In this episode of Product Hunt Radio, I'm in the sunny hills of Los Angeles at the home of Sophia Amoruso with Suzy Ryoo.
Sophia Amoruso is an incredible entrepreneur who I've gotten to know over the past year. She got her start very young, when at 22 she founded NastyGal, selling vintage clothing on eBay. It turned into a massive company with hundreds of employees, until a decade later the company filed for bankruptcy. She's the author of the New York Times bestseller #GIRLBOSS and more recently founded Girlboss, a company focused on bringing together and helping women professionals. They put on community events, publish a daily newsletter and host a wildly popular podcast.
Suzy Ryoo is a very special person to me (full disclosure: She's my SO). We met at Coachella in 2015 just before she transitioned her career from entertainment and media to venture capital. At Atom Factory, she works with entrepreneur, artist manager, and investor, Troy Carter. They manage the Prince Estate and are investors in companies like Lyft, Uber, Warby Parker, Spotify, and Girlboss. She is also a partner at Cross Culture Ventures, a seed stage fund in Los Angeles.
In this episode we talk about:
- The best tools and techniques we've used to build healthy habits, whether it's getting more exercise, meditating more frequently (even for five minutes at a time) or just having a calmer mind. We also talk about the ways that being part of a non-judgmental online community — yes, those do exist online — can help everybody involved reach their goals.
- Sophia talks about her journey as an entrepreneur, including building a huge company like Nasty Gal “by accident” and the lessons she's taking from her time at Nasty Gal as she starts Girlboss, which, as she likes to say, is the first company she's started “on purpose.”
- Why Suzy is still a power user of location-based check-in apps like Swarm and Foursquare. We also talk about some of the unappreciated merits of what sometimes seem like “creepy” products.
- The ups-and-downs of investing, and why sometimes you can make a sound decision at the time that you later come to regret.
Of course, we also chat about some of their favorite products, including a $40 (!) astrology app, apps that promise “a vacation for your mind,” as well as startups that deliver the best vitamins and probiotics.
We’ll be back next week so be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Also, big thanks to our sponsors, Airtable, GE Ventures, Intercom and Stripe for their support. 😸
Quotes from This Episode
“Platforms can become really huge, but when you have a community and there's a sense of context around what they’re talking about and what they’re there to do, ultimately if they help one another, then that's as good as the internet gets.” — Sophia
“Twitter can be like a dialog with yourself, especially if you don’t have a following. I promised myself that I would tweet every time I run, and little known to me, during 2017 I ran 200 miles. I think that feedback loop really helped me.” — Suzy
“I like to say that I’ve started two brands on accident but this is my first business I've started on purpose.” — Sophia
“Like my dad says, 'health is wealth!'” — Suzy
“You don’t really count the places you go in real life, but then you do it digitally [via check-in apps like Foursquare] and you’re like wow, I do a lot of stuff!” — Sophia
Companies and Products Mentioned in This Episode
Bird — Enjoy the ride — quick scooter hires for city commutes.
Complete — A community-based to-do app. Help each other GTD.
Co-Star — Hyper-personalized astrology.
Evernote — Note taking gets even simpler.
Fair — Get a car right on your phone and return it whenever you want.
1st Dibs — It's like Fab for the 1%.
Foursquare — Find the best places everywhere.
Girlboss — A new media site for women.
Headspace — Meditation made simple in just 10 minutes a day.
Highlight (RIP) — Find friends and new people nearby.
Hi Hello — Exchange contacts, seamlessly.
Lime — Rent bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters.
Nike+ Running — Track your runs.
Polymail — A simple, beautiful, and powerful email client for Mac.
Ritual — Reinventing the vitamin, delivered monthly.
Sanctuary— Free daily horoscopes for the cosmically curious.
Seed — Your daily probiotics + prebiotics for systemic health.
Simple Habit— Meditation for people who never have time.
Swarm — Keep up and meet up with your friends.
Tesla — The mass market electric car.
TimePassages — Astrology tools at your fingertips.
Trello — Organize anything, together.
Uber — Get a ride in minutes.
Universe — The easiest way to make an awesome website. From your phone.
Wonderschool — Airbnb for preschools and child care.