Rahul Vohra, Founder of Superhuman // Product Market Fit + Designing Software Like A Video Game

“Silicon Valley’s buzziest start-up” – The New York Times

Rahul Vohra is no novice to the startup world. He previously built and sold Rapportive to Linkedin before setting out to build “the fastest email ever made” for the power users who fell out of love with Gmail, Outlook, and others.

You can’t argue with their results. Superhuman have 220k+ people on their waitlist, which costs $30/month and they’ve raised north of $50mil at a $260mil valuation from elite investors like First Round Capital & Andreessen Horowitz.

But what stood out most to me while meeting Rahul was his focus on the long term. We discussed “building a company that can last for 100yrs” while convincing his co-founders to “do their life’s work” with him. At one point, Rahul described sitting in front of his computer in tears because he realized he hadn’t built what he had set out to.

A Unique Approach

Sometimes, their unique approach can feel counter-intuitive. For example, what if I told you they are happy to turn away paying customers if it would distract them from their “high expectation customers”.

Or their mandatory human onboarding where a Superhuman employee takes a new user through a 30-60mins call to get them setup, understand how they personally use email & customize their experience vs a more scalable online experience that would save money in the short term.

Superhuman have turned paying customers into their biggest fans – on average, every new user of Superhuman brings in one new user down the road.

In this episode, we go deep into the engine they’ve built, how they design their product using video game dynamics and learning how to listen to the right customers

Five Things To Listen Out For

(1) Building a product-market-fit engine– we discuss several product-market-fit definitions and the approach Rahul took to understand when they had hit this point

(2) High Expectation Customer – what this is and why it’s important to find

(3) Turning Email Into A Video Game – how to design products to make you feel a certain way by taking principles from video game design

(4) Following Your Passion – is this misguided or good advice?

(5) Preparing For A Recession – is this something Rahul is thinking about and how he thinks this might impact the business world


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