Whale

Video Q&A with influencers and experts 🐳

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Discussion

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Justin Kan — Partner, Y Combinator
Hey PH, thanks for checking out our new app, Whale. We've been building it for the past couple months and we are excited to share it with the world.

The point of Whale is to solve my own problems with video Q&A. I've been giving entrepreneurship / startup / life advice on Snapchat for the past year as a way to give back to the community (and also pass the time while doing cardio on my exercise bike). I love answering questions with video -- it can be way easier than writing out a response. But there have been a few problems with the Snapchat format: I get the same questions over and over, there's no library of answers and often times people miss the window to ask me something and their message gets lost in the flood.

At the same time, I've also noticed through Twitch and observing other platforms that video influencers want more ways they can make money directly from their fans and community. We think Q&A might be a good way: almost every type of influencer gets lots of questions from their fan base.

We'd love for you to try Whale out and let us know what you think.
David Feng — Co-Founder at Reamaze
@justinkan @ranidu This is really awesome! Planning on introducing a way to sort answers based on coin cost or by question categories? Everything feels very serendipitous right now which is great but can a bit crazy later on. Also, what happens if people are unhappy to a particular answer? How do I make myself available to answer different question topics?
Erik van Mechelen — Novelist
@justinkan ^^^Sweet vid. Liked your vision of Quora for Snapchat generation--I've answered over 700 q's on Quora, would love to share my writing/thinking on the answer side of Whale >> sending request in app now 🐳
Justin Jackson — MegaMaker
@justinkan sweet! Just joined 🐳! Loved the initial onboarding experience. Well done.
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ranidu — CEO Whale and The ArtistUnion
@davidsfeng @justinkan 100% .Thanks for downloading our app. We plan to open up other verticals and categorize our creators so that discovery becomes easier on the app.
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ranidu — CEO Whale and The ArtistUnion
@decision_ @justinkan Hi Eric, Whats your twitter handle? We would love to have you. I can help personally. Email ranidu@askwhale.com
Erik van Mechelen — Novelist
@ranidu @justinkan @askwhale thanks, I'm on and loving it so far!
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Ryan Hoover — Founder, Product Hunt
I've been playing with @justinkan, @ranidu, and team’s newest app for the past ~week. It's like they've productized @justinkan's Q&A-style Snapchat stories.

The team's been working on music-related projects for the past ~few years, including The Drop. What's the backstory on Whale?
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ranidu — CEO Whale and The ArtistUnion
@rrhoover Thanks for sharing Whale with the Product Hunt community Ryan. This is the classic build something to solve your own problem scenario. We saw that fans enjoyed Justin’s Q&A videos on Snapchat a lot and that they were highly engaged during his exercise bike sessions. However, we noticed that taking the questions was hard because DMs on Snapchat disappear as soon as you open them and Justin also had to keep answering the same questions repeatedly since there was no repository of previous questions answered. We then reached out to other influencers and found that they too had problems with putting together Q&A videos not just on Snapchat but on Youtube and other platforms as well. This is why we built Whale. To make asking and answering questions on mobile a seamless and a fun user experience.
Michael Cho — Cofounder, YAM
@rrhoover @justinkan @ranidu Congrats on the launch, Whale Team! My heart did sink a bit though when I saw this as my team is just about to launch a very similar app (with an important twist in the monetization model), called YAM ("You Ask Me").

I don't want to make this into a self-promo post. Will do a ProductHunt launch very soon. But again, congrats to the Whale team. I'm actually a huge fan of @justinkan and also @msuster 's snapstorms and have learnt a lot from them. Glad to see more folks making stuff in this "Video Q&A" space :) All the best, guys!
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Justin Kan — Partner, Y Combinator
@rrhoover @ranidu The team behind The Drop, The Artist Union, Jukebox and now Whale has been hacking at my house for the past year. We started off trying to help musicians monetize their audiences, and Whale is the latest attempt to build a community monetization platform, this time specifically around Q&A. I also like the idea of solving my own problems and being my own user.

Ranidu and I have covered some of the rest of the story in other comments. Be sure to check out the Casey Neistat inspired video blog that Leo is starting about the "behind the scenes" at Whale and the Kanpound!
@ranidu @rrhoover @justinkan Congrats! When you reached out to other influencers, how did you validate if they had the same problem as the one you thought they had? What questions did you ask? Thanks!
Erik van Mechelen — Novelist
@michael_cho Don't worry, we'll still try YAM when ready ;)
Thomas Dalton Combs — coFounder @ UseDopamine.com
@rrhoover @justinkan @ranidu @msuster Got to try out @michael_cho 's app last week! Can't wait for your PH!
Michael Cho — Cofounder, YAM
@decision_ thanks for the encouragement. But I must say Whale has really done a great job. Am just really glad that more teams are working on this "video/audio/VR/AR Q&A" space :)
Michael Cho — Cofounder, YAM
@tdaltonc thanks! And loving ur team's work at Dopamine! So DOPE!
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ranidu — CEO Whale and The ArtistUnion
@michael_cho @decision_ thanks for all the support and feedback Michael. It is an exciting time to be in mobile video :)
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