We Started as
One day, we thought..could this be more?
Generation Z is defined between the years of 1997-2012. People born in the late 90s or early 2000s struggle to find their identity within a generation. We often get grouped in with millennials because we grew up with cassette tapes and VCRs. On the other hand, we are compared to late Gen-Z who are classified as social media obsessed and lacking social skills. These are two very different segments, and despite all the available media, it’s hard to find representation of people born in our narrow window. To fill the void and create a space for representation of Early Gen-Z, our CEO Glo and a peer started a podcast “Go Off” through WTBU, the student radio station at Boston University.
One day Glo thought, could Go Off be more than a podcast? She was tired of reading about the latest trends of “her generation” that was inaccurately depicted by millennials, gen-x, and baby boomers. She wanted to create an online platform for gen-zers that were tired of being misrepresented as social media addicts with a lack of social skills. She set out to create a space that avoids the superficiality of social media and instead connects people based on substantial interests.
This was the first month we started producing podcast episodes of Go Off the podcast. Even today, we are still making episodes.
Then the dangerous thought occurred, could Go Off be more than a podcast? Initially our team had a vision that Go Off would be a social platform for Gen-Zers, complimented by a space to promote original Gen-Z content. Our original value proposition was, “Go Off is a publication that connects Gen Z perspectives and creates a platform for conversation-based communities that respond to trending issues.”
A picture of Glo at the very first Go Off meeting.
As we began to think about the user experience of Go Off, we were very focused on a user’s journey when it came online conversing.
However, from our preliminary research, gen-z wasn’t the only generation that suffered trying to find meaningful conversations online. When we started researching the potential for multiple generations to use our conversing software, we decided our users should be able to choose the media they discuss. Instead, we eliminated the idea of Go Off creating original content and shifted our focus to helping users address the pain points of socializing online and cultivating meaningful conversations online.
Amplified or reinforced communication about a particular set of views.
Likes, hearts, sad faces and emojis.
[There is] no place for discussion about real life topics.
-Qualitative response from a Gen-Z user survey
At this point, we knew we were in the direction of creating a new social media platform. As we began to understand the current problems users experienced on existing platforms as they tried to engage in stimulating conversations, we concluded these three pain points for current social media users.
Data Transparency & Privacy
Receiving digestible explanations to understand the security levels of how a user’s data is collected and used.
To make the vision of Go Off into reality, our venture received a seed grant through the Innovation Pathway self-paced program for Boston University students to develop business ventures. Our business was also accepted into a highly competitive summer accelerator for student ventures, and we were awarded another grant.
We are seeing young people want small communities where they can connect online.
-Josh Karpf Director of Social Media at Keurig Dr. Pepper
We also competed in the final round BU’s largest startup competition, the New Venture Competition. In the process, we participated in three rounds, beating over 80 teams to make it to the final round. We were the first social platform in competition to make it to the finals.
In addition, our team smoothly transitioned to working remotely across three time zones when Boston University closed for the remainder of the semester. During this time, we used this opportunity to become even more invested and focused to develop our platform.
On June 1st, we officially began the BU Summer Accelerator.
In September 2020 we will be launching our first beta.