Of all the startups that launched in the last few months, I believe Clubhouse is the one that’s most disruptive and most irrelevant (now).
I have been writing about Clubhouse as I strongly believe that it is one of the most important format innovations of our times.
What’s up with Clubhouse?
The Google trends data pretty much sums it up.
The interest spiked, thanks to power-packed celebrities like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg etc. and faded, once these celebrities went inactive on the platform.
Here is what I wrote about this phenomenon: Clubhouse: Have celebrities done more harm than good?
..the celebrity power of Clubhouse GTM has brought in more consumers than producers. I am talking about the intent of usage, which pretty much defines how you will use the product in the long run.
Most now see Clubhouse as a place to listen to celebrities and not a place to talk to people who are like you.
Your community. Your friends. People who are at max 2-3 years senior in the career/startup/life ladder and the ones with whom you wanted to network – you don’t talk to them on Clubhouse.
The Good news (for Clubhouse)
Clubhouse, over the last few months, has gone completely mainstream (at least in India). In fact, it has gone from that #TechTwitter talks to sexchats, with more and more mass audience running after the follower count and my guess is that CH will soon start competing with Tinders of the world.
This might open new business models for Clubhouse (like digital gifting) and the movement to mass audience will help scale it better (the ‘tech/early adopters’ suck at such monetization plays).
Having said that, it is quite obvious that Clubhouse is now completely irrelevant for the tech audience – but I believe, it’s the most important format company that launched in recent times.
Format company? What’s that?
Well, they bring a completely different take on the content format and make it mainstream, opening the floodgates for others.
Twitter – broke the blog-post format to 140 characters (now 280)
Snapchat – introduced the ephemeral format.
Insta: one of the first ones to introduce mobile-first pic sharing.
Clubhouse made audio cool, sexy, and acceptable in a world driven by Zoom videos and mind-efffing boring-as-hell webinars.
As somebody who has been a huge believer* in audio, I strongly believe in the fact that audio conversations are way more intimate, candid and take away the entire boringness of videos.
*By the way, I launched my podcast in..2012…among the first tech podcast of India and also launched an audio-first news app a year before Jio went mainstream..twice unlucky, you see!.
Clubhouse as a feature
Clubhouse scaled the audio format to a point where it was competing with conferences (after all, why would you pay to listen to a virtual Elon Musk, when you can do the same on Clubhouse..for free in a far more intimate manner).
And now that Clubhouse has left a ‘big hole’ for tech (and professional audience), I strongly believe that there is room for disruption – but not by launching one more Clubhouse (sorry, Facebook).
The bigger opportunity is to treat Clubhouse as a feature – but for a bigger goal / use-case and move the world FWD.
After all, people have warmed up to the ‘audio’ experience and expect some great innovations in this space in the coming days.
It’s time to audio! What’s your take?
Few of my writings on Clubhouse: