Hello! My name is Jason Sherman
I’m the visionary behind Spinnr—a pioneering video friendship platform that’s more than just an app; it’s a movement. As I witness legacy applications suddenly flock to the friendship arena, I feel compelled to share not just my journey, but the odyssey of Spinnr itself. If you haven’t yet crossed paths with us, you’re overlooking an innovative solution to one of the most pressing crises of our time—the epidemic of loneliness.
The Evolution of Video Platforms
My entrepreneurial journey in the realm of video platforms began over a decade ago when I released one of the first video apps designed for people to connect. Back in 2013, the technology landscape was vastly different—low-resolution videos, laggy connections, and a public still warming up to the idea of video-based communication. Several projects later, the world found itself grappling with a historic pandemic that further emphasized the need for genuine human connection. This presented not just a challenge but also an opportunity to revisit the idea behind my video platform, this time with a renewed focus on building genuine friendships.
The Pandemic’s Unexpected Gift
The onset of COVID-19 did something remarkable. It made the world adapt to video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and FaceTime almost overnight. Dating apps started to incorporate video features, and people began to accept video calls as a new norm for initial meetings. Then the US Surgeon General declared loneliness a public health crisis, and as Adi Segal of Newsweek calls it: The Silent Threat of Our Time. It was evident that mere video calls weren’t enough. People needed meaningful connections—relationships built on shared interests, hobbies, and values.
Introducing Spinnr: A Paradigm Shift
In response, I founded Spinnr, designed to offer something significantly different from what existing platforms were offering. Instead of focusing on surface-level engagements, Spinnr encourages its users to build their personality through a series of videos and then connect over specific topics, hobbies, and interests within groups we call “Squads.” Over the past year, Spinnr has become a haven for people across various age groups—be it college students, Gen Z, Gen X, or even Boomers—offering a safe and private space to cultivate meaningful friendships based on shared interests.
Humanizing Digital Interaction
We are hardwired for face-to-face interaction. When we greet someone at a party or catch up with family overseas, it is usually a face-to-face experience. While anonymous platforms like Reddit and Discord offer their own unique value, Spinnr aims to humanize digital interactions by encouraging users to show their faces and be themselves in a secure environment.
Privacy, Data, and Security
One cornerstone of Spinnr’s ethos is an unwavering commitment to privacy and safety. Unlike many platforms, we don’t store most user data, ensuring a secure environment for genuine connections to thrive. Every interaction within the app remains private and not open to public scrutiny. This eliminates the potential for trolls, spammers, or scammers to infiltrate the community. In a world where many social media platforms have normalized questionable privacy practices, Spinnr intentionally takes the path less traveled, focusing on what truly matters: authentic, safe, and meaningful connections. And as Chiara Castro from Tech Radar mentions, “Over 7 out of 10 apps collect more data than needed”.
Spinnr isn’t just another app hopping on the video trend; we have been operational for over a year across both iPhone and Android platforms. We’ve developed a scalable infrastructure and even incorporated an AI chat friend, “Spinny,” designed to help you navigate the app and discover new friends based on mutual interests.
Healthier Screen Time
We often demonize smartphones for fostering unhealthy behavior, but in reality, they are just tools—neutral and versatile. Unlike platforms that encourage users to mindlessly scroll through content, Spinnr consciously avoids building any toxic behavior patterns. We’ve eliminated likes, comments, and follower counts to keep the focus on real connections. Think of it as social media stripped of its negative elements, combined with the good old days of AOL chat rooms and the better aspects of modern platforms like Discord and YouTube.
Open Communication & Focus Groups
What sets Spinnr apart even further is our openness to feedback. We actively engage with our community through public “Squads,” aimed at gathering genuine input to continuously refine the app. Another distinguishing factor for Spinnr is our commitment to user-centric design. We’ve conducted focus groups at various universities, engaging directly with large student populations to pinpoint exactly what they seek in a friendship platform. This hands-on research has been instrumental in shaping an app that genuinely addresses the needs and desires of its user base.
Spinnr’s mission is simple: To reinstate basic human interaction in a digital landscape without it being a popularity contest, and without the negativity of trolls, spam, ads, or influencers. We believe we have built something special, and the growing community around Spinnr seems to agree.
In a world clouded by the loneliness epidemic, Spinnr offers a glimmer of hope, a digital knocking on doors, if you will. It’s an evolution of basic human interaction, with a modern twist and a retro feel, aiming to fill the void of genuine friendships in our increasingly digital lives. If you haven’t discovered Spinnr yet, now you have an invitation to be part of a revolution in digital friendship. Welcome aboard.
The Investor Blind Spot: Betting on Past Success Over Current Innovation
It’s disconcerting, to say the least, to watch the investment community flock to founders with a previous exit, especially when they’re entering the friendship app market—a space that Spinnr has been innovating in for over a year (and technically since 2013). This industry trend perpetuates a notion that past success is the only indicator of future potential, overlooking the cutting-edge work that other startups are doing. It raises an essential question: Why don’t they see us?
Spinnr is not just another app on the block. We’ve taken a thoughtful approach to friendship in the digital age. We’ve already developed an AI chat friend that does far more than help you navigate our platform. From making introductions based on shared interests to helping you learn new languages and offering support for personal and mental health issues—our AI is designed to foster genuine human connection in a multitude of ways. This isn’t a prototype or a future roadmap; it’s here, now, and it’s operational.
Investors should broaden their horizons and consider where real innovation is happening. It’s not just about the ‘who’ but the ‘what.’ And the ‘what’ is a platform that solves a problem, fulfills a need, and enriches lives in a meaningful way. When you overlook a platform like Spinnr to bet on established names entering a new arena, you’re not just risking capital—you’re risking a missed opportunity to be part of something groundbreaking.
In the end, innovation won’t wait. While investors pour funds into projects led by those who have been successful before, Spinnr continues to break new ground, driven by our community and a commitment to make the world less lonely. If they don’t turn their gaze towards us now, they’ll be scrambling to catch up later. And it won’t be Spinnr that missed out; it’ll be the investors who failed to recognize where the future was truly taking shape.
So, who would you place your bet on?
A one-hit-wonder founder with a solitary success under their belt, or a battle-tested entrepreneur who has been in the trenches, teaching and enriching the global startup landscape for decades? The choice seems clear: Spinnr isn’t just an app, it’s the culmination of years of hands-on experience and thought leadership. We don’t just understand the market; we’ve been shaping it.
While investors are funneling millions into fledgling startups, Spinnr has achieved substantial progress in just a year’s time—operating on a modest $200,000 seed fund. Remarkably, we’ve accomplished this with a lean yet multi-talented team of approximately 15 professionals. Our squad spans iOS and Android development, backend architecture, security infrastructure, artificial intelligence, as well as marketing, branding, content creation, and business development. But what truly sets us apart is our foundational secret weapon: I’ve leveraged insights from my five-year running (top 4 entrepreneurship) podcast “Strap on Your Boots”, my popular startup guidebook of the same name, and my university-taught (now online) course “Startup Essentials” to inform our strategies. This isn’t just theory; it’s tried-and-true practice. We’re not just building an app; we’re applying years of accrued wisdom to create a movement.