Aug 25 • 45M

Fighting Zoom Fatigue with Tom Medema of UseBubbles.com

Episode 104

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In 2022, Zoom fatigue is a thing. Collaborating, co-working, and networking over a screen presents a new set of issues that we are only now starting to address. Our guest today is Tom Medema, Founder and CEO of usebubbles.com, a platform designed to improve asynchronous collaboration and reduce zoom fatigue.

About Tom Medema:
Tom Medema is the founder and CEO of bubbles, a workplace productivity platform leading the async revolution. 

Before bubbles, Tom co-founded Bloomon, a successful DTC flower delivery service, and experienced the thrill and pain of building a global engineering workforce. His experience as Bloomon's CTO drove him to move to Bay Area and build a platform that will allow teams to collaborate better in a remote environment. 

As bubbles' CEO, Tom raised $8.5M in Seed funding from partners including Khosla Ventures, Craft Ventures, Streamlined Ventures, 468 Capital, and Bain Capital, and strategic angels including Naval Ravikant, Jeff Morris Jr, Brianne Kimmel, Rahul Vohra & Todd Goldberg, and Ryan Hoover. Today bubbles has over 20,000 monthly active users, supporting teams from around the world in overcoming 2 of the biggest challenges: getting their point across, and making smarter decisions. 


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In this episode we discuss:

02:22 Tom’s journey into startups
03:18 Early experiments with coding and tech
04:09 Selling a company when he was 16
05:17 Lessons from being the CTO of Bloomon
07:58 How Tom managed a remote workforce prior to bubbles and why he decided their had to be a better way
10:33 Common issues around remote collaboration
11:44 The thing that finally pushed him to start bubbles
13:02 The exact problem Tom was trying to solve with bubbles
15:44 Why software is the answer to this screentime dilemma
18:37 How bubbles actually works
21:41 Ways to deepen communication over video
23:33 How the short video chat feature of bubbles is additive to asynchronous communication
24:23 Use cases that makes bubbles different from Notion and Loom
28:53 ROI customers are seeing from bubbles
31:24 How bubbles compares to Slack’s video huddles
33:44 Why Tom describes bubbles as a movement not a product
36:11 How the recent fundraising round for bubbles came together
37:30 The importance of Twitter and Social Media
40:12 Plans for the fundraising

Fast Favorites:

  1. 🎙- Favorite Podcast: The Ezra Klein Show

  2. 📰- Favorite Newsletter/Blog: Open View Blog

  3. 📲- Favorite Tech Gadget: iPhone

  4. 📈-  Favorite New Trend: Asynchronous Work

  5. 📚- Favorite Book: Name of the Wind

  6. 🤔 - Favorite Life Lesson: Most challenges can be overcome with simple hard work

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