’s become known as an invite-only “elite silicon valley” thing. (To be fair, the founders want to open it to everyone as soon as possible, and anyone in the beta would testify it’s definitely not ready for scale yet.)
  • Some people love to let you know they’re in it, because they think it makes them look cool. (Oh shit is that me?)
  • And finally, some people love to let you know that they know the only reason people talk about Clubhouse is because they think it makes them look cool, because they think that makes them look cool. (Get it?)
  1. How does it compare to the alternatives?
  2. Why should it emerge now, of all times?
  3. Who is paying, and why?
  4. What’s the accumulating competitive advantage?
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  • Conversation prompts are one thing, but what about other kinds of social games? With a live group of people, there’s a lot that can be done. Clubhouse could create a SDK and open up a marketplace for anyone to develop social audio games for people to play. I can imagine trivia, cards against humanity, and werewolf/mafia all working really well.
  • In any given room there are a handful of speakers, and sometimes dozens or even hundreds of listeners. Some percentage of listeners would like to speak. How do the speakers choose the best people to bring up? One way is to allow people to type in some short text when they raise their hand, in order to let the speakers know what they want to say. These could even be displayed publicly and voted on by the listeners. It also would help a ton to have social graph information a bit more handy, so you can see who you know that follows this person or what their bio is.
  • I’ve found myself sending backchannel DMs and text messages to friends that I see are listening to the same Clubhouse conversation with me. This is an obvious thing to build into the product. One idea someone shared in a chat was to even enable side audio conversations, where the volume of the speakers go down and you and your friend can chat on the side, privately. It’s like sitting in the audience of a panel discussion and whispering to your friend sitting next to you.

Studying strategy at divinations.substack.com

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