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Can Call Your Friends Be The Kings Of Connection?
Social connection is up for grabs. Can Tim Strother & co capitalize?
It all began when little Timmeh was 10 years old, coding video games in the local library. As Tim grew up, he noticed every successful person he met are those that are well connected (research backs that up IE the Harvard study of adult development). This all points to a simple formula; quality of relationships = quality of our lives. That then led to him starting down the path of combining the appropriate digital tools (IE the mechanism) for connection, coupled with the real-world components necessary to achieve the goal. And out came Call Your Friends, with a mission to spark authentic connection, something Tim points to that’s seriously lacking in todays world. Since CYF’s launch, the startup has been awarded #2 product on Product Hunt, which then led to a feature in Fast Company. Traction has been strong as well since the launch, with all north start metrics growing 15-30% MoM (month over month for non techies). Now that we have the groundwork, let’s dive into Timmeh’s attempt to change connection.
So, Up For Grabs, Huh?
Social connection is a hot commodity around the startup world. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc all are out to solve this problem. In fact, the Zuck coined Facebooks mission “to give people the power to build community, and bring the world closer together”. Tim points to these platforms as drastic failures in that measure today in 2022, and it all points back to what he learned when he was young; it’s all about quality, as well as having the connection be truly authentic, not fabricated. Tim points to these large companies as well as others startups that have tried to solve this as going about it in a “sole-less, CRM-like, or inhumane manner”. He also points to the following 3 points as reasons companies have failed to achieve this:
A strategy (which requires buy-in from both users in a connection) of planned attention.
How to facilitate connections in an authentic manner; think not having to download an app or a platform, but maybe doing so via a natural interface like SMS, phone call, or using NLP (natural language processing).
The emotional cold start; what are we going to talk about? Think, how awkward is it to chat with a former friend you haven’t reached out to in 5 years? Or that in-person meeting where agenda is foggy?
But have no fear, for Timmeh and CYF have solutions to all:
Signing up for CYF is only for users that are interested in making rich connections with those around them that can foster into true lifelong relationships. Think of the platform as the ultimate filtering mechanism for the companies mission statement; spark authentic connection.
CYF is solving the facilitation of connections with a product called Soonly, a natural, smart, SMS-based feature. Here’s how the company breaks it down on their website:
If CYF Wins, What Does This Look Like at Scale?
Well, what is the path to scale? Tim says it’s a slow grind of “building a reconnected culture, built one relationship at a time”. Currently, there’s a culture of fake connections occurring on the web, of which are mostly just sizzle (fronting for connections) without steak (actually doing the meaningful legwork to build authentic relationships IRL with people). So, in essence, CYF is creating a neural network of authentic connections.
Thoughts on JamPad?
By far, to Tim, the energy is his favorite; collective energy that is. He points to the fact JP has created an incredibly dense group of real builders, building real products that have demand in market, that can scale to be giant companies one day if backed by the right execution.
Interestingly enough, what does this align with? Call Your Friends. Case & point, people.
Look, despite calling himself in JP Discord “Timmeh”, I can confirm he’s legit. An incredible engineer (across the stack, and ML), all while having a sense of ruthless focus and strong prioritization skills to rock out a baller product. Connection is dominated by social media giants (shoutout, Zuck), so time, executional ability, and Tims theses will all be put to the test momentarily. May the games begin!