clubhouse icon

What is Clubhouse?

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By now you've probably heard about Clubhouse, the hot new social app. While I'm sure many of you are already on the inside, perhaps even hosting your own events, I've learned a few things since I joined that you might find interesting.

  1. What's it all about?
  2. It's audio only
  3. It's live and ephemeral
  4. It's invite only (but everyone is going to get in)
  5. The app icon is not the founder

1. What's it all about?

The cornerstone of Clubhouse is the concept of rooms and sharing of ideas. It's best thought of as an infinite number of lecture halls. Anyone (and everyone) can start a room and start talking. Rooms have topics and can be public or invite-only — even limited to only two people (aka private chat). Because Clubhouse cleverly started with celebrities, celebrities do seem to check into rooms from time-to-time.


2. It's audio only

In a world dominated by video streaming, Clubhouse has gone the other way and created an audio-only app. I think this is not only a smart move to avoid screen fatigue, but it also significantly reduces costs (video streaming requires x10 to x20 the bandwidth as audio). Even with this lower bandwidth requirement and the likely almost 100% Cloud infrastructure, I've seen the app struggling to keep up with demand recently.


3. It's live and ephemeral

Unlike most social media we are used to (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) which lives forever, Clubhouse content is live-only. There is no recording left behind, which should encourage contribution and real-time participation. If you aren't there when it's happening, there's no record which you can listen to at a later date. This is like Snapchat, but again thematic and audio-only.


4. It's invite only (but everyone is going to get in)

For now, Clubhouse is invite-only. I got my invite last week from my friend, Brazilian celebrity, Guilherme Berenguer. But we are at most only 6.6 degrees of separation from any person on the planet¹, so eventually, everyone will be able to get in. Building FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a great marketing tactic, and Clubhouse has managed to perform brilliantly.


5. The app icon is not of the founder

The icon you see on your phone for Clubhouse is a face, and it's not one of the founders. As of writing this email, the face is is currently of lullaby musician Axel Monsoor:

Clubhouse app icon

How often do they change it? I'm not sure. How do they pick the faces? I have no idea. But it's all part of the fun as this new app takes the world by storm! 

Note: This article first appeared in the weekly Metal Toad newsletter. If you find this article helpful and think someone in your life would benefit from it, please consider forwarding it to them and asking them to sign up to receive it themselves.

Date posted: February 24, 2021

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About the Author

Joaquin Lippincott, CEO

Joaquin is a 20+ year technology veteran helping to lead businesses in the move to the Cloud. He frequently speaks on panels about the future of tech ranging from IoT and Machine Learning to the latest innovation in the entertainment industry.  He has helped to modernize software for industry leaders like Sony, Daimler, Intel, the Golden Globes, Siemens Wind Power, ABC, NBC, DC Comics, Warner Brothers & the Linux Foundation.

As the CEO and Founder of Metal Toad, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, his primary job is to "get the right people in the room".  This one responsibility is cross-functional and includes both external business development functions as well as internal delegation and leadership development.

A UCLA alumni, he also serves in the community as a Board Member for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, and Stand for Children Oregon - a public education political advocacy group. As an outspoken advocate for entry-level job creation in tech he helped found the non-profit, P4TH, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of entry-level jobs in the tech industry, and is in the process of organizing an Advisory Board for the Bixel Exchange, a Los Angeles non-profit that provides almost 200 tech internships every year.


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