Embarking on an expedition requires both courage and companionship. Isa Watson understood this as she navigated the realm of Squad, her audio networking hub. Her expedition through the digital landscape was marked by the creation of a community, fostering connections solely through voices. The expedition wasn’t just a venture; it was a voyage into uncharted territories of social media. Isa’s efforts with Squad demonstrated that the heart of any expedition lies in the human connection, and every conversation was a step into a new world.
Isa Watson, the Founder and CEO of Squad, shares her personal and inspiring story of how a tragic event led to the creation of her audio social platform. In 2013, she lost her father in a bus accident, which made her reevaluate the importance of personal relationships over personal branding. This realization drove her to create Squad, a platform designed to help people connect and build communities offline.
Squad offers three core features: asynchronous messaging, freestyle questions, and squad lines. The platform limits squads to a maximum of 12 people, encouraging selectiveness in building friendships.
What sets Squad apart from other platforms is its focus on creating a customized world for each user. Unlike large-scale platforms where users fit into existing spaces, Squad aims to help users organically create their own world.
Squad’s journey to becoming an audio platform involved experimentation with text and video, but audio was the “happy medium” that allowed for intimate and meaningful conversations. Users can only interact with content from their own Squad, mirroring real-life connections, and all communication deletes within 24 hours.
The platform operates on three revenue models: freemium, in-app purchases, and an ad model. Watson and her team have adopted various market strategies, including partnerships and a high school ambassador program in New York City, to promote growth.
Watson discussed the challenges she faced as a young Black woman in the tech industry when seeking funding. However, she has turned these challenges into strengths by connecting with the younger generation, who appreciate her presence as a Black woman in the industry.
Squad aims to offer an alternative social platform that values authenticity, as people yearn for a more genuine online experience. Watson believes that social media has created an unhealthy culture of perfectionism, and Squad is positioned to provide a more authentic and meaningful alternative.