So many of our family stories are formative to our personal background, traditions, and even
our identity, so why hasn't there been an app to save and share it all?
Amelia Lin, Founder and CEO of Saga took it upon herself to create an app that does all of that for you. Saga is a Private Family Podcast that saves and shares audio recordings that your family members can upload with a simple phone call. Your loved ones record their answer in their own voice, on their own time, with no pressure. It's made easy for anyone to use — you can record by dialing a special phone number, even without a smartphone or the app.
Weekly questions can be recommended like "how did you meet mom?" or you can add your own personal questions that you want to hear. It's a digital solution to having the ability to pass down stories and experiences to future generations within your family.
Tune in to hear how the idea for trysaga.com stemmed, how it works, and how you can use it to share and save your family memories with your loved ones.
Additionally, Saga has just been featured on NBC for the holidays! They have a holiday question pack update with AARP in the app for free, for families to connect this holiday during COVID.
Amelia Lin [00:00:00] They hike on foot for two weeks under cover of night to get to the coast. They don't tell their families where they're going because they know that if they're caught, their families will be in trouble. And the next morning they get to get reported by. They they get reported by a local villager woman who has seen them in the cave.
Adrian Grobelny [00:00:20] That was Amelia Lynn, CEO and founder of Sagat.
Amelia Lin [00:00:25] The things that they lived through or so formative for me and who I am and why I believe the things they do. And I really wanted like my kids someday to get to experience that.
Adrian Grobelny [00:00:38] Like Amelia mentioned, so many of our family stories are formative to our personal background, traditions and even our identity. So why shouldn't there be an app to save all of those?
Amelia Lin [00:00:50] The magic of Saga, it's not just the saving rate. It's not just like the archiving of this into some vault where, like, you aren't going to see it and no one else in your family is going like here for 20 years. It's really about the connection between people and the social connection that happens between people listening to these stories together.
Adrian Grobelny [00:01:12] Tune in to hear how the idea for Saga stemmed, how it works and how you can use it to share and save your family memories with your loved ones.
Adrian Grobelny [00:01:55] I guess I just wanted to start with a little background on my experience with my family. So my parents immigrated from Poland and so my family structure is a lot of my family is here in the US, I would say half year in the US and then half is in Poland. I don't get to see my family in Poland too often. I'd say maybe once every two years. So, you know, there's great social media platforms to keep in touch, but it isn't the same chatting with someone. In fact, I never actually got to meet my grandfather on my dad's side since he passed away before I was even born. So we have a guest today that has started a startup that's really unique and interesting, that solves a lot of these issues and lack of experiences that I've had with my family of not being able to hear their stories of how they grew up or what was it like back in the day or even just family traditions that do get passed on. But you it's different hearing it from your family member directly and personally. So I wanted to introduce today Amelia Linn, co-founder and CEO of Soga, a platform and application that you can use to basically record family memories directly from them. And so just wanted to welcome Amelia. Yeah. Thank you for coming on.
Amelia Lin [00:03:15] Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be here.
Adrian Grobelny [00:03:19] So just jumping right in wanting to hear how would you describe this app to someone that you run into on the street.
Amelia Lin [00:03:27] So yeah, Sasagawa is this it's it's an app to save family memories. It's kind of like people people tell me they describe it to their friends as it's kind of like getting my own private podcast from my family, but comes from a super personal place for me. I really started soggier from my own parents, from my mom and my dad. I had been begging them for probably about ten years to find some way of recording for me. I didn't know how I was going to get it done, but somehow I really wanted them to save these incredible stories they used to tell me and my little sister growing up about like their childhoods in China and like how they met and why they came to America and what was like for them to be in a new country. So like your family and my my mom and dad, they didn't grow up in the States. They came here in the seventies. And and it was so important to me to find some way of having received honestly, not just for myself, but for I imagine, like my kids one day and their kids. And you just really have that forever. And every time I brought it up to them, they were super fly. They actually really supportive. They were like, we're really honored that you want this from us. But maybe after we retire because writing a book about our lives sounds like a pretty big project. And so so my goal is to is one. I wanted to make it really easy for them. I wanted to find something made it super easy for them, too. I wanted it to feel fun and not like a big chore or a giant project. And three, I wanted to be something that our family could use from anywhere because I live in California now. My parents are still in Texas and my sister is also in Texas in a third location. So it's really important to me that it could be something that our family could use no matter where we all were. And so, yeah, that that was really how this started. And I think from that from that initial project with my mom and dad, we've now grown into a voice based social app for family that helps you save your family's memories in their voices by voice recording answers to question prompts such as what's the most spontaneous thing you've ever done for love and things like that.
Jed Tabernero [00:05:55] I would love to hear the story of my dad for that. So I might I might send him that into an ask what's going on over there? So, like, I don't know. For me, if when I first saw Soga, right, I was thinking to myself, oh, my gosh, this would be so cool. So I come to the Philippines. Like I said, I was born and raised there. And there are so many stories that were just passed on from my grandparents because they my grandparents fought in the war. So, like, there's this whole bunch of stories that's been passed around our family that we all have different interpretations of. That's. Cool. That's kind of cool to me, but at the same time, I wish I could hear my grandfather talk about that himself. So in my head, I was like, damn, that would be so dope. I just wanted to ask if there was a specific story that or a specific question that you had asked at first when you were designing this app, like, was there one specific store you wanted to know from your family?
Amelia Lin [00:06:55] Yes. Is a story that heard a million times. My dad has this story about this crazy thing that he did when he was a teenager that I've always wanted to have, like, saved somehow, which is that. So my mom and dad both grew up during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. And it was like just this incredible this is a time of just incredible kind of turmoil. And they just grew up with a lot. They grew up with a lot of hardship. But my dad has a ton of crazy stories. One in particular was for a time, the borders were really shut down. And he had this dream of trying to leave China and to actually make it to the west, which he didn't really know a lot about, but he'd read about it in books and he just like really dreamed there would be a better life for him there. He's like 16 where he decided he was going to swim to Hong Kong. So he has this insane story about how he and his best friend, like trained for weeks and weeks and weeks to swim in the ocean like the to Hong Kong. So a hike, they hike on foot for two weeks under cover of night to get to the coast. They don't tell their families where they're going because they know that if they're caught, their families will be in trouble. And so they want to protect their families and just give them, like, every excuse to say, like, I didn't know they were trying to do this. So they, like, hike under cover of night, like living in caves, eating crackers, basically, and trying not to get seen by anyone to make it to the coast so that they can swim covered in petroleum jelly because that's what they've decided. That's what they decide to do to help insulate themselves from the cold to Hong Kong, which a few people had done at that time. And if you made it there, if you could blend in with the locals, it was like there was a chance. Basically, it was like shark infested waters. I mean, I just can't even imagine. And I think what's really poignant about it is they actually end up not making it. They make it all the way to the coast. They can see the island they're trying to swim to. My dad has this incredible kind of memory where he's like at nighttime we could see the lights on the island. It's like our goal was within sight. And then the next morning they get they get reported by. They they get reported by a local villager woman who has seen them in the cave. And they have to basically run for their lives because she she reports they're trying to decide, is she going to report them or not. They decide to take no chances. They split up, run in opposite directions. And it was the right call because a couple minutes later, they hear the village gong going off. So now all the local villagers are looking for them because at the time there were rewards for reporting people who are trying to leave the country. And so my dad basically runs on foot all the way back home and they both survived. But it's it's just this insane story
Shikher Bhandary [00:09:58] that's so crazy. I just Google it. And there's like so many articles on The New York Times about people swimming through the dangerous waters in like the seventies to escape whatever, dodging Chinese gunboats and the tides and all that stuff.
Adrian Grobelny [00:10:14] Crazy that hits you hard. And I can only imagine hearing that from your dad, from like the source of the person that saw it with his, you know, his eyes experienced it felt that the you know, the anxiety, the whole stress, the the excitement of seeing that island, it's completely different hearing that from his voice versus retelling it to someone else. So I can see why you really thought it's important to capture that sound straight from the source of what the experience was like.
Amelia Lin [00:10:45] That's exactly right. I mean, that was a huge part of it for me, was I kind of imagined one day like the things that they lived through or so formative for me and who I am and why I believe the things I do. And I really wanted like my kids someday to get to experience that. And I kind of imagined, like, what are they going to hear? They're going to hear like mom saying. And, you know, like your your grandpa lived through this and it it just doesn't have the same impact. Right. Like then as when you're you're hearing it from the person themselves.
Adrian Grobelny [00:11:17] And then so you think of how important it is to capture this audio and have it as a memory where you can say that everything's digital now so can duplicate it. You can send it. To a relative, you can do so much with it and it's not like a CD where it's going to collect dust. Exactly. In a book. So why did you feel that you wanted to go beyond just capturing it as a video recording on your phone or having them recorded on their own phone and creating a whole platform out of this idea?
Amelia Lin [00:11:48] Oh, yeah, it's such a great question because we remember experimenting with all sorts of stuff and we don't always know that it was going to be that the product was going to be the product we wanted to build was what we what we ended up building. So at the beginning, I actually did try doing things like video recording with my with my family. One of the things that was tough was it was super important to me. That could be something we could do remotely. And one of the big things with video that we found pretty early on, twofold, one, it was just a little bit trickier, I think, for them to feel comfortable kind of setting it up, especially remotely like when I wasn't there and to feel like, OK, my main frame is that the lighting played. The second thing was we found that people were just a lot more self-conscious on video. And so one of the things so the two things that I really liked about voice was, one, it enabled us to make it so easy for anybody, anybody to do so. We have these features in the app where to record you don't even need the app to record. You can literally dial a special phone number and it's like leaving a voicemail. So you don't need the app, you don't need a smartphone. You can even do from a landline. And we'll capture the audio and bring it into the app for the rest of your family. Or you can even use the app to dial someone on their phone. So all you have to do is just pick up a call like they're used to. And so audio like one, it just made it super easy for us to give us all these options for how we can make it easy for anybody and to remove that self-consciousness of having to worry about sitting in the right place. Is my background look good? Am I made up? It's like you could be sitting in your PJs with tea in your favorite comfy chair and it doesn't matter. Right. And that was what we cared about, was like we cared about the authenticity, the genuineness, like people feeling really comfortable. So just it just felt natural on so many different levels.
Jed Tabernero [00:13:47] When you're saying that, like, the fact that it's like so much more natural to hear it through audio, I was just thinking about it. Every time I come home now to visit my parents, I always try to get to know my parents better. So like when we have dinner, when we have meals together, I'm always like, well, you know, I'm going through this right now and I like this girl or whatever, you know. What were you doing when you were at this stage when you hadn't met Mom? And my dad's always like, I don't know if I should tell you, this kid in front of me, in front of me, and he would you would be past that point. He got comfortable telling me about his his other girlfriends with my mom still jealous at the age of like six, too.
Amelia Lin [00:14:29] But, you know, that's funny.
Jed Tabernero [00:14:31] It's funny and cute to me. They've had a crazy love story in the past. And you know what? All of that all of what I know about their love story, speculation. It's ridiculous and it's not just because I get little clues from my parents and then I make those into a story that I can tell my friends and whatever, but they're not always complete. So there's these gaps that I know I fill sometimes, you know, and it will just be so nice. Obviously, we're biased because we're in a podcast and we love audio itself in general. But you know what? It just makes sense. If I like I'm thinking about it right now for Christmas, what would like what would be an amazing gift to my parents is like the idea that we can keep each other in our memories. And let me just I haven't looked into this piece of it, but we can also record stuff about our success with them. Right. OK, so let's see if they my parents try to get to know me by talking to me, but it's very hard for them. I know it's awkward. But they listen to my podcast and they ask me questions there, so I've revealed a couple of things in my podcast and I leave it to them as little nuggets of information about your son.
Shikher Bhandary [00:15:45] He provides you all the information. A lot of times too much.
Jed Tabernero [00:15:51] It's a lot. It's a lot. But I'm very open and my parents know that. So they get to know me through that. But yeah, it's just an amazing another element. So I'd have to thank you for that because I'm about to use that piece of the app
Shikher Bhandary [00:16:03] that just wanted to touch a bit on. So you have this idea, right, while you were at Udacity and that's when you decided, you know what, books are cool, but I need to do something like this for my own family, maybe build it out. So how is that progression? Did you just decide? You know what? I think I have the right skills. I've managed product over here. Let me just go and test it out, build something on the side and see where that goes.
Amelia Lin [00:16:33] See, I was such a kid, such a good question. So the idea the general idea of finding some way to save this from my own family wasn't something that was new. It really was. So that part I knew I'd want wanted for a long time, like probably like once a year I would bring this up to be like, I don't know how we're going to do this, but can I can we get this in, like a book or. I wish there were a documentary about your life. I would just kind of bring some security to this at some point. So that been going on for a long time. But I don't think it was until kind of it it hadn't occurred to me that, like, well, maybe I could make something that would make it better. So when I was at Udacity, I knew I wanted to. I knew I wanted to try. I want mom and dad. That was never a question. I was always just like, how can I finally get this done for my own family? So that was probably the biggest impetus was I was like, I don't even care how we get it done. Like, I'm just going to make this a personal project. I don't exactly know, like how this is going to work. I'm just going to sit mom and dad down and I'm going to get them to try every which way regarding this stuff because I just want it right. And then I just kind of looked around at what was out there to help with this. And I really just didn't feel like there was something out there that made this really easy and felt like, I don't know, I just felt felt intimate and interactive and it just felt like it just felt really, really short. I would I remember I would I would tell all my coworkers and friends knew that I was working. So I told everybody I was where you got this. And I would hear all these stories from people and they'd be like, oh, yeah, my Uncle Joe did that with, you know, with our mom. And I think he's got some voice memos somewhere on his phone. And I was like, OK, have you ever heard them? Like, do you are they save some like the other? Has anybody else in the family ever gotten to listen? And there's like, no, actually, that's a good point. I'm not even sure they are like I guess they're somewhere on this phone call. You should probably go find those. Right. Or I would hear from people like I have these voicemails from my mom where she says Happy birthday and I've saved them and I've never deleted those voicemails. And I was just like, how can we have so much technology in the world today? Like, this is what we're reduced to. Like, how can there not be a better way to do this? And, you know, for what it's worth, I feel like you guys will find really interesting is podcasters. I think podcasting really needs to the possible. When we first started Soga, I actually didn't even describe it. I just told people I'm we're audio recording. That's what we're doing, recording voice. And then I would ask some of our families, like, hey, how do you describe this app to other people? And they would say, oh, I describe it like a private podcast with my family. And I was like, whoa, that is so true. I honestly had never occurred to me. I was like, well, it is it totally is still like a free podcast. Right. But if you had told me five years ago, ten years ago, we're all going to be walking around like listening for hours every day on our phones to strangers, talking to us
Shikher Bhandary [00:19:59] isn't like that,
Amelia Lin [00:20:01] right? We are. But podcasting is made that mainstream. Right. If you ask me, like, how many hours a day do I actually have earbuds in my ears? It's like a crazy amount of hours every day, like we're like attached now. And so this idea of like, dude, we're all spending hours, like listening to strangers talk in our ears. What's the reaction? People we knew, like what if it was the people who you knew, like the best? Why wouldn't that exist? It's been so interesting to see how podcasting, I think, has just opened up voice audio in a social way.
Shikher Bhandary [00:20:41] It's funny you say about all the time, like I try to track the number of steps I take on a daily basis, like so many people. And it comes to a point where I'm like, oh, I'm not interested in listening to any more music. Now I want to just listen to something that will give me some information. And that's when I tune into a podcast that that on demand access to information or in your case, memories, is kind of cool to to kind of see where maybe you're going for a walk in, like, you know what, I'm missing my home country. I'm missing my parents. Let me just dial in and see what's what's up.
Amelia Lin [00:21:19] I used to do this thing. I feel like my mom kind of teased me about it. But as I was driving to work, I would sometimes call her, like, because I had something to talk about, literally, just because it's really comforting to hear her voice. And sometimes I just be like, Hey, Mom, what's up? I don't have anything dog, all right now. But like, I just find it, like, really comforting to hear her voice. It was like, can you just talk to me like, well, while I'm driving, which I feel like is so is so funny. And so when she started, like when we started recording and so I was like, I would play, I'd play like her latest recording. It'd be like my latest podcast episode. Right. Like as I was driving or whatever. And even the way that like I listened to her recordings now or my dad's recordings or it's very similar to listening to a podcast because I listen to it like, you know, I'll be like washing the dishes or like I'll just be doing other things in my day, but also like catching up with her at the same time. In a way, we're like because we do live in different time zones. We can't it's we can't always find time to to get onto like a call at the same time, and especially not for some of the topics that we're talking about. It's like these are like sometimes are like big, sometimes are kind of like big questions. It's not exactly stuff you just kind of bring up.
Adrian Grobelny [00:22:36] So with the with the product and how it's designed, where you posed the question either by recording on your phone, dialing the phone number, and then it adds it to the app and then your parents can dial another number here, the question and then answer it and record it. And it does it all for them. Is that how it works? Kind of more or less.
Amelia Lin [00:22:57] Oh, yeah. So explain how it works so you can choose questions in the app or you can write your own. We have like hundreds of ones we recommend or that like are popular and things like that. They could be things like how did you meet your best friend growing up. Like tell me about them or like describe the house that you grew up in, like all this kind of stuff. And then as a family, you all can record it, you can record all your answers like so and you can do that either through recording in the app or by dial they can dial into the sub to call a special number is kind of like leaving a voicemail or you can even call them through if you want to make it like Sèvres, all they have to do is just like pick up and then your conversation will be saved. All of the recordings are saved and shared with each other. So you all get to hear each other's answers. It's like a group activity and the questions they either get sent through the app, they can also get sent through email. So if they're not, they don't have the app. You can also text them to them so you can like pick a question the app and be like, I'm sending this one up. It's like open up a little window so you can text it to them or send it to them. However, you normally communicate with that person. So, yeah, we try to make it pretty flexible for a lot of different family cases.
Jed Tabernero [00:24:16] Is there? I understand that this is for families and whatnot. Is there opportunities to share your stories with third parties like people who just have the app? And just so happened? I don't know what they use cases for this yet, but just curious as to how like if you thought your family's story was kind of shareable, nothing too crazy is in there, you could be like, hey, dude, listen, if you want to hear that story I was trying to tell you and I wasn't explaining it very well, this is my dad telling you the exact story, you know what I mean? There are some cases where I think that would be helpful for me.
Shikher Bhandary [00:24:46] But just just to add on that, I watch this YouTube show called Armchair Historian, and they reenact the animate things of the past.
Amelia Lin [00:24:56] Right. I was like,
Shikher Bhandary [00:24:59] yeah, yesterday I watched something. How's the Vietnam War from the perspective of the people in Vietnam? Wow. I was like mind blown. The second Jed mentioned sharing stories of someone else's. Right. That's the struggle that I've had because it's like, you know, we all read it in terms of, oh, America just going over there. But what was it like being in the villages and getting, like, just blanketed with, like, all terrible stuff, bombs and all that? Yeah, it's just fascinating to have personal stories of. What happened?
Jed Tabernero [00:25:34] The thing I was thinking about it, this is just an idea that's coming out of my head right now, but if there are tags for certain stories that are public, let's say there's two fields. Right? One is if it can be allowed to be publicly shared or not. And then the other field is that if it relates to a certain historic event and like you can have certain pieces of store anyway, it's just
Amelia Lin [00:25:55] that I did
Jed Tabernero [00:25:58] that like a section where it's like if you're an outside person, OK, maybe some people don't have great family stories. Right. That's that argument can be made. Or some people have very broken families where they can't do that. And they want to hear certain things about maybe history or maybe it could just be a certain way. A family is that be a super cool to just be like, OK, these are random accounts, kind of like you're searching on Instagram, just going through feeds, except you're looking at, OK, I'm interested in the Vietnam War. These are the people who kind of have stories during that time. Let me just scroll through. But anyway, putting it out there,
Shikher Bhandary [00:26:32] I think
Amelia Lin [00:26:33] I love that idea.
Adrian Grobelny [00:26:35] I love it much. The outsider, as I was thinking, like, so if I'm like dating a girl and I asked for her hand or something,
Shikher Bhandary [00:26:43] your mind goes only in one direction. Talking about you'll see where I'm going with this. So I'm dating a girl. I'm going to route and
Adrian Grobelny [00:26:52] you want to get to know her family before you meet the parents or you want to do some research to make sure you know you're with the family. And so she shares the stories of the family and you can kind of learn about the family dynamic.
Shikher Bhandary [00:27:05] And I think that's pretty cool to share with.
Amelia Lin [00:27:08] Like we were the first exactly like I know it all. So I love that. I'll go back and share that with the team, like, hey, guys, we're doing a mash up. We're like Tawergha plus dinner, like you're going to fly the family.
Adrian Grobelny [00:27:28] But this can be like early on. This has to be like, you know, when things are serious and you want to.
Shikher Bhandary [00:27:34] I don't think I would share a lot of things on Tinder, though.
Amelia Lin [00:27:39] It's true. Like the stuff that people will like, the kinds of things that people record with. It's like it's definitely it's definitely more is more intimate. Right. So like so yeah. It's also it's like it's all private and like. OK, quick, quick, quick answer to your question. Yes. So if for, for any recording you can generate basically a private link to that recording that's shareable wherever you want it, it'll just go to like a Web page. They don't need to have the app installed so somebody else can listen to it. But it's all under your control. Like nobody has that link unless you share it. Like nobody has access to join your family group unless you give them the you invite them and you give them a code could join. But yeah, but we have had some users who just. Oh, my gosh. I totally don't buy the idea anymore that there are boring families because like like people use the app and then find out all of this crazy stuff that they never do. Just like I had no idea that my grandma used to work for the Empress of China or Japan was like, what? Or like all of that. I never knew that. I remember one of our team members found out that like one of her uncles and won the lottery. And she's like, Why are we rich? Was like everybody like she never knew that. Great.
Shikher Bhandary [00:29:06] Yeah. I just wanted to touch briefly on the product and how you went building it. I see you've got like around four or five employees now that transition from product manager to being a founder. How has that process of creating the technology behind the app? How has that been like?
Amelia Lin [00:29:30] I think that's such an it's such an interesting part of the story in the journey, because I often tell people that while I'm really glad that I worked as a product manager before becoming a founder, because so many of the questions that you are trying to solve, especially in the very early days, are exactly the things that you think about when you're a product manager. Except times when I tell people it's kind of like the Tough Mudder of product management. It's like go create a great product that people love, but do it without any money, any resources. You have no users, you have no team. Like they'll make that happen. So I feel like there were a lot of tools that I had built up in my toolbox over time, not only from working as a product manager, but from having worked at a lot of startups. I felt really good about my ability to be very scrappy and resourceful about figuring out what works with not a ton of resources. And so, for example, people often had asked me like, so how did you build the first prototype of Saga? So I had the first prototype of Saagar up and running within like the first two weeks. And they're like, wow, how did you do that? I'll show you out. I didn't write any code. I was just telling everybody I knew that I wanted to do this. And I was like, hey, who would want this for their family? I would say, I'd love this for my family. I was literally sitting there, all the people on the phone. I'd be like, send them a link, like we'd schedule a time. And I would like, call them. And I like to interview on the phone and then I would tell them the audio file and email it to the family, and every week I was sitting there sending questions to families like literally just e-mailing questions to people. Like people thought it was automated, but it was it it was it was me, you know. And so the so I think look at every step of the way. It's really just been about like, how do I try and take what's in my head, turn it into reality, but really optimize for learning as quickly as possible because I, I just never knew at the beginning what the right I didn't have some amazing vision of like this is exactly the thing that it's going to be. It really was like, OK, I have an idea of how this could work and put it out there and then I'm going to pay a lot of attention and really listen to what people are saying. What are they like about it? What's not working for them? Like what are they struggling with? What's confusing? Where are they trying to take, like, workarounds? So, for example, like the ability to call in and leave a voice recording that wasn't actually like originally a feature, that was just something that we built to make it really easy to record. It was just like a hacky thing that we started with, like, hey, why don't we hook it up? And this will be a great way because people would say, oh, I really like recording, but I want to be with you on my own schedule. Can I do it without having to schedule time with you? OK, well let's like let's just like hook up a phone number. They can call in and report. Suddenly I was like, wow, this looks so easy. This is great. Like it's star feature. Then I started like I started sending in the original version. One of the earlier versions didn't even have voice recordings that you have transcriptions. So that used to be what it was. You actually didn't get a voice recording. You only got the transcription of the voice recording. That was like the thing that you got in the end. And the idea was, we're going to take all the transcriptions, we're going to turn into a book for you. So one of them happening was we send the transcriptions people and people would write me back and say, this is really cool. Can I can I actually get the voice recording of my mom if people just keep asking for the recordings? OK, there's nothing really compelling about the recordings. So we started selling them both. And then people kind of seem more interested in the recordings than like the transcription. So we can just like make the transcription like an add on. And no one seemed to really notice. What if, like, we take all the transcriptions in, like the first thing that you get is the recording. Like nowadays we're like, OK, is the voice recording. But oh yeah, we'd also send recordings to people and then people. We used to not have any way to comment or react on recordings. All you got was the sound file and people would like text me back and it's like I'm listening. This is so incredible. Like I have all these questions for mom and they would like literally text me the questions that were in their heads, you know, like all their reactions and everything. I was like, oh my gosh. Like, I I'm this is great. But your mom should see this. I don't know the answer to these questions, but like, he's a great he's a great fall question. So your mom should totally see this as like, hey, we think we need to add, like, commenting. So, I mean, every step of the way has really been like just really just paying a lot of attention to how people are are using the product to kind of what what they're excited about, ways in which they're even trying to use the product that like maybe we don't even support yet that the magic of Soga. It's not just the saving rate. It's not just like the archiving of this into some vault where, like, you aren't going to see it and no one else in your family is in here for twenty years. It's really about the connection between people and the social connection like happens between people listening to these stories together. And so that's why in the app there's all of this like you can comment and react to other people's stories and you can connect over it no matter what time zone you're in. And you don't have to wait until thirty years from now.
Shikher Bhandary [00:35:15] It's kind of why I just to draw parallels or just for a brief second, it's why I like SoundCloud so much is because, you know, I used to be this EDM guy and I still love the the, you know, so good. I'm so on SoundCloud up and coming artists that I sort of just try and look at. And I still love the community that each song had or each file had were a particular decoration on the file because I'm searching for that drop. Right. And just before that, you have all these. Oh, this is it. This is a guy I used to love that I, I feel even Spotify is getting on that, like, audio in general. This is a very intimate thing that they're making into a social place. And with the whole year in review, I mean, my whole timeline. Was filled with that stuff just last week, so there's so much room for you to have Audu and it being a way of getting people together.
Adrian Grobelny [00:36:18] I was just like thinking, is there any way for the user to to upload like a picture of like a story or a memory that reminds them of that to kind of label it in their file or like if they're creating their scrapbook or kind of just a timeline of stories, is there a way for them to customize it and add maybe like a video experience of that of like a birthday or someone's engagement or just like a big life event to kind of add to that audio?
Amelia Lin [00:36:50] We did add in photo attachments earlier in the year, so now because people have been asking for that, they would be listening to your queries, like I want to, like, attach photos to this. So we do have photos now working on video. That one we don't have yet. Video gets even more complicated than the audio to support, as you will, probably as you'll probably know. But the photos were really excited about and. Yeah, I think that, like what you brought up Chikara about like social kind of the social aspect of voice. It's so true. Like that was kind of it was one of the first things that we kind of looked at because we knew that we wanted to make the social aspects of the app something much more prominent. We knew that that was something was very, very key from what we were seeing. And it was really striking to me, kind of realizing that, like, OK, SoundCloud is kind of the closest analogy that people are familiar with. It's a social way to interact with music. And it was like it's and then it is just so weird to me that, like, that hadn't yet happened for voice audio, like even this podcast episode that we're recording. If I go on like Apple podcasts, all I can do is like I can leave a reading I can to review
Shikher Bhandary [00:38:07] the format that they need to do on that front. I'm hoping with the whole Spotify going trying to be YouTube's competitor, I'm hoping they would want to have the community because the community makes YouTube, YouTube. It's not just a video library. You see the comments. You're like, damn, this is so funny, right? What makes YouTube different from a Vimeo? Right. So it's it's bonkers that they haven't figured that out that people would want to know. And what's a conversation on the app like Apple podcast itself? Yeah, but I don't know. Let's see.
Amelia Lin [00:38:46] So we actually added that in so like comments are actually timestamped on recordings and Soga. So you'd be like, this is hilarious, you know, or like tell me more about this, but I had no idea you lived in Egypt and they're all like timestamped Facebook. Particular parts of the recording or the drop. That's the way it did before.
Jed Tabernero [00:39:08] Wait for it.
Amelia Lin [00:39:11] But it's actually I mean, this is so for us, it really made sense because like, if you see that your family is listening to a recording from your dad. Right. And they're like living like wells. And you want to know what you want to talk about that part. Right. And like you want to be able to to come and react on specific things that are being said. So one of the things I wanted to make sure that I mentioned, just as a timely announcement, is that I know that we're planning on airing this episode before the or during the holiday season. And so we're actually we're doing a promotion where we're releasing a free special edition kind of question pack in the app that is for the holidays. And it's it's just meant to help families connect, especially this year. So it's totally free. The app is also free right now as well in twenty twenty one. So next year we're going to be rolling out our first paid subscription model and which will basically unlock like unlimited storage and backup for people who kind of want us to keep a copy of all of the audio recordings forever. You can always download them off the app. But the big deal is that for people who sign up before the end of the year and start recording their families before the end of this year, you will have access to that unlimited storage forever. So if you are looking for something special to do with your family and we're on iOS right now, we're working on Android, but we're on iOS right now. So if somebody in your family has an iOS device, it's totally free. And if you get signed up and start recording before the end of the year, all those recordings that you do will always be like free of charge.
Adrian Grobelny [00:41:00] So I don't know about you guys, but I, I learned a lot and had a blast and I wanted to make sure to give you the stage again to kind of give a shout out or plug anyone or any anything about Soga that our listeners can find more information on, whether that be media, social media platform, your website, where they can learn more and also just follow you on your journey of building this really unique private podcast for everyone's families to share.
Amelia Lin [00:41:32] Thank you so much. Yes, please come and check us out. You can download the app and learn more about us at our website, which is try Soga dotcom t r y. S a dot com. We're free to download in the App Store and. What else do I have? I feel like that's a big one. Oh, I know that you own it. Also, when you sign up, there is a little field that says, like, how did you hear about us? And please tell us that you that you heard about. It seems like things have changed. So I would love to hear that. And yeah. And I can tell the crew here, like, hey, this is somebody who's is Darvocet.
Jed Tabernero [00:42:17] So awesome. Yeah. Well, yeah. Thank you so much for for being on the show again.