Tank Talks
Tank Talks By Ripple Ventures
Fighting Zoom Fatigue with Tom Medema of UseBubbles.com

Fighting Zoom Fatigue with Tom Medema of UseBubbles.com

Episode 104

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. 

A word from our sponsor:

At Ripple, we manage all of our fund expenses and employee credit cards using Jeeves. 

The team at Jeeves helped get me and my team setup with physical and virtual credit cards in days. I was able to allow my teammates to expense items in multiple currencies allowing them to pay for anything, anywhere at anytime. We weren’t asked for any personal guarantees or to pay any setup or monthly SaaS fees.

Not only does Jeeves save us time, but they also give us cashback on our purchases including expenses like Google, Facebook, or AWS every month. New users can earn up to 3% cashback for their first 90 days.

The best part is Jeeves puts up the cash, and you settle up once every 30 days in any currency you want, unlike some other corporate card companies that make you pre-pay every month. Jeeves also recently launched its Jeeves Growth and Working Capital initiative for startups and fast-growing companies to enable more financial freedom for companies. The best thing of all is that Jeeves is live in  24 countries including Canada, US and many other countries around the world.

Jeeves truly offers the best all-in-one expense management corporate card program for all startups especially the ones at Ripple and we at Tank Talks could not be more excited to officially partner with them. Listeners of Tank Talks can get set up with a demo of Jeeves today and take advantage of our Tank Talks special with a‍ $250 statement credit after the first $2,500 in spend or a $500 statement credit after the first $5000 in spend. Lastly, all Jeeves cardholders receive access to their Lounge Pass program and access to over 1300 airports globally.

Visit tryjeeves.com/tanktalks to learn more.

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

Follow Matt Cohen and Tank Talks here!

Podcast production support provided by Agentbee.Agency
Tank Talks
Tank Talks By Ripple Ventures
Join your host, Matt Cohen, Founder & Managing Partner at Ripple Ventures for weekly conversations with leaders in the startup ecosystem discussing the truth about investing, building and running startups.