The dark side of the web w/ Anil Dash and Allison Esposito

Product Hunt Radio



Sept. 17, 2018, 3:55 p.m.

In the second episode of the new Product Hunt Radio, I’m joined by two amazing community-builders based in New York, Anil Dash and Allison Esposito.

Anil is the CEO of Glitch, a friendly community where developers build the app of their dreams. You'll find everything from AI-powered musical spinners to multiplayer drawing game created on the platform. He's also an advisor to Medium, DonorsChoose, Project Include, and Stack Overflow.

Allison is formerly of Oyster, the Netflix for books, which was acquired by Google in 2015. Afterward she founded Tech Ladies, a community that connects women with the best jobs in tech.

In this episode we talk about:

  • The good ol' days of IRC, Friendster, AIM, and MySpace. A lot has changed since then, yet they continue to exhibit some of the same dynamics and challenges of today's massive social networks.
  • The challenges of building a healthy community on the internet in a time when careers and reputations can be destroyed in an instant.
  • How online communities mirror offline interactions. Opening up an app has many parallels to walking into a social gathering in real life.
  • Some of the common misconceptions people have about creating communities online and what a founder’s goal should really be in starting a community.

Of course, we’ll also cover some of our favorite products that you might not know about.

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

“There’s something about community that if you’re doing it right, it should feel like a mix of it just happened and it’s natural.” – Allison

“It turns out the hosting of the video wasn’t the thing, the community is the thing and it has a value. Whether you create an environment that you feel people can express themselves in is a rare and special and delicate thing.” — Anil

“You open up the app and you’re basically walking into an event. The design, language, people and the way they talk to each other [influence how people] adapt to this community.” — Ryan

“Most companies throw up a community and it’s a ghost town and nobody goes. The worst case is that they throw up a community and there’s nobody moderating or managing and it does grow. That is a nightmare.” — Anil

“I also have these theories that tech is a fashion industry — it goes in cycles. Instead of hemlines going up or down, we have centralized to decentralized, or this programming language is cool and now it’s not cool…” — Anil

Companies and Products Mentioned in This Episode

AIM (RIP) – Instant messaging in the 90s

Aloe Bud — Self-care pocket companion

GeoCities (RIP) – Your home on the web

Glitch — The community where you'll build the app of your dreams

Hello Weather — All the weather info you need, and nothing you don't

LastPass — All your passwords in one place

MySpace – The social network with blinky tags and auto-playing music

Tech Ladies — A job board and community for women in tech

ThinkUp (RIP) – Personal analytics for social networks, delivered daily

Trello — Organize anything, together

Yapper — Stay connected to your community