Ben Rubin is the Founder & CEO @ /talk, the anti-meeting tool for fast, decentralised conversations. Prior to co-founding /talk, Ben was the Co-Founder & CEO @ Houseparty, where he scaled the product to millions of users and raised over $70M in funding from the likes of Sequoia, Greylock and Entree Capital to name a few. In addition over the last few years Ben has enjoyed roles at Sequoia as a Scout and then also at Benchmark as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Ben made his way into the world of startups and came to found Life on Air, later turning into Meerkat and Houseparty? 2.) What were Ben's key learnings from the Houseparty scaling experience? Why are the traditional metrics we use to measure startup success (DAU, MAU etc) insufficient? What is the nuance to metrics? How does Ben think about being first to market vs being the best to market? 3.) How does Ben believe the product principles differ when comparing the 0-1 stage vs 10-100 stage? How does Ben think about where to be rigorous on product? How does Ben advise founders to discover the key guiding product principle? What was it for Ben with Meerkat? 4.) Meerkat pivoted to Houseparty 3 months after having raised $40M, how did Ben communicate that to the board? How did they respond? How does Ben believe the best boards operate? What does Ben most look for in his board members? Where do many go wrong with board management? 5.) From the team side, when in hypergrowth, when do things start to break? What profiles are usually the first to break? Does that mean one should not hire those profiles? What can the leader do to create that intimacy and trust amongst the team? Items Mentioned In Today’s Show: Ben’s Fave Book: Seneca: The Shortness of Life As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here! Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.
This is the insider story of Houseparty. In the last two months, the video app has grown 1600% to become the #1 social app in 82 countries, including the U.S., with hundreds of millions of users. Its success, however, has been many years and trials in the making.
In this episode, early investor & advisor James Currier joins Ben Rubin, the Founder of Houseparty to share the insider story of how the product went from zero-to-one to ubiquity.
It’s the real story that most founders never get to hear. This episode is about the ups and downs of building Meerkat & Houseparty, and about his new work communications network, /Talk (Slash Talk). This is a masterclass in product, pivots and perseverance that every Founder will benefit from.
Sarah Tavel (@sarahtavel), partner at Benchmark, and Ben Rubin (@benrbn), founder of Houseparty and Meerkat, join Erik on this episode.They discuss:- Where the white space is in social and the possibilities for vertical-specific social networks.- Why Facebook looks to young people today the way Yahoo! looked to Sarah’s generation.- What participatory social looks like and how to solve the problem of presence.- Their ideas for new social networks.- What Twitter could have been.- How social interacts with gaming, audio, dating, and other spaces.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Grace Chen is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Ben Rubin, the CEO of Houseparty, talks with Recode's Peter Kafka about why his livestreaming company pivoted away from its original product, Meerkat, just three months after that app was the toast of South By Southwest. Although Meerkat was the first mobile livestreaming app to get a lot of buzz, the company quickly realized that most users can't make good, genuine live content for others every day. Rubin explains how Houseparty is doing things differently, making it possible for multiple friends to hang out together on their phones and — he hopes — have genuine, troll-free interactions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices