E3: Leah Culver, Breaker

E3: Leah Culver, Breaker

Sunday, July 14, 2019


Podcasts are a great thing – the good parts of a radio show, the powerful snippets from an audio book, with all the content control of a topical news feed. Yet, there was something missing when Leah Culver tried to find her next episode to listen to, while training for her 1st marathon. And that thing was a more powerful way to discover the podcasts you love – through your subscriptions, activity, and most of all – through the power of social networking and suggestion. So she decided to fix it – and built Breaker, an app that helps you discover new podcasts and episodes based on the content you – and your friends – like most.

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Full Transcript

Noah [00:00:00]
Hey, before we started the show, I'd like to give a shout out to one of our sponsors. Hack Bright Academy.

Noah [00:00:06]
Hack Bright Academy is an all women coating boot camp in San Francisco.

Noah [00:00:10]
They were founded with the mission to provide women with the personalized path to a software engineering career.

Noah [00:00:16]
One of the most impressive things about the school is the tight knit community they've created.

Noah [00:00:22]
They truly believe in empowering each other and working to change the ratio of women in the tech industry.

Noah [00:00:29]
Hack Bright firmly believes that when you combine a community of like minded, ambitious women in a network of strong support.

Noah [00:00:36]
The possibilities are endless.

Noah [00:00:39]
Check out their programs at half bright academy dot com.

Leah [00:00:45]
I wanted it to be very West Coast as like we're West Coast podcast company. Let's have, like, a West Coast name way. Don't have a designer way would do one week sprints.

Leah [00:00:57]
You know I am someone who strongly believes in the mantra. Do not prematurely optimize.

Leah [00:01:04]
If it doesn't help us literate on product that it's not valuable.

Leah [00:01:08]
You can do it as a side project. We didn't quit our jobs. I had a day job.

Leah [00:01:13]
Really build for what you need at the moment, and everything is changeable.

Leah [00:01:19]
I guess my advice is like, Don't do things and clean. Absolutely.

Noah [00:01:29]
This is code story.

Noah [00:01:31]
A podcast. Bring you interviews with tech visionaries who share in the critical moments of what it takes to change in industry.

Noah [00:01:38]
And build and leave a team that has your back.

Noah [00:01:43]
I'm your host, Noel apart today. How via Colbert set out to use the power of social networking to help you discover your favorite podcasts.

Noah [00:01:55]
All this and more on tote story.

Noah [00:01:59]
Quick hit of a radio show.

Noah [00:02:02]
The impact of a good book, the content control of the news feed. These are some of the things that make podcast great.

Noah [00:02:10]
Yet there was something missing when Leah Culver tried to find her next episode. Listen to while training for her first marathon.

Noah [00:02:17]
And that thing was a more powerful way to discover the podcast you love.

Noah [00:02:22]
Through your subscriptions activity on most of all, through the power of social networking and suggestions.

Noah [00:02:30]
So she decided to fix it.

Noah [00:02:32]
And built Breaker.

Noah [00:02:34]
An app that helped you discover new podcasts and episodes based on the content you and your friends, like most.

Noah [00:02:44]
Okay, before we jump into breaker a bit, tell me about your path after college. Your career path up to where you are now.

Leah [00:02:52]
Yeah. So I've actually had a ton of different jobs right before breaker as working at a drop box.

Leah [00:02:59]
So I was there for three years. I mean, before that, a handful of start up. So breakers, actually, the third started by founded on the previous two. Obviously not huge successes, but I learned a lot. And then I've worked for a handful of small startups in between things people mayor may not have ever heard of.

Leah [00:03:18]
Mostly in sort of blogging, social media, social networking, all sort of here in San Francisco.

Noah [00:03:25]
You worked for Dropbox and medium right.

Leah [00:03:29]
Very briefly at medium, as there for about three months was a contractor so not super long.

Noah [00:03:34]
Cool. You did some IOS development for them.

Leah [00:03:36]
Yeah, I've done Iowa's development for a couple different cos I've also done python development for a couple of different companies. So I.

Leah [00:03:45]
I probably know more languages. Maybe that an average developer, and that I worked for fresh Nelly in Python in IOS in front and development to mental job script.

Leah [00:03:55]
So, you know, I like to stay learning new things.

Noah [00:03:59]
So what? What were you using? Python fourth.

Leah [00:04:03]
Oh, I did, General. Full sack application development.

Noah [00:04:06]
So you you also authored or co authored some specs, I think oh, off was on there and there was another one key. Tell me a little about that.

Leah [00:04:13]
Sure. So I was pretty lucky to get hooked up with the working group on oh, off pretty early. A couple of people were playing around with building authorization for AP Eyes and the company. I was working. I was working a small start of my own called Pounds, and we needed a way Thio log in the FBI's And so it sounded like a good option. And so I started helping them out, and I end up writing the first open source library for it was help from my friend Smith trying to give credit to people. There were, like, 12 of us that worked on this, but enough being quite widely adopted and ended up sort of taking over not just a p I, authors of it become acceptable way to log in on the Web, which I think is pretty cool and serve this unintended. Used something where we had a very deliberate use case for it. And now people are gonna use it this totally different way, which it kind of works for pretty well. And it's actually been pretty, uh, pretty interesting. The other thing I worked on was ill in bed, which was a nearly way to sort of scrape Web pages and then display like images and videos from them. So, for example, if you paste the link into something like Twitter and you wanted to display an image.

Leah [00:05:23]
Sort of worked on sort of a very early version of that. Now it is. There's Twitter. Cards on Facebook.

Leah [00:05:28]
Are to be competing things to support. But back then it was just over in bed and we got sites like YouTube and flicker and sort of all the big sort of media sites that a Ted dropped it, which was pretty cool. Some of them still supported, which is great. But, you know, Twitter and Facebook thought they needed their own version of the same thing. So.

Noah [00:05:46]
So it sounds like you vets and some really cool experiences. Some. Some work for some great startups don't start up to your own working smile is development Python office some stuff at a great road into what you're doing now, which is Breaker. So tell me how you started out with Breaker, how you found a breaker and what's the story there.

Leah [00:06:05]
So now that you're saying in my career has kind of been all over the place, I guess always been interested in sort of like social app, social networking and especially around media. So the idea of her breaker came when I was working a drop box. I enough. Let's think this cereal as a podcast cause I got kind of sick of listening to music all the time, like music's great. When you're training for a marathon, it's like there's not enough new music out there to sort of like it just gets boring, right? Um, says, like I'd rather like listen to something, you know, a little more story related. So I tried audiobooks and then I.

Leah [00:06:38]
You know, someone recommended listening cereal, which is the biggest podcast ball time, obviously very popular.

Leah [00:06:44]
So listen that And when I finish listening to serialize like Okay, that was great love to hear more things like this. What else can I listen Thio on When I was using the apple podcast op, The default one that comes with the phone and I looked like their Discovery section, and they, like, recommend whole podcasts of things. Listen to and I, like, tried some of the recommendations that I didn't like them. And then I ended up friends. Would you listen? Thio and I was like, I feel like there's, like, a real problem here. Like I just want to find, like, a really great opposites. Listen to you that, like people I know, like, um and so that's kind of where the idea of breaker came from. It's sort of the idea of a podcast up that helps you discover things to listen to in specifically episodes like you want to commit to a whole show. You could just listen to you like a really great interview. You can listen to a great episode, that is, we do lots of kinds of discovery now, but the idea first was recommended from your friends.

Leah [00:07:38]
Now we do like personalized recommendations based on what you've listened to before. We recommend popular episodes amongst the entire breaker community once that are under 20 minutes long ones that are around different topics. So a friend of really bridged out to be like all sorts of types of recommendations, like our home screen. Basically, we modeled it after something like you, Tabor, Netflix, where you can go there and hopefully something. Look at your eye. We put things before, you know, we try and surface things that we really think you individually will really like, which is very different, I think, from what other podcasts outside doing.

Noah [00:08:12]
Absolutely. I think breakers the only one that I've that I've ever seen or used. I'm actually a very active user now that has implemented that sort of detail discovery or social aspect commenting, liking, sharing things like that and following, um, so it's super cool, but I gotta ask. So there's a lot of podcast APS out there like, was that a little bit intimidating and be like, I'm gonna go build a better podcast at.

Leah [00:08:39]
Yeah. In some ways, it is intimidating to compete with defaults, right.

Leah [00:08:44]
We're in the space where, like any note taking app or any email app we're competing against, like a built in apple podcast app on DDE. That is that is difficult. I think where we're, you know, we're trying to figure out what is that thing that's gonna really make breaker stand out and we've got some of it figured out. And I think we're still working on figuring out more and more pieces of, like, what is gonna make breaker like the absolute best thing that everyone has to use. And we're kind of partway there. So we're still we're still building.

Noah [00:09:11]
So tell me about the M V P. How did you get started.

Noah [00:09:15]
How long did it take? You sort of build the initial prototype and you know what approaches to take.

Leah [00:09:20]
So Eric and I actually started the company. My co founder, Erik and I.

Leah [00:09:25]
It was a side project. It wasn't a company like we didn't quit our day jobs. We actually worked on breaker as a hobby app on the weekends for about nine months.

Leah [00:09:36]
So it was a while before we left our jobs.

Leah [00:09:39]
We would get together on Saturday and talk about features and we want to build.

Leah [00:09:45]
And then usually all day Sunday I would just work on breaker up in the Same with Eric So we're both engineers. Back end Eric Belt and it's in Ruby on rails, which I actually did not know. Ruby Hunter Elson. We started. Now I know some ruby on rails as well.

Leah [00:09:59]
But it was, you know, his choice. Because he was built to get so built the back end. And then I started building the Iowa sap in Swift.

Leah [00:10:08]
And now you know, we have a lot more going on than just the swift app in the be on rails at we have a front end and react we have back on service that goes out. That's just new episodes, and that's where you go. We're building an android app as well, so that's in college. We have a lot of different projects going on, a break for which is pretty exciting.

Noah [00:10:26]
So, you know, while you were building the building Iowa's bill in the back end in rails. But what sort of you know decisions were you having to make in the short term, like, Okay, you know, this is the most important feature, or we got to use this technology or this library or framework or whatever. Um, and how did you go to that process making those decisions.

Leah [00:10:47]
Yeah, well, Air. Could I have both been developing software for over a decade, Each one when we started working on Breaker on. And I think we kind of we agree very much on when it comes to building a product, you're building a product, not not playing with technology, not trying new things, like focusing on really iterating quickly and testing product. So we picked stuff that was really well known Ruby on rails. We run back in on her. Roku.

Leah [00:11:16]
Swift at that time was stable enough that we felt we could build it in Swift, and that would be a good back for the future on which I think has panned out. But that could have been a mistake.

Leah [00:11:26]
Yes, so we really think about things that were not experimental, just more industry standard.

Leah [00:11:32]
Because we knew that breaker itself would be more the experiment like, How do we make this ab work as a product? And then sort of what, what tradeoffs did we make? I think that's one of them. It's not as fun, Thio. You don't play with the stuff when you're having to like.

Leah [00:11:47]
You know, let's let's stick to just experimenting on one vector at a time, like we just want to reiterate on product. But we also need tradeoffs. For example. One tradeoff we made in the very beginning that was huge was we don't have a designer on. We tried really hard to recruit a designer for a long time. We wanted design co founder. You're looking for someone to just come in and help sign, and we ended up just doing your own design. Like, I think each kind of pitched in a little bit like you look okay and eventually were able to hire Emma, who's our designer now, who's fantastic. But she joined Breaker.

Leah [00:12:20]
Hood say, like a year and 1/2 into its existence, which is pretty pretty late. Maybe a year started her to describe, as I say breakers two years old, but we're really almost three.

Leah [00:12:31]
The company's two years old, but we started working on it nine months before.

Noah [00:12:34]
Scott, just so you and Eric er, primarily engineers, and you're just you're pitching in to make the design happen. Um, essentially, before you get some design hands on the roster, so to speak. So you mentioned bringing em on It's always interesting to hear how how the teams reform. So how did you go about that process? And there may be May be skipping some stuff in the middle that you gotta fill in. But how did you build a team to support Breaker.

Leah [00:13:02]
So we kind of look for basically, we're always trying to outsource ourselves. So in points that where we guess that or that we're struggling with, it's like, where is our pian point right now? So for a long time it was designed on. We found our designer. I have. I have a big problem with.

Leah [00:13:18]
Customer support. So, like community and community building and reaching out to users, I'm.

Leah [00:13:26]
Personally very emotional about the products I build, and it's hard for me to respond to people. I actually read all the feedback that comes in about breaker every single issue that user send us. I read it, but I have a hard time responding to it. Andi, I've known this for a long time. It's just part of me. I struggle with that to them. The second person. We Well, actually, we hired this person before we hired Emma, but we hired someone to work with community. An answer. Email be on Twitter and that that sort of thing, because that's just something I struggle with a lot on. Dhe thought it wasn't the best use of Eric who's our CEO's time. So.

Leah [00:14:01]
That was someone we hired right away. He's been a great help. We've actually had two different people over over time, but they've both been fantastic.

Leah [00:14:08]
On and then yeah, and two super. That's I guess that's the way we're building the team. We just recently hired a friend and Web developer and an android developer and so sort of the areas where, you know, we feel we could use more help. We're currently looking for an Iowa staple prayer to help take some of, uh, my workload and so I can spend more time being a founder and less time doing. I rest a moment.

Leah [00:14:29]
But we kind of, you know, we bought. You know, it's a battle we need to sort of conserve. Our resource is in terms of finances, but also I'm hire the right people to make the product work.

Noah [00:14:40]
Is breaker bootstrapped, or do you have angel investors seed investors? Are you personally funded? What, How does that work.

Leah [00:14:47]
Yeah, that's a great question. We actually are traditional venture backed Silicon Valley type Start up for the 1st 9 months. We weren't. We were just boots dropped. We're working on it in our free time. Um, I think because of the angle that we chose to approach the podcast space, which is a free app, we weren't charging money for it. Kind of forced our hand in terms of peers the way that we're gonna fund this.

Leah [00:15:07]
In the short term, I'm actually a big fan of, uh, doing funding that makes sense for you. So, for example, if you're doing a sass product, it's easier to bootstrap and sort of get that that cycle fly. And I'm also a big fan of knowing where the money is going if you're gonna raise venture capital and ask people for money knowing how that capital is going to be deployed. So we had a very specific plan of Here's how we're going to use our money. Here's who were going to hire. Um I think that's pretty important.

Noah [00:15:33]
That's great. Okay, so tell Tell me about the name, then. How did you come up with breaker.

Leah [00:15:37]
Okay, This is exciting. Yeah. So, actually, breaker being my third startup, I wanted nothing to do in a pig.

Leah [00:15:45]
I was like, I'm done. I need to start ups. I'm done. I don't even want to, like, name my Children when I have them. Like I hate naming things like it's so much pressure do much pressure. As like, I don't want anything to do that. So you told Eric Michael 100 who was excited about naming. I was like, Go ahead. Like you know, So he came up with this whole system is like this rubric of leg doesn't meet these certain things that we want.

Leah [00:16:09]
We want it to be easy to say on the air like I could take breaker and it's spelled exactly like it sounds, which is which is pretty nice. I'm trying. I'm trying. Remember, another criteria is I wanted it near the beginning of the alphabet because when people list like, if they list podcast taps will sometimes do it in like that order. I was like, Oh, I want it to you. Like near the top? Yeah. All the other companies with any names I think about this. I'm like, you know, you just wanted to be at the top of that list.

Leah [00:16:34]
E Like other fun things.

Leah [00:16:38]
There's this podcast an episode of how I built this with Richard Branson about naming Virgin and what I thought was really interesting about it is he talked about it being sort of like this leg energy in a way that it was almost like a bad name. People didn't, you know, people would necessarily name their company that, But you remember it, right? Like it's a memorable name, like you say Virgin, and you're like, Oh, yeah, that's very memorable. Brand name. So we wanted something that wasn't entirely cause it.

Leah [00:17:06]
Breaker probably wasn't. How popular is an apt name because it has, like, a slightly negative connotation, But that's kind of popular right now. A lot of abs like slack, for example, is an app that has kind of negative connotation. Name.

Leah [00:17:19]
I'm trying to say.

Leah [00:17:21]
Oh, man, I seen some pretty funny ones recently that I'm just like, really you're gonna name it that like there's like a health food started. It's like something to do with like grains, I think called green and it's like this is really like a gluten free moment. Okay, great. So, um, actually, Eric, I think, came up with Breaker. It was one of a list of 10 on our short list, and I think we both just really liked it. Like we also like that. It's not like a slightly sleepy radio vibe to it breaker breaker kind of thing. Wheels are on the West Coast. It's kind of a little bit of a jab on New York in the New York podcast, see and have, like a West Coast very beach e kind of name like Breaker, which I liked. I wanted it to be very West Coast as like we're West Coast podcast company. Let's have, like, a West Coast.

Leah [00:18:06]
Working. I really like the name. It's easy to spell.

Leah [00:18:09]
It's been it's been great for us. What I didn't think about was APP Store, and there's a warning to anyone who's building in Iowa sap for an android AB, I'm really you know, I thought, till I Googled the name breaker and make so there was no products into a trademark search and things like that. But I didn't think to check in the store.

Leah [00:18:27]
And there are a ton of brick breaking games.

Leah [00:18:30]
It took us about your show up as the first result for the word breaker in the store, which was brutal.

Leah [00:18:38]
Tell me.

Noah [00:18:38]
About you know how you built this thing to scale. So you're you're obviously you got, you know, a team. Your team's growing, you're getting on attraction with Breaker. How are you keeping an eye on how this thing is scaling and performing and continuing to make it just move like magic.

Leah [00:18:55]
Sir, I you know, I am someone who strongly believes in the mantra. Do not prematurely optimize.

Leah [00:19:02]
Really build for what you need at the moment. And everything is changeable. So it's it's good to have an eye on the future, but I think as engineers, we contend a you know, sort of over architecture, er over engineer when something simple will work, Remember, like our focus is iterating on product. If it doesn't help us iterated on product that it's not valuable. So having a complex architecture having a complex server set up all these things don't really help our plain gold iterating on product of my.

Leah [00:19:33]
Post product market fit finding.

Leah [00:19:36]
Stealing could be and eight and a product and So, for example, I worked at a drop box like Dropbox is a product where it needs to just work. So the first version was probably not as great as it is now.

Leah [00:19:48]
There are huge teams dedicated to making Dropbox perform well, because that was one of the teachers like you had to expect it to perform well on breakers the same way, way feel the pain points with things aren't performing well. And we optimized for those and we revisited and work on things We actually just did a sprint on performance improvements. So making things faster and less buggy.

Noah [00:20:10]
I love. I love the way you put that iterating on product. We mentioned that earlier, and you know, engineers tend over engineer and over architect. What's really about getting the product out there, getting and working.

Leah [00:20:22]
At least that the small scale. That's what it's about. Larger companies. Yeah, you wanted to perform on. You need.

Noah [00:20:29]
Right. You grow with your growth.

Leah [00:20:32]
That's a good Wait a minute. Yeah.

Noah [00:20:33]
You got a team. You get some traction with breaker. It's performing well. You're growing with your growth. What are you most proud of.

Leah [00:20:43]
With breaker.

Leah [00:20:45]
I'm actually very proud of our team. I think we have a great team. I think we've had also put in place of good processes.

Leah [00:20:53]
But I also I'm proud of the ability to change like we've had several times in the company's lifetime, where we've.

Leah [00:20:59]
Kind of gone in a different direction and said, Hey, we're gonna try this feature now or we're gonna build this big thing and it's going to take us a while But we think it's worth it And I'm really proud of our team's ability to handle that and to go above and beyond to make a good product.

Noah [00:21:12]
Okay, The tough question. So what do you feel like? Waas? A mistake that you made during the process. That perhaps is still.

Noah [00:21:22]
Maybe not a mistake right now, But perhaps it's still isn't fixed right now. Or what's a mistake that actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Leah [00:21:29]
Way had something pretty bad happen at Breaker other than not having good ab store three Kings. Hm? We actually lost a year of retention data. We had a bug and how we were tracking our retention data, and it made it seem like the numbers were way worse than they actually were on. We saw this huge drop off, and we thought for a long time we actually thought it could be a drop off in usage of breaker. But it turned out just the way that we're measuring it would seem cracked.

Leah [00:21:57]
And so once we fix the way that we're measuring things and actually that accurate data but at that time over was lost a whole year.

Leah [00:22:04]
Which was kind of devastating.

Leah [00:22:07]
So we use mixed panel for tracking and data, though there are many.

Leah [00:22:11]
Other tracking tools you can use but basically just didn't aggregate sort of tracks like are people coming back from using the app.

Leah [00:22:18]
So losing that data was pretty rough.

Leah [00:22:20]
And then something that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We've wanted to do dark mode forever, and we just never had time to do like a dark mode for breaker. We haven't now, and we're able to do it. By the time we kind of became a priority. It was right around Halloween, and so when you switch over to dark mode, we should like ghosts and were able to, like talk about Halloween and a vlog posting was a blessing in disguise. That was a little slow because we got to do it around home. It would have been fun to do it earlier, but, you know, dark mood, Halloween.

Noah [00:22:51]
I love the dark mode. Thank you for making that.

Leah [00:22:53]
No, there's other features. You know. One thing I regret is that we don't have just more time to do more stuff like we really want to do. Car play, an apple watch and we're working on Android now. So there's all this stuff coming up. This is all be coming up in the future very soon.

Leah [00:23:08]
So I'm very excited about it.

Noah [00:23:11]
Very cool. That's a that's actually one of my next question is, what's the What's the future look like.

Leah [00:23:15]
Yeah, Android is the big thing. That's the number one requested thing for breakers, an android app. So not, you know, it's hard when you know half your friends are an android and they can't be using breaker at the same time. So having great ground IOS and Android and then I think we're a little We're kind of playing around with some other things that we want to do it so they'll always be new stuff from breaker. We release our app once a week, which is crazy quite often. I don't know. I think there's love grabs to do once a week. But it's, you know, we move very quickly. We would do one week sprint instead of, you know, several weeks or quarterly or anything like that. We only plan about a week in advance for what we build. So we build fast and straight quickly. And so I think that would be exciting stuff coming up. I'm excited.

Noah [00:23:59]
What made you pick? I'll s over android first. Is that just based on kind of your being the founder and it being your experience there.

Leah [00:24:07]
Yeah, unfortunately, yes. So, ideally, we would have loved to have it on IOS and Android. From the very beginning, we looked at building with react native, which would allow us to launch more quickly on IOS and Android. One of big problems without for Austin that were mainly an audio up. About 1/3 of the APP is just managing audio. So that's something we'd have to do like low level guy access support anyways, So when you look at that were like and this is a lot of audio's is this probably should be a more eight of AB. I totally encourage. You know, that's one thing to think about when starting enough is what is the best best technology for this. What is the best technology for building this product.

Noah [00:24:46]
Right, So So you're you're having used, like, a lot of 80 foundation type stuff.

Leah [00:24:51]
Yeah, a lot of baby foundation empty media player. Yeah, I got to work with now, now pulling in post center over the past week, which is fine. We've added.

Leah [00:25:02]
Some pretty, uh, pretty old and boring for audio.

Noah [00:25:06]
Yeah, the foundation is for sure. Cryptic.

Leah [00:25:09]
Yeah. It's funny because there's some stuff. It's just not documented at all. You have to eat your apple represents.

Leah [00:25:16]
I didn't know how to do this. There's something called a side you can file, which is basically just asking. I don't even know what it stands for. Something to ask for. Technical help on. I just discovered this this year What these Ap eyes gets the guests in the weeds of it. Um, yeah, but how do we choose between IOS and android again? It comes down to we wanted to operate on product first. Eso we just chose to focus on one. It's like, Okay, let's just focus on IOS because Eric and I both had iPhones I had done. I owe a small past. Let's just focus on one thing, get it right and then.

Leah [00:25:50]
Build out. And you know, I wish we could build faster, but you know, we're small team or moving as fast as we can, and hopefully it'll be all really soon.

Noah [00:25:58]
So it's kind of a side question. But do you have strong feelings of native versus cross platform? Compiled abs versus You know, Cordova or, you know, Web based phone abs? What do your your thoughts there.

Leah [00:26:12]
My thought is whatever works for you, whatever makes it easy to develop, and it's fast and works for the type of product. I think like I said, Breaker being an audio app, it made a lot of sense to go native, but I think if it was more just views of data may be doing something more hybrid or cross platform would be better. Well.

Noah [00:26:32]
You kind of already touched on this a little bit, but what's next for you and what's next for breaker. You mention a couple of things, but any other other things you wanna highlight.

Leah [00:26:41]
Yeah, I've got some exciting news. I'll be speaking at all calm, which is the alternative to Apple's WWC conference. It's like a free conference that runs at the same time.

Leah [00:26:51]
Very cool, giving a talk there in a couple weeks, so I'm pretty excited about that. It'll be about how to not make your app crasher howto have your app not crash. Great topic. Yeah, I love it. He's a breaker. It's a huge priority of ours to never have the app Crash way have our own podcast that just came out called Breaking Ground. So we're making new episodes of our own podcast. If you want to hear more about sort of the internals of breaker, you could subscribe Breaking ground. It's not just on breaker, it's actually on every podcast up on dhe. Then you can stay more if you're really into break. I want to keep I keep hearing what? Let's talk about what we're working on. You get to hear from or the team, too, rather than just me name.

Noah [00:27:28]
An architect or CTO Tech person or.

Noah [00:27:32]
Even outside of tech. If there's if there's someone that is outside of tech that you look up to and then tell me why you look up to them.

Leah [00:27:39]
Rate thio.

Leah [00:27:42]
I actually have a couple of people that I look up to you mostly on Twitter. People have fallen to whether, so, UM one is charity majors. She's Tito of an app called Honey Comb, which is more like an infrastructure product. I don't know. I'm not actually that good at infrastructure, but I highly recommend following her on Twitter because she doesn't shy away from controversial opinions. So what's interesting is oftentimes in development intact, you'll hear people take a stance like this is the way to do things. Like recently, someone tweeted like Don't deploy code on a Friday, you know, and that's kind of considered wisdom like, Hey, you don't want to ruin your weekend if something was wrong and charity is like no deploy on a Friday, Okay, and here's why. It.

Leah [00:28:23]
Lays out different. You know, said she likes to take a little counter opinion, which I really appreciate it.

Leah [00:28:28]
Security majors or someone like the following Twitter and then the other person in the podcast space. I really admires Kara Swisher. I don't know if you've heard her podcast, Rico decode, but what I really love about her. She's an amazing interviewer, so she has a really tough question. So she'll Her interview with Mark Zuckerberg is most excellent if you liked and she just didn't want Mark Benny off is also very good. I'm so she asks really tough questions of folks in Tech and really gets to sort of the heart of the issue. And what sort of Austin's consumers are thinking about tech on dhe? Sort of. She expects more of Tech leaders, and I think that's really great.

Noah [00:29:03]
If you could go back to the beginning. Actually, I'll ask this in different ways. We could go back to the beginning of your career. What would you do differently or consider taking.

Noah [00:29:15]
Another approach to your career or places you worked.

Noah [00:29:20]
So first off, just that if you could go back to the beginning, your career, what would you do differently.

Leah [00:29:24]
Yeah, I have been thinking about this a lot lately because it's something I couldn't d'oh when I started my career, but I could do now, which is really exciting, which is that? I think I would have really enjoyed being in financing being a venture capitalist. And when I started in Tak about 12 years ago, Yeah, when I started, there were no women venture capitalists. There are very few nobody. Right? And they were treated well, so it wasn't, like, seen as this viable career path you couldn't be like, Hey, I'm gonna invest in startup says it. It just wasn't a thing when did, or could do.

Leah [00:29:58]
But now every venture capital firm is dying to have with partners. Sure. Oh, this is great. You know what? I'm working on breaker now. Obviously, I can't jump into that. Like I would. I would love to get into venture capital. I've been doing some angel investing in my free time. I tend to invest sort of in, like, developer tools to space. I know very well, but if I had more time, I could do everything in it. Loved learning a different sectors of technology. I'd like to research.

Leah [00:30:26]
About sort of the finance angle of things.

Leah [00:30:29]
And I'm kind of learning that slowly now. But, you know, I don't have a ton of free time breakers work on that.

Noah [00:30:35]
So if you could go back to the beginning of breaker, what would you do differently.

Leah [00:30:39]

Leah [00:30:40]
That is so hurt. Answer. Because I have no idea how things would be different. You know, we have built things that didn't work or that, you know, we didn't build things fast enough or, you know, there's all sorts of things we could do differently. But I can't really. I think the path that we're on is kind of the path that we were meant to be on. And I don't see any previous points. And I don't even see the strong points and passed around like, Oh, I really wish we had done this.

Leah [00:31:07]
Except for maybe not lose some of that, that retention.

Leah [00:31:11]
You know, we worked on it really hard that we just couldn't figure it out. So sometimes things just take time to develop progress, like I would have loved to have a designer from day one instead of, you know, a year later. But I don't you know, I don't know what we could have done differently. I think we've been trying to do our best and working really hard, and I think that's all you can. D'oh.

Noah [00:31:30]
What would it would? Advice? Would you give someone who's starting out in engineering or in Tak and has aspirations to? You'll build their own product and change the world? What would you tell them? Oh.

Leah [00:31:44]
I love it. I'm always so excited. Like I mentioned before, I've been getting a little into angel investing, and part of that, it's just supporting other entrepreneurs. Like I like to be part of that process. I love to like, hear what people are working on and even just their initial ideas on things.

Leah [00:31:59]
It's super exciting. So my advice is to go for it. And again, some interesting bits from Breaker is like, You could do this a side project. We didn't quit our day jobs. I had a day job while building breaker. I mean, in fact, I could probably kept that day job longer way ended up having enough users attraction that were like, and we should probably quit our T chops, But, uh, you know, taking some funding and we're like, Okay, we're probably leave our jobs. Uh, but, you know, you could you could keep that going for longer. So I think a mistake.

Leah [00:32:31]
That that we could have made, you know or you know, that I have made in the past with other companies is being like, Oh, to be an entrepreneur. I have to quit my job. I have to incorporate my company to do all these things. None of that's necessary, to be honest, like.

Leah [00:32:48]
We didn't even incorporate breaker, I think, until a year after we started working on it and it was just so we could take funding. I think we need it for, like, the bank account.

Leah [00:32:57]

Leah [00:32:58]
I guess my advice is like, don't do things until you absolutely need them. Like just build out the core of the product and get it tested and get it in front of users as fast as possible. Get things tested, get them like, get people trying things because you'll get you back so much faster. So anything to accelerate that product Feedback loop.

Leah [00:33:16]
Is really important, and nothing else is think that's my size, but also, you know, go for it. It's it's a lot of fun. It's very hard, but a lot of fun.

Noah [00:33:26]
So you mentioned Angel investing into some developer tools. Can you tell us something about those developer tools names. Can you promote them? Anything like.

Leah [00:33:34]

Leah [00:33:34]
Wrote yesterday? So.

Leah [00:33:37]
Actually, there's only one of them. I think that's still running independently. This fell from a palace. I haven't done that in many angel investments. I'm from like five, but it's called Century On, and we use it a breaker.

Leah [00:33:49]
It's a tool to help surface on crashes. And.

Leah [00:33:54]
So I stayed fatal errors to using our ruby on rails at on every depend that crashes or has, like a bug like sent us an email on our report. So it's pretty nice and batches them together so you don't get, like a bazillion of the same same bug report, and then you can, like, assign them to people to, like, work on. And so it's pretty good. Yeah, and, hey, Angel invested in them pretty early on. Continue the founder, David Kramer, from working in your box.

Noah [00:34:18]
That's very quiet. I think I know century. I think we're using Century at Variable.

Leah [00:34:22]
That's the fun thing about being here in the Bay Area is like a lot of people doing some angel investing. A lot of people that work that drop box so a lot of people that invested in century from Dropbox else from busting breaker. So it was really nice because a lot of our early the Angel investors are also folks that worked at Dropbox.

Noah [00:34:37]
No, it's great. That network stays strong.

Leah [00:34:39]
Yeah. Yeah. 01 thing I kind of do regret about my own career is not sort of working at a big company e sooner to make those connections. So I didn't start working at Dropbox till I was, you know, quite far in my career, and I kind of wish I had tried out a bigger company earlier just to sort of form those connections and meet with people. But I was like, I don't want to work for a big company. I wantto get up.

Noah [00:35:02]
Well, great. Um, is there anything else you want to, uh, you want to throw out there.

Leah [00:35:06]
Thank you so much for having me on the show. This has been great. Great conversation.

Leah [00:35:12]
You know, I'd love if they you know, if you're listening to this on and out, that's not breaker.

Leah [00:35:17]
If you download breaker, give it a try, you can send us an email at feedback at breaker, not audio, and I see all the e mails that I may not respond to them personally. You might hear from Jacob, who works on our community support instead of you. But now you know why.

Noah [00:35:31]
Very cool. Uh, Lee appreciate the time really appreciate the interview, Excited about the success and traction of Breaker.

Leah [00:35:39]
Yeah, thank you so much. Know this has been really great.

Noah [00:35:42]
And it's concludes. Another chapter of Coke story.

Noah [00:35:50]
Coat story is a production of Touch Tap Loc.

Noah [00:35:53]
And it's hosted and produced by Noel Apart. Co produced and edited by George Machar Co.

Noah [00:36:00]
Special Things to Deanna Chapman and Stephanie Campisi For their promotional support.

Noah [00:36:06]
Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Breaker or the podcasting app of your choice.

Noah [00:36:13]
Make sure to check us out at code story dot Co. Or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Lincoln.

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