Featured on Jul 15, 2011
"The future ain't what it used to be. - Yogi Berra"
In addition to tech, I love video games, football, street art and New York City. I created Subjot with my wife as a place to discuss all my interests without spamming my friends.
- Title: Cofounder, Subjot
- Age: 32
- Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, East Village
- Contact: subjot, chriscarella.com, @ccarella
How and when did you and your wife first come up with the idea for Subjot? Has it changed much during development from your original plans?
It started with a Twitter experiment last year when I tried to double my followers. I monitored how many followers I gained or lost after each of my tweets and retweets. Tweets about startups, apps or NY tech gained followers. If I posted about any of my interests outside of tech, I lost followers. It’s a publishing problem. When you build an audience around one subject, it becomes uncomfortable to share content about your other interests.
At the same time, I was frustrated with my Facebook feed. I want to keep in touch with my Facebook friends, but I don’t share all of their interests. It’s a subscription problem. On today’s social services, I subscribe to all of your content regardless of the relevance.
Subjot tackles both the subscription and publishing problem by having a subject assigned to each post. People can pick which subjects they want to follow. It allows you to share more content without worrying about spamming people, and at the same time keeps your incoming feed filled with only the posts you find interesting.
In the earliest version of the product we had this notion of a “Google Reader for People.” We automatically pulled your posts from other services into your feed and assigned them to subjects. In practice it felt spammy, so we backed off.
What kind of street art do you like most? Who are your favorite street artists? In what places have you seen the best street art?
Street art adds unexpected discoveries to the same streets I walk down every day. One morning there might be a small wheatpaste flower on a street corner that blends in so well that hundreds of people walk past it without noticing. I love seeing art that was perfectly placed in the environment.
I particularly like wheatpastes. They allow artists to be incredibly expressive and creative while at the same time they are easily removed and don’t do any permanent damage. Gaia has done some of my favorite wheatpastes around NYC over the years.
What do you like most about cofounding a product with your spouse? What challenges has it posed?
Becky and I have been working together since we met at Dartmouth in grad school 9 years ago. Our professional relationship is based on trust and respect of each other’s ideas. My favorite thing about working with her is that she is my most honest critic. When she says something is great or horrible, I believe her. Our skill sets are highly complementary, which makes her a great cofounder.
I can’t think of any challenges we’ve faced as a married couple that haven’t been faced by other cofounders. We’ve always considered it an advantage. We don’t have to choose between spending more time on our product or more time with each other. Those things go together.