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Hack To Start
Episode 170

Leah Culver

🌊 Cofounder and CTO of @breaker - the best app for listening to podcasts.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Leah Culver is the co-founder & CTO of Breaker - the best app for listening to podcasts. Leah has been building startups and products for over 10 years. She helped launch an early version and competitor to Twitter called Pownce with Kevin Rose and Daniel Burka in 2007. In 2011, she was working on a B2B chatting and instant messaging application that was accepted into Y Combinator, and has been also part of companies like Sincerely and Dropbox. Since 2016, she’s been focused on building Breaker, a new podcast app centred around discovery that was also part of Y Combinator earlier this year. Leah joins us to share her story, how she got into startups, what it’s been like building and working at startups in Silicon Valley for over 10 years, what it’s been like been like building Breaker, what it was like going through Y Combinator a second time, and much more.

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how Leah got into tech & startups
  • Learn more about what it was like starting Breaker
  • Learn more about what it was like being a part of Y Combinator for a second time
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Leah Culver is the co-founder & CTO of Breaker - the best app for listening to podcasts.

Leah has been building startups and products for over 10 years. She helped launch an early version and competitor to Twitter called Pownce with Kevin Rose and Daniel Burka in 2007. In 2011, she was working on a B2B chatting and instant messaging application that was accepted into Y Combinator, and has been also part of companies like Sincerely and Dropbox.

Since 2016, she’s been focused on building Breaker, a new podcast app centred around discovery that was also part of Y Combinator earlier this year.

Leah joins us to share her story, how she got into startups, what it’s been like building and working at startups in Silicon Valley for over 10 years, what it’s been like been like building Breaker, what it was like going through Y Combinator a second time, and much more.


Some Of The Questions We Ask

2:18
Where are you from and what did you study?

3:10
Can you give us a quick overview of some of the startups you were a part of or some of the products you worked on that really set the stage for you becoming a founder and launching Breaker?

5:55
Can you start by telling us more about what Breaker is all about (for those who might not know) and what motivated you to help launch it?

7:17
Why podcasts? What is it about the medium that excites you the most?

9:52
How did you approach building the first version of Breaker?

12:54
So Breaker was also part of Y Combinator. What was that entire experience like for you and Eric?

14:26
Given your experience as both a developer and a Product Manager, what’s your approach to building products (in a startup setting)? Any insights to share with other founders?

17:00
How did you approach growing Breaker in the early days? What were some of the most successful tactics or channels?

22:21
What have been some of the biggest challenges or learning points along this journey?

24:10
Do you have any recommendations on some great content that you’ve come across lately?

24:57
Do you have any personal mottos or an outlook that you live by and would share with others?


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Leah Culver on Twitter
Leah Culver on the web
Breaker on Twitter
Breaker on the web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps, and Books

Buglife
Mixpanel
Product Development Cycle Fundamentals
YC Startup School

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