Startup Spotlight #153: Go Off!
Go Off! is a Gen Z-made social platform for meaningful conversations.
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Glo Robinson is a senior at Boston University studying public relations and innovation. She's also the founder and CEO of Go Off! a social experience platform that allows individuals to host small live text-chats (capped at 10) around pieces of content. In late 2019, she and her friends were sick of the quality of their online social experience being dictated by how many times people pressed a button to show them superficial validation. Frankly, they felt like they're settling for mediocre solutions to find and make meaningful connections in an online setting. So then one day, they came together and realized one of the major pain points of current social platforms is that it neglects a consistent user experience to allow peoples’ voices to feeling heard.
Feeling heard is a basic social need all humans have when they interact with each other; moreover, everyone loathes the experience of making a post and receiving little to no recognition of it. So they thought: how do they re-engineer a new online social experience that allows people’s voices to be heard every time they interact online? And after 100+ customer discovery interviews, two rounds of internal testing, and a year and a half later, they found a solution called Go Off!.
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Startup Spotlight: Go Off!
Problem: Content creators and brands struggle to cultivate meaningful engagement with their audience on current social platforms — neither DMs nor comment sections encourage deep conversations and relationship-building. As a result, these groups lack a way to gain meaningful insights about their audiences at a deeper level.
Market: By 2026, the virtual event market will be valued at $325 billion. Our segment, the event marketing space is projected to be $6.4 billion by this time.
Solution: After two years of testing, we've created a social platform where creators can host synchronous, text-based conversations capped at 10 attendees around pieces of content (article, video, photo, etc.). The content serves as the common ground and starting point, from which the conversation can diverge and deepen; and in turn, we provide unique analytics summarizing their conversations on our platform.
Team: Led by Sam Leach (CTO), Selina Wang (CMO), Jess Zheng (COO) and Ayca Solmaz (CPO), and myself, our team is made up of a vibrant group of college students and recent graduates that specialize in data science, software engineering, and business development.
Robinson: After working on Go Off! For over a year and a half, I would say building and maintaining a team of 14 working across several time zones is a success. I’m grateful to work with incredible individuals that thrive in their respective roles, but the reality is, the vision of Go Off! can’t come to life without them. As a CEO, one of the most fulfilling parts of my job is working together with my coworkers and helping them feel and do their best at their job. When I evaluate what success looks like, it’s not just about the results, it’s about our growth and about how our mentality and caliber continue to improve, and in turn, we produce a better product for our users.
Robinson: I struggle to find the delicate balance between helping my team build and execute a functional MVP, and yet thinking about long-term planning and building up Go Off!’s vision. As a CEO you’re forced to wear so many hats on the day to day-from helping the marketing team with social media content to developing long-term revenue models and occasionally expected to understand legal corporate jargon. I love the fact my job is different every day from a tactics perspective (that’s half the excitement), but yet the other half of my job is thinking ahead and long-term planning. I love spending time developing long-term plans and visions for Go Off! because thinking about the big picture of the potential of our venture is medicine for persistent motivation. However, balancing such contrasting jobs in one is extremely challenging.
Robinson: Never lose sight of the vision, mission, and purpose of your startup. When you’re launching a company, practically almost every day you encounter a fork in the road, and deciding what to prioritize is a stressful process. For our academic lives, we’ve been conditioned to rely on quantifiable metrics like grades to tell us how well we execute something. When it comes to startups, KPIs are helpful, but it’s not everything. So when you’re at that fork in the road, always coming back to your vision, mission, and purpose statements is a great starting place.
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