Airchat and Internet Friends

You should talk to strangers online

This week, I spent a bunch of time talking to strangers on the internet.

Well, technically, I spend every week doing that.

But this week, I spent more time doing that than usual thanks to the release of the new audio-first social network Airchat.

Airchat is basically ½ Clubhouse, ½ Twitter.

You have a Twitter-like feed but you speak audio and you hear audio that is also transcribed so you can scroll on silent mode too.

All in all, it’s a super fun, natural-feeling way of communication. Like sending voice notes to friends. The vibes are like early days of Clubhouse where it’s just tech people and everyone is having fun and being goofy. Super high density group of smart people having fun talking to strangers.

The app was founded by Naval Ravikant, but despite his wealth and fame, he’s been hanging out all day on the app chatting with people like me.

See, Naval understands something key about the internet.

You should talk to strangers online.

My parents told me not to talk to strangers online.

But I didn’t listen to my parents. Instead, I started talking to strangers on the internet. I started writing my thoughts on Twitter and meeting strangers who were thinking about similar things.

And over the past few years, these strangers have become some of my closest friends, supporters of my career, and business partners. I even have an internet friend table at my wedding (obviously seated 10 feet away from the normal people because everyone who makes internet friends is a weirdo).

If you think it’s weird to talk to strangers on social media, go tell that to the hundreds of millions of people getting naked and getting married to people they meet on the internet (dating apps)! WTF. Why’s online dating normal but making friends online is weird?

If I could put 1 thing on a billboard, it’d be go make some internet friends — especially if you wanna make money in startups/vc or as a creator. The Beatles really were right when they sung “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Not only will you make friends, but these strangers may end up becoming some of your customers, supporters, investors. I got my role at Product Hunt because of an internet friend. I started my Man-on-the-Street-as-a-Service business with an internet friend. I’ve crashed on 2 internet friends’ couches in SF. All my cool projects and opportunities are because of making friends online. Friendship and work goes hand-in-hand. Fuck work-life balance, it’s all about work-life integration baby.

Queue the MBA guy calculating the ROI of each friend:

If you’re a founder and you’re not making internet friends, you’re doing it wrong.

Building an audience isn’t just posting content into the void out a one-way channel; the same is true for building a product.

You need to be hitting up strangers on social media. You could be making friends. You could getting customers. You could be building a community who will help you! That’s what’s so beautiful about the build-in-public movement actually as I explain below on Airchat with a complete stranger.

For the last year, I’ve been helping with content and throw events. Jam has skyrocketed in growth up to 100,000+ users with content and events being a huge lever. How is making friends and talking to strangers helpful? Jam’s Head of Marketing Ivanha Paz from explains:

If you’re working at a startup - there’s a lot of pressure to choose the right things to spend your time on. It’s like every minute counts, and I think that’s why so many companies miss out on the real power of community.

So much of what works in community is sort of invisible to the revenue side of the house. Like spending hours per week talking to strangers. That’s the point: getting to know your audience to the degree that they feel like friends […] I’m not going to lie, it can be overwhelming — managing relationships is hard, and especially when you have 30 other things going on that have the potential to directly impact the bottom line. But, I think it sets products apart in the long run.

It’s much easier to sell your product in companies where you have friends. And if you’re only focused on sales, you’ll have a hard time making them.

Whether it’s startups or going viral on TikTok, making friends makes success a hell of a lot easier. Stop waiting, go make some internet friends!

😸 Want to host a meetup for Product Hunt? Apply to become a host!

👨‍🚀 I interviewed a space marketer. Yup, a guy who markets satellites. He gives tips on growing on Twitter and learning science from scratch.

😉 Want to get people to come to your events? Check out this evil genius marketing hack this Stanford founder used.

Memes of the Week:

Let’s blow up the internet together.

Thanks for reading nerds.

Jason “The Memelord” Levin

Head of Growth @ Product Hunt, Author of Memes Make Millions