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🌊 Killing Zoom and Useless Meetings

🌊 Killing Zoom and Useless Meetings
By Open Water Weekly • Issue #23 • View online
Welcome back to Open Water Weekly, I’m Jacob Peddicord, and today I’m joined by the Co-Founder of Yac, Jordan Walker!
Yac is an asynchronous audio messaging app for work and collaboration. They recently raised closed a $7.5 million Series A led by GGV and the Slack Fund. Jordan talks about how they got there and what he learned along the way. At the end, he also mentions some companies he’s got his eyes on.
👀 Make sure you get to the end for an extra special internship opportunity.
3️⃣ Takeways
  1. 🤳 People are tired of Zoom fatigue, async is the future.
  2. ❤️ Make users love your product before you grow.
  3. 🙅‍♂️ Getting “no"s is part of the game, don’t give up.

Sponsored by OnePager
Before you read the interview, check out Yac’s OnePager to get background on Jordan’s company.
OnePager is a tool for founders to consolidate and share their startup’s information. With OnePager, founders can bring together their company overview, team info, pitch deck, demo video, FAQs, and more under an easily shared URL with privacy settings and analytics built in. OnePagers are used by founders for sharing new projects, fundraising, sales, and recruiting.
Currently, founders have to use static PDFs, limited smart link tools, or spend days building a new landing page to share important information with external stakeholders. Ultimately, OnePager is a storytelling tool for founders that enables them to better communicate who they are, what their building, where they’re headed, and what they need.
Jordan Walker Interview🗣️ 
What’s your ultimate Vision with Yac, and how do you think about the space differently than your competitors?
Yac is going to be the way that you collaborate and get work done. Yac does not make you feel obligated to respond to somebody immediately or take up and monopolize your time like a Zoom or phone call. 
A lot of our competitors emphasize synchronous real-time audio and video. That’s fine for social, but for work, nobody operates that way. People realize that Zoom and Clubhouse fatigue are real, and they’re tired of it. 
Yac will be how people get work done because it’s on their own time. It’s incredibly inclusive of remote and global teams all over the world. Asynchronous is going to win long term because it’s the natural progression for what people actually want.
Longer-term, our vision for the company is actually fascinating. We love to talk about how AirPods have sold more than some countries’ populations. In 5 to 10 years, we’ll be collaborating in a way that doesn’t require us to have a physical interface in front of us. You may not even have a physical phone or computer. It will all be taking place either in AR or in your ears. That’s the future we’re building towards.
What has your journey so far looked like, and what are you focusing on for the next six months?
Our story is actually nuts. We submitted the initial version of Yac to Producthunt’s Makers Festival and ended up accruing a massive waitlist. We got our initial investment because Aidan Wolf of Doodle Lense, a Yac user at the time, mentioned Adam Draper on Twitter. We got on a call, and he immediately said, “Hey, I want to fund this thing.”
For the next six months, we are heads down on growth, sales, and marketing. Everybody who’s on Yac today loves the platform. We’re trying to replicate that for everybody across the world and remove pointless meetings from their life.
One great piece of advice for community building is to be super authentic and genuine when talking to people. Don’t try to over-optimize human relationships. Those should be kept pure and genuine.
What something you’ve learned that you wish you knew starting Yac?
The one thing that I wish I learned is understanding that fundraising really is hard. You’re inherently going to get more “no"s to "yes"s when fundraising. That doesn’t mean your product sucks, but getting "no"s is a part of the game. 
The other thing that I wish I knew is just how critical the non-glamorous stuff is. Making sure taxes, finances, data rooms, and stuff is lined up before getting any funding. That’s just as important as the stuff that everybody likes to talk about.
Who is someone you looked up to growing up, and who inspires you now?
Someone that I look up to as the founder is Jack Dorsey. I really love how transparent and honest he is. He’s so down to earth, and I really appreciate that. I am really excited about 1v1Me, a gaming company, Fluent, a language learning company, Hype, a social marketplace, and OKO.
My buddy Garrett at Pipedream Labs is basically building the Boring Company for small parcels. Right now, if you need paper towels at your house, we order them on Prime and get them the next day. What he’s trying to do is make 30 second or 30 minute delivery. It’s a moonshot, but he’s actually pulling it off.
I am also very excited about one of my friends, KP, who has a venture fund called Bloom VP. Really stoked about what they’re doing
🌊 Open Water Contributor Program
If you have a passion for tech, founders, or social media, we want your help! We are starting an Open Water Contributor program where you can earn a share of our sponsorship revenue. This is a one-man shop (Hello 👋), and we are ready to take it to the next level. Some of the roles we are interested in:
  • 📝 Editorial: Do you write industry think pieces, have a bunch of startup ideas, or hot takes? By working with us, you can get them out to our 60k subscribers.
  • 🌟 Social Media: All we have is a small Twitter account. We think we can achieve a lot more we just need your help to grow it!
  • 🎙️ Podcast Editor: The interviews are typically conducted over audio and transcribed. We want to start sending this audio out as a podcast and speed up our editing workflow.
  • 🧭 Interview Scout: We want your help finding our next interview guest!
If any of these roles sound interesting to you, add me on Yac and send me two messages:
  1. Your background, past work experience, and future goals.
  2. What roles interest you, and how Open Water will help you achieve your goals.
Here is the link to add me:
Can’t wait to hear from you!
Internships 🖥️
Curated by Hridhay Suresh
💡 Visible Hands - A 14-week fellowship for founders from diverse and marginalized communities. Bring your idea to life with investments up to $200k.
🤠 Cowboy Ventures - Cowboy Ventures is looking to bring on an Investment Associate to our small but mighty team, playing a trusted, close and right-hand role to their Founder and Managing Partner.
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