Faye Keegan - Pioneering a New Genre of Audio App

David Barnard
February 17, 2021
41
 MIN
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In This Episode


Our guest today is Faye Keegan, co-founder and CTO of Dipsea. Part technology company and part story studio, Dipsea is the first audio platform for women's sexual wellness. Prior to founding Dipsea, Faye spent time at Neighborly as a software engineer and Bridgewater as an investment associate. With a background in economics and investment analysis, Faye isn’t your typical startup CTO.

In this episode, you’ll hear about:

  • Why audio apps are some of the most successful
  • Leveraging third-party tools for your tech stack
  • Why you shouldn’t build sophisticated internal infrastructure

Follow Us:


David Barnard: https://twitter.com/drbarnard

Jacob Eiting: https://twitter.com/jeiting

Faye Keegan: https://twitter.com/itisthefaye


Download Dipsea:

Here’s the Outline of Our Interview with Faye:


[1:10] Faye’s background and the founding of Dipsea.


[2:05] Where did the idea for Dipsea come from?


[3:59] Romance is the highest-selling genre of literature; 50 Shades of Grey.


[4:16] The growing popularity of audio as a medium; Headspace; Calm.


[6:31] Which came first: the content or the business model?


[7:17] Dipsea raised a $5.5M seed round shortly prior to launch in 2019.


[8:16] Faye’s experience in finance; market validation.


[11:21] Building a content library for a SaaS app; content analytics; Elevate.


[13:24] Price experiments and paywalls; optimizing for retention vs. conversion.


[17:00] The challenges of building a sexual wellness app for the app stores; HBO’s Game of Thrones; the Showtime app.


[19:38] “You know it when you see it” policies for erotic content on the app stores; Steve Jobs.


[21:53] How Dipsea creates such high-quality content.


[22:59] Dipea’s tech stack; Firebase; RevenueCat.


[26:18] Building a subscription audio app in 6 months.


[29:16] Lean internal tools and content pipelines; “rip and replace.”


[31:15] Don’t over-invest in building sophisticated infrastructure and internal tools.


[32:58] Faye’s motivation for coding: building products and features that make a difference.


[34:29] Scaling a SaaS app team; hiring for different strengths and a shared product vision.


[36:55] How Dipsea is expanding into new uses cases: self-improvement and sleep.


[38:28] User engagement; getting feedback from users on what to build next.


[40:00] What’s the future of Dipsea?


[41:44] Connect with Faye on Twitter; Dipsea is hiring a graphic designer.


Quotes:


“Subscription … is an exploding space. People are getting so much more used to consuming premium media on their phones and paying for it.” - Faye


“There can be an advantage, tactically, to raising [money] before you’re in market because maybe you don’t get that product-market fit right away. Sometimes what’s inside the box, if the box is closed, is a little more enticing to investors.” - Jacob


“The number-one rule I have for tech stack is if you’re building it from scratch, you probably haven’t googled it… There are so many great tools out there.” - Faye


“I’m a huge fan of … Firebase and RevenueCat. I don’t have stickers on my computer, but those would be the two.” - Faye


“The majority of consumer subscription apps — you’re not building new technology. You’re building a great product and a great experience. You should spend your engineering time on things that matter.” - Faye


“Generally, it’s about leveraging really great tools that offload your engineering time into the stuff where you have an edge as a company.” - Faye


“There’s going to be one thing your company does that’s different from every other company — and that’s the thing that you should put all your energy into. And then everything else, just solve for as quickly as possible [in a way that] doesn’t compromise the ability to achieve the one thing.” - Jacob


“The learning curve once something is in market is totally different — it’s like a totally different universe — than the learning curve of you and your friends talking about it.” - Faye



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Episode Transcript