Hey everyone I wasn’t sure if I was going to make this thread. But the truth is I still feel such a strong emotional connection to you all. You were there when I was here, you were there when I left, you were there throughout my journeys at both Sphere and Twitter, and I still feel so lucky to know you all and be a part of this community.
(Fun side note - I was recently reading a book called The Business of Belonging by my friend David Spinks, the community guru from CMX - This very forum was mentioned in as a success story for product-led communities. I’ve learned a lot from David over the years, so to see that in there felt like a full circle moment. This community remains the thing that sets Monzo apart from the rest of the fintech scene.)
So as you all know, it’s been a pretty rocky road over the last year since a certain billionaire decided to buy my previous employer. I’m not gonna dwell on what he’s done there, we have a thread for that, and honestly, it’s been exhausting and taken up far too much of my headspace for the last 18 months already.
When I left, the thought that I kept coming back to was if I could find a way to leverage my history in the music business as well as my history in tech, running communities. Through some friends I discovered a company in LA called We Are Giant. Since I was going to be in LA anyway I decided to hit up the CEO for a coffee meet. Long story short, I’m now the Community Growth Manager for We Are Giant, a passionate and well-funded team of folks from tech and music building tools to help musicians grow and engage their fanbases. We’re currently iOS only, with two of our flagship features also being available on Web (the full suite of tools will be on Web by EOY) and I’m absolutely thrilled to be there and already leveraging many of my music biz connections to move the needle. If you’re on iOS and enjoy alternative/indie music, download the app and join “The B-Side” - our first genre-based collective outside of the direct artist channels. There will be more genre collectives to come, and that allows the company to build our own communities with editorial control - the artist communities are about agency for the artists to build and control the way they want - like a Discord server in that way. If you like discovering new music, feel free to check out their channels as well, we have full discovery in the app. One of our artists, Yung Bae recently released a song with the legendary Nile Rodgers! And we’re onboarding great new artists every week.
Secondly, I’ve also joined the team at Sutro in a part time capacity to help build their community.
The CEO is Sutro is Tomas Halgas, co-founder of Sphere and who also came to Twitter as part of our acquisition.
Sutro is a mind-blowing product. It uses AI and a custom language built by the team from the ground up to generate mobile apps from a single text prompt. Much like ChatGPT, you simply enter your idea for an app into the text prompt, and the AI then creates the app, does the backend and frontend, and you can then modify it in Sutro Studio before one-click publishing to the App Store, Google Play or Web. There is much work to be done but the capability is already incredibly impressive. On the website, you can see a demo of a Pinterest-like social network being built in literally 60 seconds. Please feel free to have a play around with it and see what you can build, and join our Discord if you want to keep up with progress.
Finally, I’m consulting the team at Kyndr, who are in the early stages of building a social network and community product aimed at wellness, empathy, and positive spaces, with a suite of tools in development to help creators grow. It’s early days for the team, but I am impressed with what’s been built so far. Unfortunately, I believe the app is currently US-only, as there needs to be some things implemented to be compliant with EU regulations before a launch here and in Europe. More to come on that front, but the team is executing quickly and the app is getting better with each release. Depending on the timeframe, if there’s interest I can look at getting folks in via TestFlight or Google Play pre-release.
If this sounds like a lot of work - it is (I’m part time at both WAG and Sutro, so it seems to work)! But after a post Twitter hangover, I’m ready to rock on all fronts.
I feel like at least one of these three products will be interesting to different folks here, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask. I’ll likely be a little less present than I have been, due to the sheer amount of work on my plate, but I aim to still check in when I can.
Thank you all again for your support and friendship over the years - long live the Monzo Community!