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42 Comments

Am I missing something about the Clubhouse hype?

Why is everyone mad about Clubhouse. Sounds like a huge time sink to me!

I would choose async modes of communication anytime. Twitter, Podcast, Books etc. Do them when my time permits vs other way round.

  1. 15

    If you're missing it, I'm missing it too.

    Sounds to me like a glorified conference call.

    1. 1

      I bet it would be much less popular without covid. When everyone is back into a normal routine we'll replace Clubhouse with actually meeting in person.

      Then again... there is the allure of "live" with inaccessible people. It's like a radio show of the podcast age.

      1. 2

        but you can never replace an opportunity to ask questions to amazing people

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          That opportunity exists on Twitter too! In a room of 1000 people with Elon Musk, you dont have much of a chance to ask questions

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            I'm an Android user and I haven't used the app yet, but the question I've always had was, is that really possible to experience communication with someone far different from other socials, or is it just the hype and irrational comments of some excited users?!

        2. 1

          That's true!

          Personally I can't imagine it would make a big difference in my life, especially considering there's so much recorded material from amazing people that I can listen to at any point in time.

          Can't argue with the point that there's an element of excitement tho!

  2. 5

    Anything can be a time sink, imho, I personally put rules on all of these things.

    With Twitter, for example, I have a no scroll rule. That turns into a time sink.

    For podcasts, and now Clubhouse, I use them when I'm doing other things. Typically, housework or exercise.

    1. 1

      Hey Rosie - what's your "no scroll" rule? Does this mean you just open it and don't scroll at all ?!

      1. 2

        Pretty much. A couple of swipes and I leave it at that.

        Mostly I check personal notifications, DMs and a few some people that I have Tweet notifications set up for.

  3. 4

    I think, for me at least, CH has been cool because there's two kinds of approaches.

    You can use it when your doing something else and want to listen to a good conversation just like how you would listen to a podcast.

    Or you can more actively contribute to conversations where it then becomes "something your doing" and takes time. I think with this approach there's definitely a time sink aspect but it's very much down to how involved you want to be. From my experiences - the more you contribute, the more you get out of it.

    1. 1

      Also, I think as you get more used to the platform you realise what sort of rooms you want to be in - atm at least it's flooded with investors and experienced founders which can sometimes make conversations be less relatable. Hopefully, this gets better as more people adopt it.

  4. 3

    In the interests of full disclosure, I have not been on CH so cant speak to the product itself.

    From a growth hacking, launch strategy perspective it appears that they have done a marvelous job. I think it could be a great case study for how to go from zero to XXX really quickly in response to changing market conditions.

    I don't buy the notion that they got lucky due to Covid and that the fad will pass. I certainly think that Covid accelerated adoption by key public figures who draw crowds. That may or may not have happened otherwise, however the real question is what happens next. After recent developments (fundraise, SF/Miami discussions, Elon/Vlad ect it is clear that momentum is building and that they are just getting started.

    As others have pointed out there are a dozen ways they can screw it up, however from a pure strategy standpoint, having the whole tech world discussing your product while its growing rapidly is a good start. The product will morph into various forms imo to suit a variety of use cases.

    As a side note, if someone has a spare invite I am sure we can find a way to exchange some value.

    1. 2

      Nick, DM me on https://twitter.com/kevon69. I just posted on IH earlier today that I have a few invites for the IH community.

    2. 1

      As for launch strategy, you've got your answer from the post title

      It's basically "hype"

      And a little scarcity, everybody is like "give invite please" to check it out and try it

      1. 1

        Are you saying that the hype and scarcity are bad things?

        I don't really see it that way, mainly because it has brought value to a large group of people on the back of those tactics. I would think differently if it was some shady/scammy/zero value type offering, but it isn't, so I don't really understand the negativity.

        1. 1

          I didn't mean it was bad or negative

          I was just pointing out that hype and scarcity is the key factor in growing their user base

  5. 3

    I've been thinking about it like radio...I think the hype is coming from the fact that now anyone can be the radio host.

    Mostly I listen, when I'm doing other things.

    Occasionally I call in and join the conversation.

    I like the platform, not sold on the $1B valuation.

    1. 2

      @mubashariqbal sums it up really well.

      My favorite Clubhouse rooms are ones that are essentially a live-streamed podcast (two or more interesting people having a casual conversation).

      There's always the added bonus effect that a listener from the audience who has direct experience with the topic being discussed can raise their hand and join the conversation in a heartbeat.

  6. 2

    I just got an invite today.

    At first I didn't know what to do with the app. I accepted all the prompts (get contacts, follow people) and ended up on a screen with three posted cards that didn't do anything. Really confused on what to do next, so I closed the app.

    Later on I got a notification saying a talk was going on. Adam Grant on his new book with Ashton Kutcher. It wasn't bad. It was like a less produced live podcast. They were trying to navigate the app themselves and once they got going, it was a good discussion.

    Tonight Elon Musk is speaking, but at 1 AM my time, so I'll skip.

  7. 2

    While Clubhouse definitely exposes the Dunning Kruger effect in many people, I started to really enjoy it from time to time. It takes some time to follow the right people but once you are, you can find some hidden gems you would have otherwise never got the chance too.

    When people compare it to podcasts, I think they sort of miss the whole concept;

    Serendipity. Since theoretically nothing is recorded, people tend to be more open and willing to talk about what's on their mind. You never know when and where people will talk about the really interesting things but once you stumble into an interesting discussion, you will value it even more.

    It's still important to see it as a new social network, hence you could easily spent too much unnecessary time on there.

    ---------
    Coincidentally, I just tweeted about this a minute ago 😆

    1. 2

      Since theoretically nothing is recorded

      This raises an interesting point to me. All it's gonna take is one leaked scandalous conversation to be leaked (and by "scandalous" i mean anything that the vocal minority twitter brigade disagrees with) and it could potentially sink the platform.

      1. 1

        Yes! Good point. This could potentially be very harmful. When I first heard about CH, I thought it is an exclusive invite-only network for SF people and VCs. Since it is gaining more and more popularity, I am curious how this will play out in the future. I heard thoughts about monitizing access to certain Clubs but not sure if that would

        a) hinder people of recording
        b) be accepted by majority of users (I think I wouldn't pay for access).

        People already record it as you can see here:

  8. 2

    I feel the same way Aditya, I got no clue what’s so great about it.

    But anyway, it’s interesting to see the growth of it.

  9. 2

    I haven't had a chance to try it yet since I use Android, and I believe it's still iOS only. I feel like it would take up too much time, and requires too much scheduling, to work well for my lifestyle.

  10. 2

    It's like comparing Twitch & Youtube. Yes you can watch videos on both, but one is about live content, the other is for watching recorded content.

    Both can have really great content.

  11. 1

    Great question, Aditya, I felt the same way! I wrote a newsletter (medialyte.substack.com) post about the subject, and I would love to hear your thoughts:

  12. 1

    Same. Asked people many times, and had only answers like "it's a new way to chat, superaddictive"... waaat?

  13. 1

    I never understood to "only invite" social networks. It supposed to be social...

  14. 1

    Clubhouse brings unique dynamics of real-time voice conversations. I am enjoying it so far. Part of my experience was like a Tech Summit: asking questions, answered by VC/Tech leaders, Fun night talks getting to know new people.

    1. 1

      I am Building Clubhouse for remote teams 💬, Drop-in audio talk lets teams Spark a conversation with a single click. Check out Tappy 👈 if you are interested.

  15. 1

    If I understand it correctly it's the fact that real-time group chats act as a good-enough surrogate for in-person group conversation or a good-enough surrogate for the experience of going to a startup event featuring a panel.

    It isn't so much an app for social networking as much an app for online social events, something that the competition does pretty badly, if at all.

    That being said I'm still kind of luke warm on the idea since I kind of grew out of startup events a while back. The panels and talks aren't the highlight anymore for me. Now it's more about the opportunity for friendly chats and free drinks.

  16. 1

    It replaces my Youtube background noise whilst coding/designing, so it's pretty good! Every now and again you come across someone you want might to network with in the future.

    You can then follow them and case them up when you see fit. Works out better for me than listening to singular "known" podcasts or YouTube channels. Quality (conversation structure) might be somewhat low at times, but the variety of folks is great!

  17. 1

    I'm really intrigued. I love listening to talks when I'm working, and if i can pop in and ask questions as well, that's awesome. If anyone has an invite, I'll gladly take it and invite some more Indiehackers :)

  18. 1

    I don't do real-time communication either.

    But I have worked with couple of voice based apps earlier [circa 2016].

    Pandemic has played a definitive role in the success of Clubhouse, it would be interesting to see how it pans out after people get on to regular activities as we are generally shy to speak to our phones in public.

    But Clubhouse being aimed at professionals isn't like anything before; Perhaps people are justifying the time put in it as work.

  19. 1

    I like it. I think for me the coolest part has been hearing notable people from different worlds having conversations that I would never have been privy to otherwise. You get a taste of this when a podcast host brings on multiple guests at once, but even when that happens, they're usually from the same industry or connected in some way. I've also found the Clubhouse convos to be a little bit more organic too-- for better or worse

  20. 1

    While i agree about the hype you're basing your assumptions on what you want. The market is the ultimate decision maker.

  21. 1

    Never even heard of it, so definitely missing it!

  22. 1

    Depends on your communication style and preferences. There's something about hearing someone (tone, cadence, etc.) that makes connections much different.

    I've found success in making connections with smaller groups, you can have real conversation with results in actual networking. It can be a good substitute for meetups.

  23. 1

    I joined this week and participated in a couple of rooms. It was OK, but I don't think I am going to be a long term user. It is just too hard to participate. Unlike here on IH and other forums, I can interject with a comment at any time and it can be seen later by others - on CH, it is hard to get heard unless you are within the "in" group and git invited (at least that was my experience from the few rooms I was in today).

    One or two rooms were good value, but the others were just noise and people self congratulating etc. And what was with the 1000+ "Elon Musk pre event chat and discussion" rooms that sprung up today? I think too many people leaching onto popular rooms like Remoras in that fashion will kill any value the app has.

  24. 1

    For me it's a downtime kind of thing. when doing dishes or laundry.
    Kinda like live radio for cars

  25. 1

    +1 from me!! total time sink ;-)

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