Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Clubhouse: a tweet-sized memo

Some thoughts on Clubhouse.

This time around I'm trying to keep each section to a tweet-sized 280 characters. 

1/ A tweet-sized memo on…. 

👋Clubhouse🏠 (

Clubhouse is a voice-based social network. Clubhouse has $10MM in the bank. a16z won a bidding war in May 2020 thanks to actor/comedian Kevin Hart 🤟

2/ Problem: “It is hard for me to get access to live conversations between people who’s thinking I care about”

3/ Solution: “With Clubhouse, I can now  join, listen, and contribute to live conversations between people I care about. Just like I can with text on Twitter.”

4/ Product (Risk: Low)
  • Live/functioning product in the hands of users; though beta
  • ~1,000 - ~5,000 early adopters via word-of-mouth/referrals
  • Individual reported usage appears high for power users
  • a/o 6/20 continues to attract high-profile participants 
5/ Market (Risk: Medium)
  • Demand for audio is big (radio, youtube) & growing (radio, podcasts)
  • Twitter (~330MM MAU) as proxy for public convo
  • GTM is working (VC buzz, fomo, WoM, celebs)
  • Demand for live voice product is not explicitly proven out
  • Effect of quarantine on demand unclear 

6/ Team (Risk: Low)
  • Founders are repeat, pedigreed, have existed in the idea-maze for some time
  • Still must prove ability to hire/retain excellent talent with Clubhouse
7/ Competitive Advantage (Risk: Medium)
  • Multiple well-funded direct and indirect competitors
  • Clubhouse has competitive advantage via real-time network effects today 
  • Maintaining this advantage is non-trivial
  • No substantial moat seems to exist beyond network-effects
8/ Highlights
  • Experienced, pedigree founders
  • WoM Growth & high-usage
  • Growing market
  • Network effects
9/ To protect against 
  • Maintaining network effects
  • Reliance on Twitter social graph
  • Product execution on path to scale 
  • Building and maintaining team

Note 4-4-23

It is not looking good for Clubhouse.

"Since [mid-2021], the number of monthly active users on Clubhouse has dropped by 82 percent, according to data provided by Sensor Tower." The Verge