An intro & what I'll be writing about on Substack
Hi. I’m Emmanuel (EP). I’m a technologist, a creative, and a builder. For the last 10+ years I’ve lived in San Francisco where I’ve founded a company, have been at early stage startups & have worked on consumer products at big tech companies like Zynga, Postmates, Uber & Pandora music.
I’ll be using this space for three primary purposes:
Business — Writing about experiences I’ve had throughout my journey at various companies in silicon valley. These will be learnings, thoughts, or situations you may find interesting.
Product — I'll delve into domain-specific information about Product Management, drawing from my experiences at startups, medium-sized, and large tech companies.
Ideas — Every week, I'll publish at least one consumer social idea. I'll describe the concept, its mechanics, and even provide a visual design of how I envision the idea coming to life. My goal is to exercise my idea muscle and hopefully inspire creativity in others.
Now that you know who I am and what I'll be writing about, let's dive into my first piece:
In May of 2023, I transitioned out of my role as Product Lead at Found. Found is an all in one consumer banking and bookkeeping solution for solopreneurs and SMBs. While I genuinely enjoyed my time there, met incredible individuals, and contributed to impactful products, I began to feel stagnant and lacking inspiration. On one hand, I held a bullish outlook on the company's future, but on the other hand, I couldn't envision myself as part of that future. My mind kept drifting to other ideas, particularly in the consumer social space.
2011, my good friend Ben and I built our first consumer social app. It was during a time when everyone was exploring the potential of location data. We created what is essentially Apple's "Find My Friends" app, complemented by group chat and coordination features. We called it Whim. Whim was simple yet magical—you could open the iOS app, see where your friends were on a map, and share your status, all with the aim of facilitating spontaneous meetups. While it eventually flopped, I vividly remember sitting in the living room of my old apartment, acquiring our first few users. The highs were incredible, and the lows were soul-crushing. But it was my first taste of dopamine, and I was hooked.
Fast forward 10+ years, an acqui-hire, and a few full time gigs later, I want that rush again. I want that drip of dopamine, and I can’t think of a better way than to put myself out there and launch a bunch of consumer social experiments. Most of them will be really useless and stupid, but I don’t care. I am going to embrace the ephemeral nature of what social apps have become: trends. I don’t know how long this feeling will last, and I’ll surely continue talking to interesting companies, but I need this space. The space to breathe, to create, to put things out into the world unbothered by how they will impact a corporation’s business goals.
In my next post, I’ll be describing an app I am currently building called Top8. I got inspired by listening to an episode of the “My first million” podcast, where Shaan describes a fever dream idea he had while fighting a bad cold. I thought it had pretty good potential to go viral, so I got a few friends together and decided to build it. We are aiming to have a version out next week!
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