In many traditional accelerators, founders are told to steer clear of Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, and other social platforms. The thinking? More harm than good can come from sharing their passing thoughts with the entire universe. And some noncompliers have certainly proven the dangers of social media: After all, Twitter — prior to and following its acquisition — certainly shifted the public perception of Elon Musk from genius entrepreneur to reviled villain.
Yet, while many startup founders have learned to be socially cautious, Launch House steers its community members in an entirely different direction. As co-founder Brett Goldstein explains, “If you compare [Y Combinator], which tells people not to use these platforms, we kind of encourage it. So that would be a unique characteristic.” Sounds crazy? Here’s why it works.
Filling the Distribution Gap, Organically
Today’s founders will form tomorrow’s Silicon Valley. And they will face challenges that earlier entrepreneurs never had to consider. After all, in the past, building great products was the most pressing concern for startups. Now, though, the technology piece comes far more easily. What’s tougher is taking inventions from the bubble of the creator economy to the broader global customer base — something that modern social media channels are uniquely positioned to do.
Furthermore, teaching entrepreneurs to leverage social media feels like a natural progression of the Launch House alternative accelerator model. After all, Jacob Peters — who founded Launch House along with Goldstein and Michael Houck — once noted, “Universities are no longer going to be the aggregators of great talent.” Instead, he stated, “It’s going to be small, niche communities that start in houses.” Small communities like those formed among Launch House members — and like those cultivated by the many interest groups and niche alignments formed on social media platforms.
Basically, says Goldstein, “The next generation of founders will have to be absolute killers at go-to-market distribution. And so, what we’ve seen is that many of the most successful founders in our community — and a lot of the reason that people come to our community — is because they want to excel in these new social media and distribution platforms. I think that’s probably a unique feature of Launch House.”
Going Beyond the Social Network
While traditional social platforms have their place for founders, Launch House is also guiding its community members to look beyond the Meta/TikTok/YouTube trifecta when they consider social media options. And they can easily do so, simply by examining Launch House’s own communication choices.
For starters, the community has turned to Discord — a two-dimensional social platform — to create a digital home base for its members. There, they can engage in proprietary educational opportunities. But they can also virtually “bump into” one another, facilitating the kind of organic engagement that was previously only possible when working with IRL settings.
Next, the company has recognized the social potential of digital newsletters, creating its own — called Homescreen — that hits subscribers’ inboxes three times each week, sharing everything from news updates and humor to highly curated resources designed to help followers level up in their fields. In just a few short months, that audience has gone from a group of 670 beta testers to 17,000-plus subscribers. And that figure keeps on growing, since Homescreen is distributed both in and out of the Launch House community.Using these two social platforms as a case study, Launch House is making it very clear why founders should embrace this distribution channel in all its modern iterations. If the goal is to get a product to a broader audience unhindered by geographical or economic limitations, then social media is the perfect vehicle for reaching that end point. And in leading by example, Launch House is proving that fact to be true, time and time again.