Simon's Life Updates

Hey everyone :wave: 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! :heart:


PS - @AlanDoe you can change my title description to just say “Doing Community Stuff | Ex Monzo” - anything else is probably too long :joy:


Good to hear from you, Simon. While it may have been a rocky road, it sounds like you’ve been having an amazing time over the last year in the end anyway, and have crammed more experiences into that time that many of us (well, at least me) would have thought possible!

Of the three ventures you’re involved with, the last one sounds the most interesting to me, so it’s a shame it’s US-only for the moment - though I guess that’s to do with GDPR and properly storing/processing health data? The only thing is, I completely misunderstood what it might be when I saw the name first in the link preview before reading your text about it - my instinct was to read it as rhyming with ‘Tinder’, but it would appear it’s actually supposed to rhyme with ‘winder’ (as in, the act of winding a watch, say). Little bit of cognitive dissonance occurred. :sweat_smile:


Hey Nick - thank you so much! Yep, that’s absolutely right as I understand it from my talks with the team. Slightly frustrating but I get it. Even I’m on a TestFlight build myself, which has caused an issue or two when a production build has gone out and a TF one hasn’t :joy:

I’ll look into getting a Google Form set up at the least if there’s a few folks interested in trying it out.

Here’s a couple of screenshots in the meantime so you get an idea of what it looks like.

Still a fair few table stakes things and QA improvements to be made, but it is looking good :blush:


I organised a listening party with local university students for We Are Giant, starting in 2 mins!

Listen here on Web:

Or download We Are Giant on iOS and join The B-Side channel, look for the event called Nightmare at BCU :fire:

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Happy Cake Slice day!


I missed it! But thanks :cake:

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Sutro update! We just launched our brand new landing page :point_right:

It’s so much better than the old one. Captures the value prop much better, and gives way more contextual information.

Fun fact - I wrote all the copy :raised_hands:

Would love to hear your thoughts. Even if it’s not a service that you would use - is the landing page clear to you about what the product is and how it works? :thinking:


I always need to take a pause when you mention these. You’re too synonymous with Saturo (you’re the reason I ever bought their drinks) for me, so I keep reading it as Saturo.

Edit: Just finished reading the landing page. Copy is great!

LLM-powered AI platform for developing full stack applications. Create production-ready, highly polished apps ~1000X+ faster.

This tagline might be just a smidge jargon heavy for your audience though. Most people probably understand AI, Fewer will know what full stack applications are, and fewer still will know what LLM is.


I agree - that’s actually the only part of the copy that isn’t mine :joy:


Not a smidge - a bucketload. The first bit of non-heading text I see and I have no clue what the product is - until I read the text twice. Get your version up there Simon!


I’ve suggested - “AI powered app creation at your fingertips. Create production-ready, highly polished apps instantly with no coding required”


That’s probably much better. I’ll defer to @lpoolrob though, I’m too much of an engineer to really separate out what I think is understandable to lay-people and what actually is.

Hence my smidge to their bucketload. :sweat_smile:


It is 100% better Simon. Clear and concise. Like I said I had to read the prior text twice to know what it was (and I do know what it is after reading twice). Get your version up there!


Looks much better than the existing copy, though I have a urge to fling some more hyphens in there to reduce ambiguity in the first sentence. “AI-powered”, at the very least. But I fully accept that your manual of style may vary!


Landing page copy updated!


We’re on TechCrunch :slight_smile: :raised_hands: :partying_face:


First Sutro blog post is up, written by yours truly.

We have had a crazy reaction to the TechCrunch post, which drove well over a thousand waitlist signups in the first 3 days!


That takes me back to the good old days!

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Glad to hear Simon that you are both doing well and getting to be more involved with the music industry :grinning:

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Thanks man! I grew up in the music industry since I was a little kid. My older cousins are multiplatinum producers, artists, label owners, studio owners etc. And I signed with Sony as an artist myself when I was 17 and spent a decade on the road and releasing several albums. Even in the last 3-4 years I’ve been working on a new project, I’ve just had less time for it - so I don’t feel like I ever left the music business, just took something of a break. Now I get to work in it on both sides of the fence :sunglasses: