Paul Davison

Summary List Placement

During a year without bars or parties, the tech social scene moved onto Clubhouse. The audio-based social app is only a year old, but has already won over Silicon Valley, and is in talks for a $4 billion valuation. 

However, for Clubhouse cofounder Paul Davison, this isn’t the first time he’s had a hit app. It was a long road to success. Before Clubhouse, there was Highlight. 

On Tuesday night’s taping of the NPR podcast “How I Built This,” Davison told the story of his first buzzy consumer social app — and why it eventually failed. 

Davison and Ben Garrett cofounded Highlight in 2011, hoping to create serendipity in everyday life. Users would sign in through Facebook and let the app run in the background, alerting them whenever a friend, or even just a stranger with common interests, was nearby. 

Davison gave the example of being at a party and talking to someone new, only to realize that you have a mutual friend or the same hobby. 

“That’s this moment of connection, it brings you closer together,” he said. “Those moments are around us all the time. They’re everywhere. We don’t realize how common they are, because we’ve never had the ability to surface them in this sort of ambient way.”  

Highlight was his answer to this — his way of creating more happy coincidences. The app won over VCs, raising roughly $5.5 million over two rounds and scoring investment from firms like Slow Ventures and Benchmark, according to Crunchbase. 

But it wasn’t until 2012 at South by Southwest that Highlight really blew up. The Austin festival is famous for popularizing tech startups— both Twitter and Foursquare essentially got their start there — and Highlight was that year’s hit. The app made headlines even before the event began, and people …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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