Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Callin app redefines the B2C MVP and sets the new standard

After dabbling in Callin for the past week since its launch, I've come to the realization that Callin has set the new standard for B2C MVPs. 

In many startup books, an MVP is a "minimum viable product". Examples can include enabling a user to complete a specific task to solve a problem. In the context of a podcasting mobile application, one could probably say the MVP is "allowing users to record and upload their podcast". In today's fast-paced startup meta, is that really enough to keep users engaged? does that really tick the "make something people want" checkbox from Y Combinator?

My speculation is that it isn't enough. This is why I think Callin has changed the meta by raising the standards of what a B2C MVP is. 

Here are a few things I've noticed in terms of features. Mind you, these are just features. If you actually use the Callin app, you'll notice all the little embellishments like fluid transitions/animations. It really feels like the team sweats the details. 

It's an absolute delight to use when you're taking a walk, exercising in the gym, listening on your lunch break, as well as, winding down in the evening. 

Anyway, here are the features:

  • onboarding
    • by interest
    • by show (recommendations)
  • discovery
    • recommended list
    • shows I'm subscribed to
    • new and upcoming shows
    • sharing shows via deep links
  • content creation
    • live-recording and uploading
    • show management (upcoming shows, uploading past episodes)
    • my assumption is that they're running raw files of previously recorded podcasts through an audio-to-text translator to determine who is talking at what time so that the blue circle lights up correctly
  • participation
    • subscriptions, relationships (following/followers)
    • comments
    • likes
    • calendar integration (I don't understand why apps don't do this, this is amazing)
  • user profiles
    • sharing 
    • followers/following
    • highlights
    • episodes
  • authentication/authorization (obviously)
So I think with this stack of features and the level of detail, the Callin team has set the new standard that all B2C startups should look up to. We all have a lot to learn from the man, the myth, the legend, David Sacks, and his incredible product team.