Is Clubhouse a fad?
I am on the fence. I just noticed that while everybody seemed to be doing rooms on Clubhouse before Easter, there was no mention in my feeds of any events after.
And when I asked on Twitter, the silence was deafening and in itself a verification that the red hot service might not be as red hot anymore.
This poses two questions of which the latter is the most interesting to me:
Is there a future for ‘live’ audio casting a la Clubhouse? I liked the idea at first and especially the part with having to be there in the moment versus leaving it for later and never listening in anyway. On the other hand I can also see that this dependency on time is the exact reason why I don’t use Clubhouse. So maybe it’s not so clever after all…
On a more generic level, if Clubhouse and it’s audio model turns out to be a fad, what does that say of the time span from hero to zero in our digital age? Normally we talk about how long it took for radio and tv to become mainstream versus digital services, and how things have speeded up.
But this is putting it in reverse; from zero to hero to zero again in no time.
Assuming of course that Clubhouse is a fad, which at this point in time of writing is very much debatable.
But if we follow through on this thought, what does that say about the risk of investing in building new innovative services? I mean, building Clubhouse has probably not been cheap, and the company has raised 110M USD so far from investors looking for a return. What if the party is over, before it started?
I realize there are lots of examples of cases, where investors have poured money into ambitious startups that has gone belly up – Quibi comes to mind here – but this is different.
Because this is not about investing in some new ‘me too’ actor with a slightly different take on an already well established model. This is about investing in a potential trend shift from ‘on demand’ to ‘live’ and ‘exclusive’ that might not be happening after all. In essence this is about reading the overarching trends in the right way or not, which makes it so interesting to follow.
Potentially also more interesting than the Clubhouse service itself.