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This is our cuppa joe

KP from getcuppa.io talks product development, product market fit, and tells his journey of building cuppa.

June 19, 2020
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Speakers
Justin Mitchell
Jordan Walker
Karthik Puvvada

Transcript

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Justin  0:42  

All right, welcome to another episode of remote voices. We took a week off we are back now we've got an amazing guest. I'm gonna go ahead and introduce Kp from kuppa tell us a little bit about yourself what your app is what you're working on. Yeah, what do you got, man?

KP  1:01  

Awesome. Hey there. So my name is Kp, thanks for the, you know, thanks for having me on the show Justin and Jordan. Well, if you guys have heard great things about Yac, and excited to dive, dive into it in a minute. So I'm one of the cofounders of copper. And copper is the internet's first coffeehouse. And it's all fully virtual. And that's the punchline, but really what it is, it's basically it's a place for you to meet and connect with other makers, founders, and people working in tech, especially with the remote work and, you know, now we're super, you know, like distance to the last, what, three months now. And, you know, for a lot of the folks who were missing out on social connections and the random video of, you know, meeting somebody in the same startup hub or running across the hall, and just like bumping into someone interesting. Who's building a product or building up, you know, app is what we were trying to recreate on the cloud. And so it's a great community. It's, you know, we launched our beta, while we launched our landing page in March, and the beta came out in April, like it took, maybe like, you know, three weeks, and it's been, it's been fun. Now we have about 1500 people on the waitlist. And we're trying to do it very, very carefully not to let everybody in because it's so easy to simply dilute the idea, especially when it's the community so we have a pretty high bar to let you know, get people in but now about 300 people have access and it's been fun watching how they interact with each other and, you know, and just give value. So long story short, cuppa is kind of like a coffee shop in the cloud.

Justin  2:50  

Awesome. what's what's your background? Are you are you developer Have you worked at startups before? I think hunter you know, told me that you had a pretty cool story.

KP  2:58  

Sure. So my background has been in product all my adult life. And I've graduated from Vanderbilt University like 2013 amazing. I'm dating myself, but ever since then I've always been a, you know, in the product space. I was, you know, the product teams, Product Manager and, you know, building products. I was on NBA mobile app team. We launched 2017, I think LeBron James tweeted at us saying, our, you know, our new launch was broke or something, and we had to pull an all nighter, because we were like, Oh, my God, you know, so, no, so I've always been in the product teams, and especially customer facing teams. So b2c is where my heart is. And I never knew how to how to really code I went to school to learn how to code, but I quickly moved into hardware. And I realized that, you know, I had to make a choice. Multiple times. I'm sure a lot of people are thinking the same thing as a maker as a founder. You know, would you spend them The rest of your life learning how to code, or would you spend the rest of your life, you know, with someone who knows how to code, but, you know, building an amazing experience and learning about how to deliver value at every encounter you get with your customers, right? And I made the choice long time ago, I'm not going to rewrite that. So I just said, Okay, I'm going to be no code. Luckily, that's a new movement now.

Justin  4:22  

Yeah, definitely

KP  4:23  

So it's worked out really well. And so to my point about iterating, to like, you know, learning how to do this, right, I took eight separate, you know, shots, or you may call it bats or whatever. It's baseball, and I'm from India, so maybe I should talk cricket, and in separate swings, and finally landed on cuppa, and all of them went on, most of them went on product. And so I went I learned the journey of being a maker, being a founder without ever having a breakout product before cuppa. And so finally, we are here and we're we're seeing some good ressonance.

Justin  4:56  

And cuppa still technically b2c, right? Because you're not thinking of this as a collaboration platform it's more of a place just to like meet people and talk person to person.

KP  5:05  

Yeah, it's very b2c still. And I would think I would suck at b2b things. I just don't have that, you know, DNA in me I just very consumer minded person. And so I've tried to stay stay in my lane and play to my strengths.

Justin  5:19  

Well, that's cool, awesome. Well, we're gonna we're gonna bring up some tweets, some are startup related, some are remote work related, and we're just gonna, we're gonna chat about them. Let's see, what's this first one, we've got a chat here. Oh, this is about asynchronous work, which is great. So Alan says a distributed team spending. It's four hours of overlap, mob programming will be massively more effective than a distributed team of isolated individuals that never truly collaborates. Regardless of how they communicate. Both synchronous and asynchronous communication between isolated individual individuals is a disruption. So he's saying doesn't matter how you're communicating, it's a disruption. If you're actually collaborating though, communication is part of the work and you Can't do it asynchronously. So rather than thinking about sync versus async, maybe you'd be better off thinking about how it's best to actually collaborate as you work. And obviously, Yac we're, you know, we're very strong on the async collaboration train. And, you know, this is very interesting. He's obviously got a very strong opinion on this. I mean, communication is so unbelievably important in remote work, and it makes or breaks kind of the entire flow of a project. And, you know, I think I just tweeted this out a little bit ago, but one of the, you know, main things that we talk about a lot in our product is that availability means that you're actually not working and so you should be unavailable most of the time. You know, how do you think about inside of like, cuppa How do you balance your availability to do a pass by coffee shop, you know, chat with somebody versus your ability to be focused and, you know, in the zone, you know, do you think about that a lot about you know, you're targeting workers, obviously, not just individuals. How do people find time to do this? Are they or do you expect them to stop working and go to a coffee? You know, chat online?

KP  7:08  

Right, Oh, a great question. I think it's, you know, striking that balance is really hard. I mean, I've seen so many people like that tweet at me or dm and share their stories about how they're utilizing copper. And one of the chance one of the productive things that came out among the stories that I've heard was when people on the weekend or something where people actually intentionally, you know, decided to spend 30 minutes, you know, a day for the next four days Monday through, you know, Thursday at a certain time set an hour. That worked out really well because they knew that there was something to look forward to through the day that hey, this is my time that I'm dedicating or, you know, just having a casual conversation. And also, it could be like most people want to just unwind, but also sometimes when you You know, just meet someone who's very interesting, who builds something really cool, that unwind time to turn into something super stimulating and can inspire you for your next thing, right. So that's the variable reward. We talked about how it's like the ultimate slot machine, like, you know, when we first did the algorithm, we said, I want it to be like a slot machine where it's like, the, every time you pull that, you know, there is a sense of serendipity and randomness that you don't know, you know, it's not that you're you're always going to get the best, you know, fit once in a while you get someone who you would never ever talk to you. But their shared interest as long as their criteria, and your criteria matches, there's a shared interest and so you have something to bounce off of, but you may not may not be the same person that you chose in the beginning, right. So, balance wise, I think, you know, the ones who have benefited really well and I try to do this a lot is which is being intentional about, you know, my synchronous time and seeing These are the parts of the day that I want to have live combination people. And the rest of it, you know, leave me alone.

Justin  9:07  

Yeah, I mean, I think rituals and habits have a lot to do with that. I mean, Jordan, you're in general, probably the most ritualistic of all of us. I feel like your days are, you go to the gym, you wake up, you eat breakfast, like, it's all, like, pretty planned out. Do you think that that factors into your work day at all? Do you work like that as well?

Jordan  9:22  

Yeah, I think so. I think that's why this tweet is particularly interesting. So like, the way that I like to do things is like, reserved, like, you know, this time to this time for meetings, this time to this time for like sitting down and getting deep work done. So I think it depends a lot on like, everybody's kind of unique working style. I you know, for us again, async is just what makes the most sense. And like Justin said, you know, and I'm in my personal life, I think rituals do play a massive, massive part into that.

Justin  9:51  

Yeah, I mean, I think I think the tweet is right. I think in general communication is disruptive, but I'm not sure you know, I to talk about this a lot in my life online debates and arguments is this concept of like, what do you gain by, you know, synchronous, real time whiteboarding, right. Like, there's not, you know, you still do something and then you show it to somebody, and then you do something else, and you show it to somebody, even when you're in an office together. Nobody's watching you draw the line. And that's the important part of it. It's when you finish it, and you step aside and you show them what, you know, you did that that's actually the part that's important to the conversation. So I don't know that I agree that he says, you know, actual collaboration can't happen asynchronously, I mean, obviously, we don't agree that's, you know, kind of the point of Yac. But I think that he's, you know, taking a misstep too far to say that it's not about you know, the disruption, disruptions going to happen no matter what. But if you can decide how you're disrupted and you can have something planned in advance, just like you were saying, Kp like you can have something on your calendar, you can have a focus time. I recently hunted a product on Product Hunt. reclaimed dot AI you You guys should definitely check that out. I plugged them all the time. They have a calendar integration that basically auto blocks time on my calendar and their new thing that I just hunted. It's called habits. And I feel like cuppa would slide right in there, you know perfectly because you could create a habit around, you know, synchronously meeting with somebody for you know, coffee over the internet. But what's cool about it is that it protects my time. And I think that defense of your time is probably the most important thing that we have as workers is defending in time. And yeah, I feel like this tweet is a bit of a misfire, because as long as you're able to defend your time, it's not an interruption, because you've planned for it. And so like my day is broken up in a way I'm constantly You know, this kind of stuff that we've scheduled. I've got calls with VCs, I got calls with customers, like there's all kinds of calls that I'm doing throughout the day, but with like reclaim automatically plugging in my calendar, it breaks up a morning, catch up routine for me, a lunch routine and an afternoon catch up, and it's automatically blocked out of my calendar and what's cool is it automatically shifts According to the other things that I've kept, you know, done so like if I have to do like a noon meeting because it's the only time I have available, it'll automatically figure that out and like move my lunch, you know, 30 minutes so that I still have that lunch. I was talking to Emilio yesterday like, he forgets to eat a lot. And I do the same thing like we get so caught up that like, we're not taking lunch anymore. And I think that having everything scheduled out like that, you know, not that your whole life has to be this just massive schedule.

Jordan  12:28  

I mean, I'm absolutely like that literally I have planned from like, eight to 805 through this in the morning 805-810. I have that planned out. So I think the structure is absolutely

Justin  12:36  

I'm not as structured as you I need I need an app like reclaim the structure me because I won't be structured. What's what's our next slide here? All right. So dear tech companies, employees don't need ping pong tables or beer fridges at work. employees need flexibility to do their best work and enjoy life. For instance, working remotely you know This is something we talked about a lot. You know, we talked about how office space is going to change, and we're going to need fun in life. I do think it's really interesting to think that a lot of offices thought that this was like the key to having a good, you know, office environment. It's like having all these fun things. And I've always thought like, they're super distracting. Okay, Have you even worked? Have you worked in an office Like this? Like, I've never worked in an office like this, so I don't I don't even know. Just like the key to having a good, you know, office environment. It's like having all these fun things. I've always thought like, they're super distracting. Okay, do you even work? Have you worked in an office Like this? Like, I've never worked in an office?

Jordan  13:40  

There's nothing that's special.

KP  13:43  

Well, don't hit on the ping pong, guys. I love the game.

Can you guys hear me still? Yeah, we can hear you. No,

Justin  13:51  

there's no crazy weird echo there. My thoughts were played back to me which was special. Interesting.

KP  13:57  

No. Well, I think What they're touching on is something deeper than just the superficial tables or beer fridges or whatever, you know, it's, it's, it's this misalignment of what really means more to your employees was what looks cool to present to VCs or to outsiders or whatever, right, the perks, the superficial perks, they all look cool, and they're like, No, you can pretend that we're like a full, like a cool, fun company. But I think, you know, deep down, everybody knows you can't get yourself for too long. In any company, and especially starts from the top down, I believe in the founders themselves, on what they value the most, you know, if you if they value to your point about, you know, giving back time to people so that they can do whatever they want to do. Whether it's ping pong or whatever, or it could be a side projects, right? It could be something that they want to build, you know, and now, this is the era of side projects, you know, the last two years, I'm guessing the next 10 years. So, you know, I think allowing people to have complete agency on how they want to spend their free time and even like, optimizing for it is, to me more inclusive than simply throwing out, you know, a bunch of perks here and there.

Justin  15:17  

I mean, this probably touches on your product a little bit though, right is that ping pong tables might have been the way that somebody collaborates or connects with another, even at the same company and if that is taken away, and now we're all remote, maybe you do need something like cuppa to kind of replace that like fun interaction. That's not work work related. It's you know, it's still work buddies. But maybe it's casual, right? Yeah, yeah, I think it's important. We had we had actually we added this the last minute here. I don't know if you saw this tweet. This was on slash guys. Yeah. Hunter sent this in our group chat. And like literally my only reply was stuff we need to just like keep a check on like, it's, it's like a great reminder and a refresher But it's funny because at the same time, I think same day, somebody else tweeted out that complexity is what sells often. And so it's like this dichotomy of like, how do you keep your product simple? And how do you compare that to what's complex? Because complexity is what's often feature rich, right? But like, obviously, I mean, I think I had this tweet actually pulled up so I can like, read into it. But he says, don't offer more offer better, which I think is a really key thing. But when he talks about like the product at the very beginning, he said, we started with 10 stock photos, which, yeah, it says, pick a short note jargon, tagline, free, do whatever you want high resolution photos, 10 new photos every 10 days. So that means for a whole week, like all they had was 10 photos at the very beginning. And I think oftentimes I think of our product is like, man, if I don't get this next release out in the next like 30 seconds, my users are just gonna like plummet. And here they are with a whole week of lucky I only got 10 photos. And you know, their numbers were ridiculous. It's some I think it's somewhere in this tweet. Like they had the crazy traction, man, and then they're comparing it to the other side. So they had said most photo stock photo sites at 50 million images, they had the 10 best images that they could, you know, get launch day they had 30,000 people subscribed. And then they hit 300,000 subscribers in a few months with no product changes. That is just like, I mean, it's testament I think, you know, in this tweet, it says they subscribe from Y Combinator like a Hacker News post that went number one, I think it's testament to maybe the virality of or the importance of virality in your in your product having something that gets shared and then just takes off, but it proves that if the right people find it, having you know, if your competition and you're going up against you know, another let's say I stock or something and investor says like you'll never be able to compete because they have 50 million images. And you have 10 it's clearly not true, you know, as long as you're offering a better experience, you know, how do you think about this when you're building your product? You know, I think right now, you said no code. So you are keeping it pretty, relatively simple. You know, what do you do? You know, intentionally, I guess, to keep your product simple.

KP  18:18  

Well, we struggled with that a lot. You know, I think, like, many early stage founders, but I remember distinctly thinking, you know, we don't need to reinvent the wheel in terms of video platforms, right. I mean, there's so many cool ones, like there's so many really amazing ones, zoom Swan, you know, you've got the defaults, like, you got the Google Hangouts, you know, meet and you got so many more now. So our first gut feeling was our CTO was like, Okay, what do we do? And we almost like thought about rebuilding or recreating a video chat platform, because, you know, he could do it and he's very talented. He loves building those kind of things. But we caught ourselves and say like, what, how can we help No code the shit out of this, you know, it doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't have to be pretty. Because if people are coming to you, if it's fancy and pretty, then they are expecting, you know, a whole, like a VC, you know, driven experience, right? They're expecting like a real, mature product. But you never build a community with a mature product. And that's my two cents. You always build a community with almost a broken product, but the great intention, right, wrong gets a lot of heat from everybody. Like I stated somebody's job, too. But to me Rome's not meant for everybody today, right? And Instagram was like that. I remember the early days of Instagram, there was only about a bunch of professional photographers who take like these, you know, artsy looking pictures and posts on Instagram, and I never even care to go back. I was probably I would log in like once in two weeks, which is crazy, because I'm always keeping up with all the latest, you know, consumer apps and everything. So when unsplash launched I remember on day one, I was there. I don't know Hacker News thread, but remember the actual launch and look, I think was on Twitter somewhere I discovered them and I thought it was really cool because they only had 10. And it creates the sense. I think the playbook has to adapt based on the room. Right? It based on based on what what the current

Justin  20:11  

the current climate is? Yeah. I mean, I think what was unique about unsplash for me, because I remember the launch to was, they were the first stock quote unquote, stock photo website that had photos that I liked, like, that actually looked good. And it was such a pain to wade through 50 million images to find one that looked good. And they nailed the like, these are amazing. Every single one of them is an amazing image. I mean, I had when I had my Android phone, I have a reflash Android app that just like does a unsplash photos, my wallpaper. So they're everywhere in my life. We we actually just were using the aura ring, the health tracker app the other day, and they've updated their mobile app and Jordan eyes like first impression was they just have like unsplash images in the background and it just looks amazing and it's just unsplash Images, right? It's almost become synonymous with like a style of photo in a weird way.

KP  21:05  

And also to it's there, you know, I really am now, now with these numbers, I was blown away yesterday when I saw these, I was like, wow, they held out longer than I anticipated, you know, because if this was like 20,000 numbers, that makes sense, they hit 300 k with the same principle, which is insane to me. Right. So kudos to them, man. It's really hard to, you know, cut down on your feature scope. And, you know, double down on what's working. It's really hard. But this is how i t tells this is what shows right?

Justin  21:37  

Yeah, I think you know, Jordan, one of the things that I think is interesting is when we took clients on on so friendly, we tell them to do this all the time. And then I think at Yac when it's your own product.

Jordan  21:46  

Yeah, you struggle a little bit more. You definitely Yeah, you kind of get lost your own sauce, because like, There's no one like you're not objective, necessarily to your own thing. Like when you're building for somebody else. You can like, Oh, hey, you know, do this or do that, but it's really thing you can do like, Ah, you know, the lines get blurred a little bit.

KP  22:03  

Yeah, it's every two days, I get a you know, every couple of days every three days I get a DM from someone or an email from someone saying that, hey, we need this for cuppa we need that for cuppa. This would be cool for cuppa right? Now in my one of my first few products that I built, that would be like, that would be first of all, like so exciting for me. And I will take that feedback immediately and run with it. Right without ever thinking about will this fit will this piece fit in the larger puzzle that we want to build? Right? Most of the times their intentions are good, but they don't know what your roadmaps like and your focus is like, right? So they'll just keep throwing all these in random nuggets of ideas. And you know, you have to acknowledge it, right and you can be called and be like fuck, you know, screw you. You acknowledge it, but then you digest it and you say, okay, does it really needs to be built? Because if there's no correction behind that particular you know, feature you don't know That, right?

Justin  23:01  

Yeah. superhuman does this really well, like they are. So they planted their feet so strong, they just say like, that is not a feature that we're adding, like, I appreciate your feedback, but that's not where we're going. Right? Here's why. And I think that's tough to do. You know, conversely, we had somebody talk to hunter the other day about the product and they said, it's, it's just stupid that keyboard shortcut for search, you know, Command F, your typical search command doesn't open our search bar. And I was like, Yeah, like, I think that's pretty valid point actually. So we added it, right, because it like, took so little effort, but then a lot of times probably the most frequent thing we get is why can't I do real time voice chat on Yac and we're like it's very easy to add that it's technically not difficult. Nothing goes against our product and you know, not come from a ethos perspective, you know, where we want to be and so we have to sometimes decide a how many people are asking for this. Is it everybody or is it just A couple people are the vocal, you know, the vocal minority or, you know, we get asked a lot about text, you know, Hey, I just wanna be able to send some text messages. It's like, dude, just use slack. And then, you know, conversely, we had VCs very early on asking, you know, why can't slack just add voice messaging right into their UI? And, you know, we've, we have a blog on this, like, we've tried all the voice messaging stuff. And like, the problem is, is when you send a voice message through Slack, the inherent lazy response is to just reply with a text message, because that's the, like, easy way to do it. And then you lose out on the emotion and the tone and by high bandwidth that voice gains, you know, there's a reason why you build couples, like a video voice platform, right? Like, it's a reason it's not a giant text messaging group, because you'll build relationships that way. And so, you know, we have to be very purposeful about you know, the stuff that we're putting in and I don't know I like this. If you haven't read this tweet, the thread go off, read it, Michael show. It's so worth it because it's just a great reminder for anybody. Anything that they they need to keep it simple keep the value prop is kind of like the the highest, you know point that they're looking for and not just like bogging things down with features I mean even today at the state that unsplash is at it's still kind of its core concept like it's still that core feature set simplicity. Alright let's let's see next one. Have you seen this Have you seen human ideas is this you haven't come across this yet. I feel like I saw it I'm product on so as I was less surprised by this, I have their website pulled up. Human IPOs of people you believe in issue trade and redeem human equity backed by time. If you go to their website, you will notice that it is all a bunch of white people. I think some of them have black and white photos maybe to hide that. You know, the the Twitter thread around this was a little funny. They said what a time to launch a product where you claim why people in the middle of the Black Lives Matter protests. It does seem a little tone deaf. Our token black guy Jordan, do you want to know? Yeah, I knew about this.

Jordan  26:06  

I talked with hunter Justin about this stuff all the time. I think this is just I mean, I guess I'd get the idea but I think it comes across in like really bad to just tone deaf it totally is. It really is naming. And there's even I mean, there's other people out there. I don't want to get really into it. But like people who are disguising, like marketing toys and stuff, you know, kind of behind all this craziness that's going on. So yeah, I just think it's very, it's very tone deaf. It reads kind of weird.

Justin  26:31  

But I mean, I guess looking at the product itself, I'm not sure like, I totally get it. So the examples they give down here at the bottom are like, Tim Cook has amortized 610,000% over the last 30 years. I and like their whole concept is like this is Mike Mike is working on something cool. He is new, so his time costs almost nothing. So the idea is like you invest in like a founder or like a developer that you think is gonna make it big You know, maybe I don't know, maybe they're a $30,000 a year employee, and in two years there now a $90,000 a year employee. And so since you bought in early, you can have them do stuff for you at a lower rate. But how is that not just like the, like, the inherent issue of undervaluing someone's value, like, if I have worked my way towards, you know, you know, a certain salary or certain hourly rate as a contractor or whatever, I want to be paid that the fact that you invested in me early on does not entitle you to cheaper rates, like I don't know, I don't I give me maybe my friends or my family special rates, but like this seems weird.

KP  27:40  

Yeah. Yeah. I think it's, I feel like it's, it sounds like some of these ideas, you know, there's this sound like good ideas in theory, right. But when you actually see them, examine them, you're like, it's, it's a mess. And this is one of those classic ideas. You know, I think the

Justin  27:58  

the tone that probably most Coming from coming from Florida not being in the Silicon Valley you know, bucket I guess is that if you look at like all the people on the site like they're all like Forbes 30 under 30s if you look at like the Twitter thread that's basically all it's talking about is like man I'm so jealous I'm not on the list not like you know it's it's the bro club it's the

Jordan  28:18  

understand generically like why you would want this like sure yeah culture like I get it maybe but like for like the normal worker in like South Carolina like why would I get

Justin  28:27  

why I would want to be listed on it but sure, I don't know why I would want to use it yeah, that seems weird to me like I'm not going to buy shares of you Yeah, a that's insulting to you I think.

KP  28:40  

Yeah, that's my point. It's it's you know, other things but yeah, this is it's it's a mess. I think it's

I'm glad I didn't come into my sphere yet.

Justin  28:52  

Yeah, it's just it's really weird. So I think you know, we talked about there's never a good time to ship I would say that now was literally not the right time to ship this like the gate you should have just waited a couple weeks to to announce this I it's it's the current state i mean we we skipped our podcast two weeks in a row now go back to the drawing board you know we we've decided not really to market new releases we haven't done a Product Hunt launch in a while like it's just not the time

But certainly don't launch something where you're buying people that's that's over the top. All right, well, let's what's next, Google removes Tick Tock clone and Zen is I use Zen zine. So Zen Zen from playstore after reports of plagiarism, have you seen this app Kp?

KP  29:41  

Zynn? No.

Justin  29:44  

It's like a tick tock clone. So they, I'm just gonna like turn our video off because it's like, not important anymore. Anyway. It's a tick tock clone, but I think they pay you to post I think that's the

Jordan  29:59  

something Like that.

Justin  30:01  

And so you get paid for uploading content. This was clearly a, you know, well funded startup that was gonna, you know, pay everybody to fill their empty room. I mean, every startup, every social startup has the empty room problem, right? You go into a new app, and it's just empty. And so it's all working, and there's no content. So I guess we'll just proceed the comment the content by paying people. So, you know, the inherent obvious thing happened, people were just uploading content that they didn't own. And they were getting takedown requests. And so Google had to remove the app. Like, how insane is that? That, you know, you got to the point where, you know, you incentivized illegal behavior because you're you couldn't get users I guess, a traditional way. I you know, I've heard of growth hacks you know, you look at Airbnb as being like a really early use case of this where they would like, go to other people's houses. Take professional photos and use those professional photos so that their posts look good. Why wouldn't they have just gone to creators though, and like paid creators to make content paying users to just upload stuff? It's it's definitely sleazy, but I mean, clearly worked. They topped the charts number one.

KP  31:18  

Yeah, that's, again, it's, it's, you know, it's one of those things where you have to draw the line for yourself, you know, and think about the long term place. I mean, some of these things are super short term, you know, place and then it it's it saddens me that there's so much founder energy and employees energy going into shit like this that won't last three months, you know? So it's, uh, yeah.

Justin  31:45  

How are you getting users?

KP  31:49  

Well, so the empty room problem, right? Luckily, we never had that problem from from day one, you know, because the size of the room was a closet. I made it, I made sure that the room size was very small from the beginning, right? I mean, so the v1 of copper, when I launched the landing page, it was just a landing page. And I wanted to see if we would get enough people to bite just for the landing page. We didn't have any product, we didn't have nothing. And we had about 250 people that weekend, sign up, and I don't have a huge following on Twitter or anything. So that's that told me something that there was some signal here. So we went, we started there. And I looked at I just took a quick look at the list of people who join and some of these people who are like, you know, well known people and people that I recognize, and they're smart people. So I'm like, okay, so there's some signal for sure. Hey, it's not just a bunch of random bots on Twitter. So with that, I built the v1 completely manually, you know, so I was the matchmaker for the first two weeks because I didn't I didn't want to, you know, spend time building you know, code solution when if there is no Demand if there is no interest there. So I got my 1213 people, my close friends and be like makers that I respect on Twitter and the people who would like listen to me and got their schedules everything together and then built an air table thing where I can just look at Oh, Sunday, Michael Novotny, and Michael Gil are free at 2pm. So let me send an email to each of them. So it's almost like a it was almost like a warm intro service that I did for the first 20 couples. And cool. Yeah, and it was really special because I knew them separately, right? I knew Mike in the walk me I knew, like with Anderson, how the same. Some of these names, I'm just like, you know, throwing out shout outs to everybody that all my good friends didn't know each other. So that was a sense of joy for me to to connect them, you know, because they lived in different cities. So it was so much fun and they enjoyed it I only asked was 30 minutes and you know, nothing more. And they all loved it. I mean, the thing with being around makers and founders you know, you probably can relate to this is There's never, you know, and there's never like, a time where it ever gets boring because people are always building shit. Yeah, every, like, even if they have a mainstream fully funded startup, there's still buildings here on the side.

Justin  34:15  

And they typically support everyone else who's also building shit. Yeah,

KP  34:21  

It's very transferable, like the feelings are very, very relatable, you know. And so, it's so amazing to him. And I knew this, like I thought this was n equals one n equals 10 sample size. But now we're a cup of 300 like the same feeling the same feeling of togetherness, the belonging of, Hey, I know how fucking hard it is to like, go from an idea to landing page to a, you know, ship product. And so I'm gonna give you real feedback or I'm gonna help you launch we're gonna, you know, we're gonna support you whatever that existed. So anyway, the v1 was just with those people and prove the theory. And then I knew I also with that process, I had a Sort of working process like in place, which I could simply take that workflow and build a no code solution for it, which Michael Gill, my co founder how to do it. And so then it will launch to 100 people, all of them ended up because they felt like there was a special hundred to test this. And so we kept increasing the size of the room. So you never have an empty room, you know? So yeah, contrarian thing that I think, you know, I wouldn't have done like, maybe a year ago, I just learned that from, you know, from maybe some times here.

Justin  35:29  

I got reached out to on Twitter recently by this company called matchbox.vc. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so they did something very similar like, right super gorilla reach out, like, Hey, we want you involved, like you want to be involved. And then like their entire app or technology right now is basically like a calendly. Right? Like, there's nothing crazy going on in the back end. They're just facilitating those connections. Right. And, you know, I got matched up with a guy. We did fortnight's session together. We talked about product. It was cool. You know, he followed up, you know later was like, hey, how was your first matchbox, you know, session like how was it? What do you think I'm like, yeah, we're getting a demo of his product at the end, he tweeted out about it. And he was like, Man, this is so cool like two founders connected over fortnight and are now getting demos each other's products. And I think that that's, you know, I talk about this a lot in like how we talk about yaks growth. And I think we're fortunate to have, you know, the users that we have and the growth that we have, but a lot of people are like, man, how did you guys do this? You came out of nowhere. And it's like, dude, we were just like, earnest and honest, like involved in the community for the last year. loud and proud about what we're building, chatting, con, you know, people constantly I'm in a bunch of like maker groups and like slack channels. And I think that people respect when you are just like, boots on the ground. You know, putting your effort forward, you know, getting involved in like putting value out into the marketplace.

Jordan  36:52  

Yeah, I think the biggest thing for us just like we just got involved, like just have the conversations, meet people say hello, whatever. Just get involved,

KP  37:00  

Right, I get that friendly vibe from you know, all three of you guys, you know, it's something that a lot of people complain about a lot of people like worry about. How do you like, you know, what do you how do you like, you know, handle the competition and all that crap, you know? And to me, it's almost always I look at teams like you guys, right? I always think in my head and think like, if I started Yac today, like literally no clue, no code clone of Yac today with all these bubbles and whatnot, yeah, able to replace their energy.

Justin  37:30  

You can't replace us with no code, we are very unique!

KP  37:36  

I think a lot of people don't understand and don't actually, you know, appreciate their own strength that way. Right? And then there's too too worried about like someone cloning them, you know, on second day of coppers launch, somebody sent me a, you know, landing page of another company called grab Chai, which is an Indian version of Kabbalah. There you go. I was like, you know, and everybody thought, okay, it was This is like, hell breaks loose or whatever. I didn't care for it. And I actually reached out to that maker and congratulated him on the launch. And he was blown away. He said, actually, Kp Let me tell you this. I've been following you. I swear, I definitely didn't see the launch of copper, which, you know, who knows what the truth is, but I over index on people and trust and say, You know what, maybe he never saw that. And it's okay.

Justin  38:22  

Have you heard our crazy story about that, you know, we built a Chrome extension called Next up, and we're just about to launch it on product on and so I was like getting all the assets together for this. And in the Chrome Web Store, I saw a recommended, you know, extension called up next. And I was like, Oh, that's interesting. So I click on it, and it's own Williams. He has launched the exact same product as me at the exact same time and like I went through like both of our Twitter histories, and we had literally been working on it like day to day at the exact same times. Similarly building the exact same product and he named his up next and I named my next up I hadn't tweeted about mine at all. So I know he didn't steal it. Like it was just like a weird shared brain thing. But we both had the same idea.

KP  39:07  

Yeah, it happens a lot, especially now, you know, with this, like, especially with work from home, everyone's like, you know, about this extra hour that they're not wasting on commute. A lot people are thinking about the same ideas a lot. Right? So, you know, but but here's the thing, I think, in the long run, you know, what stands out is how unique and how authentic you were to the room you were speaking not even to the other room, right? So I told the guys who were you know, sort of who were doing this for the Indian crowd I said, like, I can't speak to the current Indian demographic because I'm like now in Atlanta, please You know, just go ahead march on and do what you're doing you know, and three months later, we're like completely different products now, like if you look at the the internal product, the apps itself they're very different. Yeah. So it's, I think, you know, people you know, I to you guys, but that kind of circle back to that Actual point, which is the reason I love Yac was is nothing to do with the product, which is shocking. It's got nothing to do with the product, although as a product manager, founder, I saw your journey, I remember your launch on the product. But it's not meaningful to me that it's like, oh, it's one of the it's definitely the products. what's meaningful to me has been your voice in the community. And all of you do this, and I know, not so much on Jordan. I don't follow him very actively, I think but I know you're all in the same room thinking the same things. And it comes out really authentically. And that's my favorite part.

Justin  40:36  

Yeah, that's cool to hear. Appreciate that. I think we only have how many we got anymore. I gotta get my Twitter game up. Yeah, man, you gotta get there. We got two beats. So we'll cover these pretty quickly because we got to wrap up. We've gone long. I appreciate you sticking with me. We'll blow through this one real quick. This is Dieter from the verge. I'm not gonna read the tweet. But basically, Android 11 beta has this new thing called voice access. I'd like to bring this up just because hunter talks a lot about how Yac is, you know, maybe a little early, right? And the kind of thing that we think about is what are you going to do? How are you going to communicate with people, once keyboards and mice are no longer around and we think about AR, you know, mounted headsets, glasses, things like that. And I think that you know, it you see Android already making this like first step, you can start to interface with the OS just by calling out buttons and menus and tabs. And, you know, being able to use your voice or run through an OS like that may seem just like silly and ridiculous right now. But as you know, hardware starts to advance as you know, interfaces start to change. We're going to need a way to communicate, you know, with the device, but you know, also communicate with our teammates that's voice and kind of like hands free driven. And so it's exciting to see this like first step, you know, already being you know, pushed an Android I think, obviously, some of the first VR headsets, I bet are just going to be running Android on the back end. I know, you know, you and AR VR headsets like the Oculus quest are running Android. So it's cool to see this, you know, first step from Google from the Android team, already putting voice at a forefront, which is obviously exciting for for us at Yac. You know, I think we talked about this at the very beginning as well, simplicity is a great virtue, but it requires hard work to achieve it and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse, complexity sells better. And, you know, I think we've we've, we've talked about that a lot this concept throughout this entire episode. And I think it was super exciting to hear your perspective on this gapi. I love that you started with a no code approach. I think that's admirable and impressive to you know where you're at today. I also think in general, you know, that complexity sells better. Maybe on the surface value, or like maybe maybe on the surface like people here complexity and they think wow, that's impressive. But at the end of the day when you look at I mean, I think, think about magically Right.

Jordan  43:04  

I mean, I think I think that's just humans natural instinct in general. I mean, think about it when you go to a gym and you see all these, like fancy equipments and things like that people are like, oh, whoa, it's really complex. This must be like a really good place to work out. That you may discover, it may or may not be like the best gym. Yeah, you were talking about this today with me with your like, sports trainer. Yeah, when I used to like coach basketball back in high school and stuff, you know, the parents would want to see all the cones and ladders and all that fancy stuff. And they're like, wow, that must be like a really good workout, when in fact, it's like, you just really need to run sprints and like generic in shape. So yeah, it's weird complexity, I think is what sells on the surface. But for long term value, I think it's definitely, like the simplicity and ease of use that makes it I mean,

KP  43:47  

Apple is a classic example on that. Right.

Jordan  43:49  

It's for sure.

Justin  43:50  

Yeah. Probably the example on that.

KP  43:52  

The example Yeah, you know, a huge fan of Steve Jobs. And you know, I'm sure you guys relate to what I'm about to say. I think Apple Stan says one rare example in this sea of fortune 100 companies that are inundated with shit that's everywhere like it's there's so much product lines and so many you know multiple lines of things, but Apple like is definitely an outlier. Yeah it's a it's something there and also now that worlds most expensive, the highest market platform

Justin  44:25  

absolutely so it worked out obviously. Well, dude, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks for staying long. Where can people connect with you? Where can people sign up for cuppa you know, give them kind of the rundown here before we go off.

KP  44:38  

Sounds good. Thanks for having me. And this is fun. This I didn't realize we almost ran over . It felt like a real fun conversation. So you can reach out to me I'm very active on Twitter. So my handle is @thisisKp_

and you can reach out and join cuppa at getcuppa.io

Justin  45:02  

Awesome. We'll put some links in the show notes when this goes live. Thank you so much for joining us, man. I'm gonna pull you out and we'll kind of sign off with some music here. Thanks so much dude.

Jordan  45:13  

Thanks, man. See yah!