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Oct. 18, 2022

Abraham Shafi (IRL) - Building a community rather than an audience

Abraham Shafi (IRL) - Building a community rather than an audience

Our guest today is Abe Shafi, co-founder and CEO of IRL. IRL is Your group messaging app where you can Chat, create polls, post photos, and coordinate plans with your friends. We discuss: The founding story of IRL and the original thesis, growth, how they had to pivot their strategy during COVID, the approach to fundraising and where the company is currently at. Without further ado, here’s Abe.

We discuss:

  1. Why entrepreneurship?
  2. Why did you want to create a consumer company?
  3. What was the insight that led you to found IRL?
  4. What were people using at the time?
  5. What was the pain point you were initially trying to solve?
  6. What was your approach to UI and organizing communities on your product?
  7. How did you approach growth? What did success look like/what did you want a user to accomplish when they visited IRL?
  8. During COVID, how did you have to pivot?
  9. Despite the pivot, why do you think you became a unicorn in 2021 and raise money from Softbank?
  10. What happened from that moment to now where you had to lay off 25% of your staff?
  11. What’s this change in market conditions been like for your company?
  12. With all of these transitions, what does community mean to you?
  13. How do you build community and what’s different between a community and an audience?
  14. Seems like community has become one of the main themes of Web3. How do you position IRL in a Web3 world that has this promise for different revenue streams for creators?
  15. What is the future of rented platforms i.e. social media channels and channels you own i.e. email? Will these come together? How do you think about your own position at IRL?
  16. How do you think about this transition from Web2 to Web3?
  17. What’s one book that inspired you personally and one book that inspired you professionally?
    1. Thích Nhất Hạnh
      1. No such thing as stability
    2. Hard Things About Things
    3. Netflix “No Rules
  18. The biggest piece of advice?