📻 — Death to Notifications: Why We’re Turning Them “Off” by Default

Reading Time: ~ 3 min.


  1. One shot. $15M. $7.7M. Project front page. Drugs. Had to be there.
  2. Hiring platform. Edlyft on community. Mars isn’t earth. Live sports.
  3. Anduril. Foldable iPhone. Globes. Avocado time. NFTs and fans.
  4. Instagram live rooms, audio. Free trials aren’t revenue. USPS++?
  5. Shopping malls. Tip meet spear. Community power. Waitwhile.
  6. The ideal community platform. Friends > community? Rarible.
  7. Day One Fan. User, people. Back to office. EGM? Humaans.
  8. Community and faith. Sustainable bullshit. Subversive content.
  9. Puzzles around you. Interview at a product-led co. Magicboard.
  10. Headfakes. Short lifespans. Finale. AI-powered email… TL;DR.

And I’m sad to hear about this; Dr. Seuss.

To infinity & community,

— john

I wanted to take a moment and give you all a quick update on how our work is coming along as we build a more modern community-building platform for creators, founders, and everyone in our growing yeniverse!

One of the wonderful things about building a piece of software in a community-centric way is that you get a chance to build something that people not only like, but maybe even love; this is because they have a real shot at being part of the co-building process as their voice and opinions are not only considered but eventually and inevitably reflected in the product.

One of the more glaring examples was the “meta info” change that was originally designed by one of our community members; an obvious insight that we had overlooked in the original design.

Another example, which we’ve applied recently, is adding a small visual notification for the yenizen when there’s a new message or update in a Room and/or active chat.

It’s a small but important step in the right direction; the reason that these are small steps is because notifications are fundamentally broken in most platforms and apps out there today. I shared a few candid thoughts to the community directly and I wanted to share them more publicly here:

One of the things that I love about our current approach to adding notifications to the platform is that we’re doing it in a way that matches actual behavior with customer feedback.

… it’s a much more elegant way of building software; it also maximizes our effort and overall work so we don’t end up shipping anything that isn’t actually appreciated and used.

Adding a small numerical counter (with highlight) seems like a small thing but it’s not when you’re constantly annihilated by notification “noise” in essentially every other product out there.

… great tools are there when you need them and then OUT OF THE WAY when you don’t; they don’t annoy you through their insecure attempts at reminding you that they exist. That’s not how YEN works and that’s not why we’ve built this platform for our business and for our friends and fellow community builders.

YEN was designed specifically to help business builders build community in simple and powerful ways; we ship simple tools that community builders love and our mission is to simplify community building so creators can spend more time doing what they do best: Delivering unique value to their customers and growing community.

Consequently, notifications will default to “OFF” platform-wide and you’ll be able to “turn on” notifications in a much more bespoke fashion (e.g. per room, per DM, etc).

That’s a big reason why we haven’t implemented notifications in the way that you’d expect because those habits and behaviors are not just useless, they are unhealthy and net-negative to actually getting work done.

YEN exists to help creators make money and build a business that they and their communities love…

… anything else is just noise and distraction which is antithetical to our mission.

I hope that provides some clarity around not just what we’re building but also how and why we’re building it in the way that we are.

Great communities (and great community-building platforms) aren’t just destinations for people to “hang out” — although that’s totally cool and fine and appropriate — it’s about getting work done, building cool stuff together, and making the most of our time together!

This often means building profitable projects and businesses, and turning our time into wealth for ourselves and for our community; otherwise, what precisely are you doing with your time (and money)?

Love you all! Have a great one! And, as always, let me know how I can serve you! I’m here for you.

That private yacht tho.

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