By Nadja Atwal – www.nadjaatwal.net
New Yorkers move fast, work fast – many like me even talk fast – and implement trends fast, IF those pass the IQ and EQ test. Shaken by an extensive lock down during 2020 and forced to stay in, a new social media platform caught our attention that has offered both a fruitful way to communicate and build relationships plus – more importantly – a productive work tool to launch or scale your business. A new way to keep the hustle and bustle going that we so love about our city.
Clubhouse seemingly emerged on social media like a wild storm amid a protracted pandemic. But for its founders Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth of Alpha Exploration Co., it was a long time coming – and the product of s series of startups that sparked and faded, and Silicon Valley lessons learned and burned.
The invitation-only app, which enables auditory communication through virtual live rooms that have attracted high-profile speakers from Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg to Paris Hilton and Kanye West, was initially constructed around 2016 to be a podcasting tool called “Talkshow,” but as its founders tweaked the interface and algorithms in late 2019, it was re-branded “Clubhouse.”
And just as the world was brought to its knees in March 2020, the app entered the iOS sphere –its user count soaring as a coveted alternative to the increasingly censored mainstream media applications – and millions in venture capital pouring in from all parts of the planet.
As of April 2021, Clubhouse was valued at almost $4 billion – weathering its germinal flare of excitement.
The staying power was a welcome one for co-founder Davidson, a Stanford Business School graduate, who his peers have long depicted as a disruptor and momentum charger. But one who dabbled in developing technology for other startups before attempting his various photo-sharing applications. Meanwhile, Seth – also a Stanford graduate – is balancing his duties to the app with building Lydian Accelerator, the non-profit group devoted to finding genetic treatment and galvanized by his infant daughter, born with a mutated gene named KCNQ2.
Together, the new power duo has brought to life – at the junction of social, live, virtual and audio furor – the ultimate disrupter. I spoke with countless business owners about their experience and received nothing but raving reviews.
Kyle Wallgren, a Canadian serial entrepreneur, has successfully used Clubhouse to generate collaborations for his new app Edsoma and sums it up best: “Clubhouse has eliminated all excuses from any entrepreneur; so many people say: if I could just find the right person, I could be successful. Clubhouse is putting those people in front of them!”
Moreover, Australian-born top journalist Hollie McKay saw sales soaring for her book “Only Cry for the Living” about her life under ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
“This app is also a stellar resource when it comes to getting your product out,” she said, after only a couple of Clubhouse appearances.
Clubhouse has also emerged as a mecca for good – raising awareness and big bucks – for an array of crucial causes. These efforts range from shattering the stigma and helping users get lives back on track as part of mental health awareness week to quickly amassing more than $140,000 for people hit by the March snowstorms in Texas, USA.
Meanwhile, Masha Pearl, a prominent philanthropist and the Executive Director of The Blue Card, a leading charity exclusively supporting Holocaust survivors, has been exploring Clubhouse as an additional revenue stream.
“The Blue Card is constantly thinking outside the box in respect to fundraising on behalf of Holocaust survivors,” she noted. “We are encouraged by the increase in awareness of Holocaust survivor needs that Clubhouse has generated in such a short period of time.”
And Sami Steigmann, a Blue Card beneficiary, was the first Holocaust survivor on Clubhouse with over 6,500 followers last month.
He led a chat room that lasted over sixteen hours, with thousands of participants joining. Next, we are planning to host a Q&A with Sami and possibly adding a live concert to rooms in different countries. It is a unique way to combine awareness-building with effective fundraising.
As for me personally, I have fallen in love with Clubhouse. Especially with that dense field of highly successful individuals willing to share their knowledge – practicing the ultimate form of “pay it forward”.
I was recently recruited as one of the moderators for the global marathon room “How to run a successful business,” founded by a US serial entrepreneur couple, Dan Robbins and Kate Hancock, who engaged and inspired thousands to pursue an entrepreneurial path of their own. The room has already been going on for weeks, serving established and new business owners with detailed advice given by a strong, diverse panel.
Already 200,000 people from around the globe have tuned in to absorb a wealth of knowledge. And you never know who may stop by to listen in your rooms. One day you have Ashton Kutcher listening to your business tips, and the next day, you are talking animal rights with the top reality US TV star Carole Baskin from the true crime documentary “The Tiger King”.
Based on all this, I have no doubt Clubhouse is here not just to stay but to grow. Listen in, and yes, dare to speak.
Nadja Atwal is a German born New York based publicist, journalist, public speaker and commentator on TV.
She has been a highly publicized entrepreneur since the age of 23 advising both businesses and personalities on marketing and public relations- recently also adding focus to advising start up companies on using (early )media exposure for both scaling their business and /or attracting investors. She is an avid animal rights activist and last but not least the proud mother of two young sons.