Naomi Shah — CEO of Meet Cute on Raising $6M During COVID, Leaving VC, and Rom-com Podcasts

August 19, 2021 by  Chris Erwin

Today we publish our 15th podcast episode. Links to listen and full transcript are below.

This interview features Naomi Shah, founder and CEO of Meet Cute.

I first met Naomi a few months ago via Meagan Loyst at Lerer Hippeau, one of the investors in Meet Cute. I had asked Meagan if she knew of any awesome female founders, and she immediately said I had to meet the CEO of one of audio’s most exciting new startups. So when I looked Naomi up, I noticed she had a background of STEM academics and then Wall Street and VC, and I couldn’t put together why she had started a romcom media company. But after our interview, it all made complete sense.

Getting to know Naomi has been a delight, and I’m thrilled to tell her story.  We discuss her early passion for STEM, being a Goldman Sachs equity trader, leaving VC to be a founder, why a rom-com podcast network solves a problem in the wellbeing market, raising $6M of capital during COVID, and how a non-Hollywood background makes her a better media entrepreneur.

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Interview Transcript

The interview was lightly edited for clarity.

 

Chris Erwin:

This week’s episode features Naomi Shah, the founder and CEO of Meet Cute. Naomi grew up in Portland, and one of her earliest memories is not just learning to walk, but specifically walking to the local science museum. So from an early age, Naomi had a love for STEM and actually ended up going to Stanford to study mechanical engineering and human biology. But, her early career took her to Wall Street, first as an equities trader at Goldman Sachs, and then as an investor at Union Square, focusing on the intersection of entertainment and wellbeing. But after hearing hundreds of pitches and learning the power of story to convince her partners to invest, Naomi only decided to flip the script.

She felt a large portion of the wellbeing market was under invested, and so wanted to create a product that mirrored the benefit of tech-powered health solutions, but done differently. And so Meet Cute, the rom-com podcast and modern media company was born. Naomi is one of the youngest founders I’ve interviewed on the show, and it was a lot of fun getting to know her over the past couple of months. Some highlights of our chat include growing up a tomboy, her love for the “Flubber room”, how her family inspired her workplace culture, raising $6 million of startup capital during COVID, and how a non Hollywood background makes her a better media entrepreneur.

All right. Let’s get into it.

 

Chris Erwin:

Naomi. Thanks for being on the podcast.

 

Naomi Shah:

Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

 

Chris Erwin:

As we always do, let’s dive back a little bit. I’m curious to know a little bit more about where you grew up and what your household and parents were like, so tell me about that.

 

Naomi Shah:

I grew up in Portland, Oregon, loved growing up there. I always say it’s like a small little big town. It has all the elements of a big city, but just geographically smaller, fewer people. And I grew up with my mom, my dad and my older brother, Preem. My older brother is two and a half years older than me, I always felt like I was chasing him, following in his footsteps in various ways, and we’re still very close.

 

Chris Erwin:

When you say you always felt like you were following in his footsteps, was it because of like different hobbies he had or sports or friend groups or things he was doing in school? What do you mean by that?

 

Naomi Shah:

I would say when I was younger, I was pretty tomboyish just like in terms of what he did. So if he wore Pokemon shirts, I wore Pokemon shirts, if he was playing Pokemon, I was doing that. If he was like roughhousing with his friends at the playground, I was doing that, I was always kind of chasing him. I would also say that as I grew up, because we both went to the same high school, I was always Preem’s little sister in high school, and so all the teachers knew me as Preem’s little sister. So it was just always part of my identity growing up.

 

Chris Erwin:

And was he excited to have you following him around or was it like, “Ugh, my little sister’s here. This is annoying.”

 

Naomi Shah:

No, my brother is somehow is super mature and always took care of me and was totally fine bringing me around. Even to this day, if he’s hanging out with his friends, he’s always like, “Oh yeah, my sister’s in town, she’ll come hang out with us.”

 

Chris Erwin:

Jumping forward. But describing yourself as a tomboy growing up, and now you run a rom-com podcast network, a little bit of a funny juxtaposition there.

 

Naomi Shah:

Absolutely. I think it’s hilarious. And even as a tomboy growing up, I loved rom-coms and I identified with a lot of the protagonists in rom-coms because one of my favorite ones growing up, Bend It Like Beckham was about a woman who really loved soccer and her parents wanted her to be the like classic good, perfect girl. And she was like, “Why can’t I be that and play soccer?” Same thing with She’s The Man. And so I always identified with that type of tension where I knew that I could play soccer, be really good at soccer, and still be a woman. I could really care about science and math and still wear makeup if I wanted to.

 

Naomi Shah:

And kind of taking away the tension between those two things was something that was really important to me growing up and something that I really appreciate that my mom spent a lot of time on with me. She’s like, “Just because you do science fairs and you like swimming and soccer, it doesn’t mean you can’t care about what you wear and want to look nice and all of these other things that people associate with being feminine.” And so I really liked being able to do both of those, and I think that that’s a big part of my identity today.

 

Chris Erwin:

Speaking of your parents, you’re just talking about your mom, what were your parents like? So we know that you have an early history and interest in STEM, today you’re media and entertainment executive. Is that inspired by your parents at all? What did they do?

 

Naomi Shah:

My parents ran a company together, it was a software consulting company. And so pretty early on in life, my brother and I were exposed to my parents being leaders. And they would bring work home with them, they would talk about it at dinner, they’d talk about it when we were on family vacations. And so I always saw myself in a role where I was impacting a lot of change in an organization, not really knowing what that meant. More tactically, both my parents went to business school and studied business, so I always imagined that passed for myself. It turns out I didn’t end up going to business school and I just threw myself into founding. And I feel like I’ve picked up a lot of the things just by practicing it day to day that I would have learned in business school.

 

Naomi Shah:

So I kind of felt like I’d stepped off of their path there, but it was inspired by seeing how they ran a company together when they were in their early 20s and early 30s.

 

Chris Erwin:

Co-owners and co-running this company?

 

Naomi Shah:

Yeah. Yes. My mom was the president, my dad was the vice president.

 

Chris Erwin:

You think of things of like, okay, the family income is not diversified. It’s not like if one person loses their job or the company goes under, the other one’s okay. But it’s also like, they work together, spend so much time together. I’m sure a lot of it went swimmingly, but there’s probably times and it was difficult and challenging. Did that come into the home front as well?

 

Naomi Shah:

I can’t remember that happening. And I think they did a good job of making sure that they protected us from that. To be completely honest, when I was growing up, all I knew is that my parents ran a company together, I didn’t really look into what they were doing, what the company did, all of that. So I felt like I was sheltered from that a bit. I’m sure it did. I’m sure that there was a lot of complexities to running a company and they probably had to work through that, and they spent a lot of time together. But I think that they split up the roles and responsibilities both at home and at work in a way that worked really well for them.

 

Naomi Shah:

And there was also a lot of flexibility that you get from that, like my mom was there to pick us up from school and if we got sick, she would take care of us. When my mom would travel for work trips, my dad would turn into, we joked he was Mr. Mom and he would make all over meals for us and drop us off to play dates. And so they really shared the load. And I think that that has played into not only like how I see running a company and making sure that people feel ownership over different parts of it, but also how we think about relationships and how work and relationships can be a symbiotic relationship and not in tension with each other.

 

Chris Erwin:

That’s well put. I was going to ask you, does entrepreneurship run in the family? Clearly. And, what are the values of your parents as entrepreneurs that inspired how you run your company, how you find balance, how you empower different relationships on your team? I think the note that you just gave on that is really thoughtful. Now, it’s like middle school going into high school, how early does this theme around STEM interest and passion start?

 

Naomi Shah:

I think it starts probably early, early on in our lives. I could imagine learning to walk and going to a science museum around the same time. In Portland, Oregon, there’s a science museum called The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. And I just remember being maybe three or four years old and being in this Flubber room where you could just touch and play around with Flubber, and you’re experimenting with how it’s made and you’re pressing it into different shapes and things like that.

 

Naomi Shah:

And my brother and my dad would be over in the chemistry and physics labs, and my mom would be in the Flubber room with me and I’d be walking around touching things and being like, “Why does this work this way? And what is this?” And they really encouraged us from a young age to not be scared of asking questions, not feel you’re dumb because you don’t understand how something works. And I think that they took it upon themselves to make sure that if we showed interest in something, that whatever that thing was, whether it was science or dance or writing, that they would help promote that curiosity in that space.

 

Naomi Shah:

And so I think that the curiosity piece has probably started way earlier than middle school, but my first foray into STEM and being interested in that happened in sixth grade, I would say when we were all, I remember this very vividly, we were all in the library at my middle school and our science teacher was like, “Everyone needs to do a science project this year. Go on Wikipedia, go on Google, go look for topics that you’re curious about.” And I was like, “That’s an insane thing to ask a group of sixth graders. The world is huge, we’re curious about so many things.”

 

Naomi Shah:

And I remember like coming up with a list of topics that I was interested in and I ended up scratching all of them off, because I was like, “I want to do something that relates to my life and people in my life.” And so what I ended up working on in sixth grade was a project around air quality and lung health because both my brother and my dad had allergies. And that was really the first time that I was setting up a research question, coming up with hypotheses, figuring out how to go about experimenting around it. And that process was what made me very interested in STEM and the whole discovery process.

 

Chris Erwin:

I have to admit, there’s not many sixth graders who when tasked with a project and they could be like, “Go research any topic that you find interesting,” that you take a pause, you caveat the project and say, “How is this going to help other people? How has this maybe going to help my family?” And then air quality comes to mind. So I think that’s probably a pretty rare trait.

 

Naomi Shah:

I think so too. And I can’t like take credit for that, I honestly think that like my science teacher in sixth grade probably sat down and helped me a lot with narrowing on topics. I actually think my dad was pretty influential and being like, “If you want to spend hours and hours researching something, you have to make sure you care about it.” I’m pretty sure I came home and was like, “I want to build a hovercraft.” I think that felt like the most interesting thing to me where I was like, “This is the future of travel. Let me research how to do that.” My dad was like, “Awesome, I think that could be a really good project. Is that something that you as a person, as a human are really interested in?”

 

Naomi Shah:

And so I think I took some time there to think about, “What are things that I would actually want to know the answer to?” And seeing my brother and dad have allergies six months out of the year, I was like, “Why does that happen?” And I started looking up just very basic Google searches around it and found that indoor air quality was one of the top five silent killers. There’s so many things that we know about pollution, we know about outdoor pollution, but no one really thinks about the air pollutants in their home. And so I was like, “Wow, no one talks about this. I don’t know the first thing about it. I’m pretty curious in terms of, how does this affect my family?”

 

Naomi Shah:

I make it sound like in the hour that I was given, I figured it out, but I think it was like many conversations later, lots of lists, lots of hypotheses around these questions, and then I probably came to it.

 

Chris Erwin:

Got it. Okay. So it starts at an early age. You’re describing an interest in STEM and science dating back to when you can start walking and you can actually visit some of these museums. Sixth grade, this big question for a report. Then you end up going to Stanford, and you actually focus on mechanical engineering and human biology. So at this point, you’re going to undergrad, what did you think that your career was going to be?

 

Naomi Shah:

To be completely honest, because I was so interested in human health and things that impacted human health, I went in thinking that I would be a surgeon. I thought I was going to be pre-med the last couple quarters of high school before I went to Stanford. At Stanford, I started by taking a core classes like math and science that I would need for either an engineering major or if I were to do human biology, those were the classes I would need. So I went through a period of being a little bit confused about what my career was going to be. I can’t say that I was like, “This is definitely what I want to dedicate my life to.”

 

Naomi Shah:

And I think that that’s pretty common for people in that age to go through a period of, “I’m not really sure what I wanted to do, but I know that whatever I end up doing, I want it to have an impact in some way.” So I started out with human biology as my main focus. And then sophomore year, I took my first mechanical engineering class, kind of on a whim. I was excited about Stanford as a great design school, and I was excited about just sitting in on one of the classes there, figuring out what about design and engineering is pulling me into trying a class here. So I took my first class and was fascinated by the whole process of. you start with an idea, you sketch it out, you design it, you build it, you do user testing around it, you interview people, and then you put the final touches on it and you figure out how this could become a product in the world.

 

Naomi Shah:

And I think that that process to me felt very similar to the science research process that I loved in high school. I also feel like the pace of engineering felt very perfect for my personality where it’s like, in academia, I think you’d spend a lot longer answering the same question and you have to be a lot more… you have to like apply for a grant, be patient about how long it takes you to get to the final answer. Whereas in engineering, you learn the process, you understand it, and you constantly apply that process to building. And I really liked that hands-on experience that Stanford offered in the mechanical engineering department.

 

Chris Erwin:

What I’m hearing though is also, you had a builder mentality early on where you liked the scientific method and process of, have a hypothesis, research, get some data, but also, you don’t want to be stuck in the system where you’re researching forever, that you wanted to put things out into the world.

 

Naomi Shah:

Exactly. And I think that that is a really important point, which is that, even in my science research when I was looking at air quality and lung health, when I got to my results and conclusions phase of the project, I think someone who wanted to stay in academia would have said, “Okay, this is great. I’m going to go back into the lab now.” For me, what was interesting is, how does this connect into policy? How does this connect into building a product that people can use? So I think that my natural tendency at that point was to say, “What is the connection between research and humans?

 

Naomi Shah:

And that’s where I loved mechanical engineering and in building because you had something physical that people could interact with. And so that’s where I realized that, “Okay, I’m interested in the interface between engineering and humans. And so when people ask me, do I regret minoring in human biology? I always say, “No, I loved those lectures. I loved sitting down and learning about human development, psychology, behavioral studies, all of that, because I think that informs a lot of how you build.” And tying that to today, building a company, constantly, I feel like I’m going through that process of like, “Here’s a question, let’s come up with what we think is going to happen. Let’s go test it. Let’s sit down and look at our results. Now let’s see how can we implement those results into the product to make it better for our users.”

 

Naomi Shah:

So I actually think that a lot of the things that I worked on starting in middle school, in college, and after college are all tied in to each other, and the common thread is just that curiosity and in that scientific process of question, hypothesis, results, and then implications, like, how does that tie into something tangible that people can touch?

 

Chris Erwin:

This is helpful because I went into this interview, Naomi, as I started doing research for it, I was like, “Okay, what’s the through line here?” I was like, “Naomi is running a modern day audio media company focused on micro casts rom-com scripted content. Got it.” So as I’m doing the research, I’m like, “All right, early STEM focus, mechanical engineering, human biology.” I was like, “How does this come together?” But I think you’ve woven a tale for our listeners that makes a lot of sense. And I will say I’ve interviewed a lot of people on the show, I don’t think anyone has a background like yours.

 

Chris Erwin:

But now, I think you might be inspiring maybe a whole new breed of people to enter into media entertainment saying, “Well, if Naomi can do it and look at her success now, then we can do it.” My guest pedigree might be changing over the next couple of years.

 

Naomi Shah:

I love that you pointed that out. What I really about Meet Cute and how we’ve built Meet Cute is that I think we approach the space of media and entertainment through beginner’s mindset. And I think that scientists and researchers always have to have a beginner’s mindset because you never know what your results are going to be or what the data is going to show. And so, I often feel like media entertainment is one of those spaces that people are like, “Do you have a production background? Do you have an agency background? Do you know people in the industry?”

 

Naomi Shah:

And I actually think it’s a strength to say no to those because you’ve come up with new solutions, new ways of doing things, you bring a fresh perspective to it. And honestly, I love talking about the different paths that it could take to get into media and entertainment because, to your point, we can inspire new people to join this way of like flipping existing and traditional models in an industry. But two, I think that people who are already in the industry love having conversations with new people because they bring a different perspective to the table, they bring something that hasn’t been done before to the table.

 

Naomi Shah:

And so I love having those types of conversations and being like, “Yeah, I actually have no idea how these deals are done before, but here’s an idea. What do you think of this?”

 

Chris Erwin:

I’d like to point out that you said also about a beginner’s mind. It reminds me, I interviewed Matthias Metternich on this podcast, he’s the founder and CEO of Art of Sport. And before he did that, he’s launched a consumer product and media brand around it., he was at I think a FinTech company, like a B2B FinTech business. He actually also ran a women’s bathing suit retailer and manufacturer. And I was like, again, “What’s the through line?” He’s like, “I like to get into industries with a fresh mind and solve consumer problems.” And he’s like, “I think it gives me an advantage versus I’ve been in this vertical for 20 years.”

 

Chris Erwin:

But anyway, Naomi, we could go down a whole tangent on this. Before we get into your early career, going into being an equities trader at Goldman and being an investor at Union Square, I also do want to ask, I saw that, there’s a pretty strong through line of volunteerism throughout your history. I saw Camp Kesem, I saw a StreetSquash, and then I saw OMSI, if I’m pronouncing that right. And so I’m just curious, when did this start? And I know Camp Kesem is for kids with parents undergoing cancer treatment. Honestly, I don’t know what StreetSquash is. So what are some of the inspiration for these groups that you’re involved in?

 

Naomi Shah:

This is a testament to my parents who have always encouraged us to try and be involved in our community in some way. OMSI is actually the science museum that I used to run around as a kid, and I volunteered there in middle and high school, basically talking about science experiments with the next generation of kids. And so I loved the education aspect of it. I thought that it was a way to give back to the community in a way to be involved in bringing STEM into more people’s lives. Because I think that especially there is a stigma around middle and high school, I think a lot of women who could be really interested in STEM stop taking classes around it.

 

Naomi Shah:

And they either think that it’s not for them or they don’t see their friends in it, so they stop taking them, and that trickles into the breakdown of how many females are in certain college majors when you get to college. While I didn’t think about this all as an eighth grader, now looking back, I can see that that was one of the things I loved most about volunteering at OMSI, is being able to bring an excitement around STEM to people who might not otherwise care about it. Showing people that there were really cool applications in the world by pursuing this stuff was part of OMSI.

 

Naomi Shah:

Camp Kesem in college was a summer camp that I worked at for a week at the end of the school year, and it was all Stanford counselors. I actually do have a personal relationship to cancer in my family, and so that was an important liaison for me. And it was at the first time that I shared that experience publicly, it was the first time I opened up about it to people that weren’t in my closest circles. And I think that that was a really great way to be a leader and like learn how to lead with vulnerability and learn how to lead with transparency and honesty.

 

Naomi Shah:

And I think I take a lot of the things that I learned from being a counselor at Kesem into the way that I want our team to function at Meet Cute today, or the way that I interacted with my coworkers at USV and Goldman. Something that I always say is like, “Don’t check your personality at the door, bring a lot of those experiences into your work.” And I think it makes you a stronger colleague, I think it makes you a better teammate, I think it’s easier to have discussions and brainstorms when you know a little bit more about your coworkers without oversharing. I think that that’s also an important boundary to strike.

 

Naomi Shah:

So that was Camp Kesem, I loved being a counselor, I loved being outdoors. It was a week of no phones, a week of-

 

Chris Erwin:

So rare nowadays.

 

Naomi Shah:

Exactly. I think that those four weeks one every year was the longest I’ve ever spent off of my phone probably since I got a cell phone in middle school. It’s one of the most liberating things when you come back to the real world at the end of the week and your phone is just like for the next 20 minutes, just like blowing up. And you’re like, “It’s actually so important to get away from your phones, but we just don’t do it.” And then the last one, you mentioned StreetSquash. Before I moved to San Francisco last year, I lived in New York for three years. And I don’t play squash, but StreetSquash is a program that merges squash practice with academic involvement.

 

Naomi Shah:

It takes place in Harlem, in New York. And it’s a primarily a program for kids who are usually first-generation, want to develop skills in a sport and get better in their homework and in academics. And we bring those two things together. And I actually love that because sports have been a part of my life growing up. I loved playing soccer when I was little, I ended up swimming in middle and high school, I skied throughout a lot of my childhood. And I found that having extracurricular activities that took up time meant that I was just more dedicated and learned things like discipline and showing up in teamwork, and those were all things that I think I took into school projects, my internships, my jobs after college.

 

Naomi Shah:

So I loved the combination of those two. And I started out as an academic tutor at StreetSquash, and then the second two years ended up co-chairing the young leaders committee. So was involved in fundraising, was involved in managing the board, all of that.

 

Chris Erwin:

Very cool. So now leaping forward a bit. You come out of Stanford, Naomi, and head to Wall Street, you become an equities trader at Goldman. Curious, what got you excited about going into finance? That was a path that I took right out of undergrad as well. What was the thinking?

 

Naomi Shah:

Yeah. I actually did an internship at Goldman my junior year. They came to campus and talked about how engineers that wanted to work on fast-paced problems could find a spot on the trading floor. Really interesting. And I was thinking about it and I was like, “I love patterns.” When I think about science research, when I think about even mechanical engineering, I love looking for patterns in data and learning about why those exist and what we can learn from those patterns. And what was exciting to me about the trading floor is looking for those patterns in the public market, like how does this conflict internationally affect oil prices? Or how does a change in leadership in this government affect jobs? And things like that.

 

Naomi Shah:

So I think that I was just genuinely curious and I’d never applied it to thinking about the public markets until I started working at Goldman, and I loved the idea of working on projects that involve that data to the point that you were making earlier, applying that to something very directly, applying that to trades and making trades. So I can connect that in my mind to just curiosity and not really caring what the physical product was that I was working on, but instead caring about the process to get to that product. And so I actually loved my internship there. I really was excited about working in New York, about like that fast-paced lifestyle.

 

Chris Erwin:

You grew up in Portland you lived there your whole life, and then you were West Coast at Stanford, but you had never lived on the East Coast?

 

Naomi Shah:

Exactly. And I think part of me wanted to have one of those classic New York jobs. I think I was enamored by it. I loved the idea of waking up at… This is going to sound crazy, but I love the idea of waking up at like 5:30, grabbing a coffee and just being on all day. And I thinks that my personality has that intensity to it where I like the grind. And I think that that is part of what Goldman provided. They were like, “Yeah, everyone here is really smart and grinds, and you will be surrounded by people who will push you, will ask you questions. Will say, ‘Why did you do that?'” And I really liked that. I thought that was a very important and pivotal part of my first job out of college.

 

Chris Erwin:

And what that sounds like to me, that’s an early 20s love story with New York.

 

Naomi Shah:

Totally.

 

Chris Erwin:

I grew up in the tri-state area, Jersey Shore. And so I was super pumped about going into finance, being on Wall Street, being in New York, right out of undergrad, like you, Naomi, being like, “I’m going to work 24/7.” To the point where I was walking around like delirious, because it was banking 7:00 AM to 4:00 AM, seven days a week. But it’s funny, I’m seeing your eyes light up, which is probably reminiscent of when you were in your early 20s doing it. Now, you write about love stories, maybe you just got a theme for an upcoming Meet Cute show.

 

Naomi Shah:

We like to say that there’s a rom-com every situation, so if there are there billion people in the world, there are nine billion rom-coms, and you can definitely see one happening around finance and the culture there. But yeah, I completely agree with you, I think that there is absolutely a… I wanted to live in New York, I wanted to have a job that pushed me really hard. I loved the culture around grinding. And I think that that was really a part of what made me sign a return offer at Goldman and come back as an equities trader. I really liked how fast paced the markets were. And I felt it played to a lot of my strengths.

 

Naomi Shah:

I always told people, “I don’t think you need to be a finance major to go get a really good job in banking, I think you can be an art history major and apply that to banking. I think you can be an engineer and think of ways to automate and create process around trading.” And I think that was what stood out on my resume to Goldman, where it was the scientific process, applying that to trading, how do you ask questions and create processes around answering those questions? And that’s really the direction that banks want to go now. But what I’ve found there is that it didn’t hit on the creativity part of what I was excited about.

 

Naomi Shah:

So I almost felt like a repetition to what I was doing that I liked at first, and then I started thinking, I don’t know if this is what I want to do five or 10 years later. And I miss the creativity from building and college, from my mechanical engineering classes that said, “Okay, you have this idea. Now, go create it in the world, create something new that no one has seen before, and do it from scratch.” And I missed that. So that’s really what caused me to make the jump to venture capital, where I could work with early-stage founders and learn from them and learn that process of building something from scratch.

 

Naomi Shah:

And so that was what excited me about early-stage venture and about Union Square Ventures when I applied for that job,

 

Chris Erwin:

I also have to ask you just an inside question about Goldman and macro market trading. I know everyone likes to predict the markets of like, “Oh, there’s a big governmental shift over here, some regulatory shift over there. Macro economic prices are soaring, they’re falling.” I think there’s so much noise in the market that is actually very difficult to say, “Oh, because X happened, Y is then going to be the results,” because you don’t know the big institutional traders making their big market investments at incredible volume. Were you guys actually able to pinpoint specific market activity? I find that to be like so challenging for the retail traders that I talk to.

 

Naomi Shah:

Well, I definitely think you’re right. I think that there is so much volatility and a lot of things can change an outcome of a trade. One of the interesting things is like, you have to be very good at taking risks in that role because you have no idea what the outcome could be. The market could move against you because something happens and you have to be really fast at trading out of that position. But I will say that there are a lot of research projects that you can do to say, “If this trade was executed… ” Say for instance like oil prices crashed, “Well, what happened to these three prices when oil prices crashed five years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago?”

 

Naomi Shah:

So you can map out what you think is going to happen, what you predict is going to happen based on historical trade data and figure out patterns in that that create more educated hypotheses about what will happen today. And who knows, there could be so many confounding variables, so that’s why you have to put a 95% confidence interval around it and then be okay with that 5% of risk where it’s like, if something else happens that isn’t part of your model, that’ll move the needle on what the outcome of your trade is.

 

Naomi Shah:

Surprisingly, markets are so cyclical and you can come up with a lot of predictions based on historical trade data. And that’s where the pattern recognition comes in.

 

Chris Erwin:

Very helpful. When you leave Goldman, I think you were there for about a year, did Union Square reach out to you or were you proactively looking for your next one?

 

Naomi Shah:

I was surprisingly not really aware that venture capital was a career path. And at that point, I think no one I knew was in VC, and so I didn’t really understand what a job or a career in VC looked like, but I was looking around at different startups and different companies. And I stumbled upon the USV Blog, which is a dynamic blog that they post about their investments. And so I read back two or three years in their blog, like why did they make an investment in Twitter? Why did they make an investment in Duolingo? Why did they make an investment in SoundCloud and Etsy?

 

Naomi Shah:

And I was fascinated by, it’s a very different risk profile than public markets because you’re taking these like eight to 10 year bets on companies at the earliest stage of an idea, you’re taking a bet on the idea and the founder. And I love reading why they took that bet, what convinced them to do it. And I felt like it was a really good example of taking some pattern recognition, which I think I had affinity towards and then taking some like creativity and intuition and saying like, “What do we want the world to look like in five years?” So I was reading their blog and then around that time, they actually put out a call for analysts and there was this two year analyst program.

 

Naomi Shah:

So in that evening that I was starting to read and stuff, I just submitted an application. I literally spent like a few hours on it, and the application was closing soon, so I probably just like made it into the application pool right as it was closing, and talked about what I found interesting about VC. And I think that one of the questions was, here are three companies, talk about whether you think they’re overvalued or undervalued. And I obviously used a lot of my training from Goldman to answer that question, but then I applied a separate lens to it, which is like, what as a user do I think this company is doing well? I think I picked Snapchat,

 

Chris Erwin:

Were you bullish or bearish on Snapchat back then? Because now Snapchat is crushing it, but there were a lot of skepticism over the past.

 

Naomi Shah:

I was bullish. And I think that was rare. I think everyone else that just Snapchat was bearish at that time. And I pointed to a bunch of things that I thought they were doing really well and setting themselves apart. And maybe we’re going through a tough few years, but I thought that they had a long-term view on a lot of things. And so I think that that was a pretty unique perspective. And then I backed it up with a few quantitative and qualitative points.

 

Chris Erwin:

What I like that I’m hearing from you is I think just going through your background, if you look at like STEM, engineering, biology, it was very defined data sets, very defined research methods and hypothesis creation. But I think then as you were saying, at Goldman, something you were missing was like, what’s the creativity? What’s the art and the science? And I think going into venture investing, and you’re starting to read these theses on their blog, you’re like, “Look, there’s some market data and information, but the data sets are a lot less defined.” And you have to trust your gut and have a different set of judgments.

 

Chris Erwin:

So it feels like the creativity vein you saw a lane for you that was building off of yet a financial background still got you excited, but this is clearly setting you up for even going deeper once you started Meet Cute, is that right?

 

Naomi Shah:

Also I’m very impressed with how you articulate things, because these are things that I’ve just started articulating to myself after years of doing this. And these are the types of things that I love thinking about. So absolutely. I think that venture investing is an art and a science. I think that founding a company is an art and a science. I love using both sides of my brain. I think that I didn’t realize early on in my life that you could find a perfect fit that uses both sides of your brain. I love going deep and brainstorming and thinking creatively about things that don’t exist. And I call it like my big picture brain.

 

Naomi Shah:

And then I love going into the details in the operations and saying, how does this actually work tactically? What are the steps we need to follow to get there? And I think both of those exist in venture investing and in founding a company. And at USV, I would do five to 10 coffee meetings with founders every week, and sifting through all of those conversations where every person is so passionate about what they’re building was one of the coolest things. And a lot of it is intuition, you go into a founder meeting, which conversations make you lean forward and say, “This is the next big thing. This is what I want to invest in”?

 

Naomi Shah:

You get that when you feel that and when you find those companies, it’s the best feeling in the world. And then it was my job as an analyst at USV to convince the team or one of the partners at USV, why they should spend more time with this company and meeting them. And so part of it was I had to tell a story to my team. And so there was like a storytelling component to venture capital that I think really trickled in. And I’ve pulled into things that I do at Meet Cute today, which is, we’re a storytelling company, we’re also a business that reports to investors.

 

Chris Erwin:

Hey listeners, this is Chris Erwin, your host of The Come Up. I have a quick ask for you. If you dig what we’re putting down, if you like the show, if you like our guest, it would really mean a lot if you can give us a rating wherever you listen to our show. It helps other people discover our work, and it also really supports what we do here. All right, that’s it, everybody, let’s get back to the interview.

 

Chris Erwin:

I’m curious about the exposure to audio, because I was looking at the Union Square portfolio, I know Headgum is an audio network. That investment was made by, I think it was after your time there or in the latter half. So what was the exposure to podcasting and audio and how did the actual like idea of Meet Cute start coming to be? When you were there, I may have read that maybe some partners approached you about it, but elaborate.

 

Naomi Shah:

Like I said, I was spending a lot of time in the wellbeing category of our portfolio. And what I was excited about was there was an under-invested category within wellbeing in venture capital. And I wanted us to be looking at that category more seriously. And that was, what do people do for fun? So Chris, what do you do for fun when you’re like trying to blow off steam?

 

Chris Erwin:

I like to surf and be in the ocean and in the water.

 

Naomi Shah:

Okay. That’s a great example of it’s not prescriptive, no one is telling you, you have to do this. It’s not a meditation, it’s not healthcare, it’s not mental health, but that supports your mental health, that makes you feel good. Similarly, people like reading books, watching movies, scrolling on Netflix, listening to podcasts, listening to music, going to concerts. So I was like, “If we could find a company in the media and entertainment space that felt like a product or technology investment that mirrors in the investments that we’ve made in product and technology, that’d be pretty cool. That’d be a great coming together of two different categories.”

 

Naomi Shah:

And so I started looking for a company in that space and spent a lot of time on it. And eventually was very excited about short form content, very excited about audio, very excited about a verticalized media company that created a niche for itself in a massive market that could attract many consumers through network effects. And so to be honest, you can do what we’re doing in many different mediums, many different genres, but we just had conviction in audio and in romantic comedies. And that’s why we started there.

 

Naomi Shah:

And so I was actually on the investment team at USV when I started working on this idea, I was working really closely with one of the partners, Andy Weissman, who also led the Headgum Investment. And at first it was like an incubation, I was literally working out of the USV office. It was only when I started building a team around it did we spin it out and make it a portfolio company rather than a project within USV.

 

Chris Erwin:

Seems like you’re starting to operate as like an EIR, where you’re an investor there, and then you’re probably increasingly spending more time here, your passion is here. And so your role is changing at the company.

 

Naomi Shah:

Yes. And there was like a six-month period where I was just doing two jobs at once. I was looking for investments, and then also spending a ton of time building out the earliest stages of an idea and business model around what ended up being Meet Cute. At that time we were calling it something else. It was a very unique path to founding where I had a really close relationship with the partners at USV. They trusted me, they knew me. And so two or three months into building this, they said, “Why don’t you come in and pitch us more formally?”

 

Naomi Shah:

And that was a crazy experience of being in the same room that I had sat in for the last two years listening to pitches and being on the other side of the table pitching my old colleagues at USV.

 

Chris Erwin:

Naomi, I have to ask, when you started working on Meet Cute, did you have conviction like, “This is it. I know this is a great idea. I’m going to build this”? Or was it more exploratory, which is like, “I think there’s something here, let’s see where it goes”?

 

Naomi Shah:

At the early stages, it was exploratory. It was, “Let’s make one of these stories. Let’s actually figure out how this process works. Do people like this? Is there a certain time constraint that we can apply to it?” And I think that keeping things flexible in the early stages of a company means that you get to learn from user feedback, you get to learn from listening data and engagement data. And so I like to say that we definitely have conviction in certain things, like we said, we want these stories to be uplifting and positive because there is a gap in that market, but keeping certain things open to feedback and listening data was really important to us too.

 

Naomi Shah:

So I would say it’s definitely, it started out more exploratory, it started out trying to figure out how this works and how we can build it. And a big reason for that is the founding team at Meet Cute, didn’t have experience in doing this. And so it was really an experiment to say, “Is this a good idea first? And then now let’s fundraise around it and let’s build a team around it to execute.

 

Chris Erwin:

Now, the tables are turned. You’re now pitching the partners at Union Square for a company that you want to found, and you’re asking them for money. So how does that go down?

 

Naomi Shah:

The biggest part of that pitch was taking a bet on a new idea where we’re essentially bringing Hollywood and a product company together, and taking a bet on me as a former colleague of theirs. I think that there was a lot of comfort in the idea that I was pitching people I knew. So there was that kind of ease in it, but there was a completely new paradigm that I was now on the other side of the table, I was a founder and I was looking for the right fit in terms of like, are they asking me questions? Are they pushing me? And they absolutely did.

 

Naomi Shah:

They asked me, why are you thinking about it this way? What is the vision of the company? And I loved that. And I think it showed me early on that as a solo founder, you want investors who are going to challenge you and who are going to almost like build alongside you. They’re not just going to put the capital in and then step back. And so part of the fundraising process for me was learning to be able to find investors that were really involved in hands-on. And I’d seen at Union Square Ventures, the way that the team did that with other portfolio companies.

 

Naomi Shah:

And so I was really excited about them being involved in Meet Cute, even though they’re not traditional media entertainment investors, we were approaching it from a different way and they were very excited about that. So that was a big part of the pitch. A big part of it is leaving room for experimentation to the point we were just talking about and saying, “I’m okay, not knowing all the answers today, but here’s what I think, and here’s the things that I want to test. And here’s the team that we have around Meet Cute to go execute on that.”

 

Naomi Shah:

And I think that setting it up like that is a really strong way for a seed company to say, “We don’t have all the answers, but we’re about to go figure it out and work really hard to do that.”

 

Chris Erwin:

I think that’s well put. Look, I’m a strategic advisor for companies and I always have to tell the team, “Yes, we’re known to be the experts, but we don’t have to have all the answers in the moment. It’s more about, let’s have a point of view, a vision. Let’s also stand in our power where we don’t know the answers, but let’s have a plan for how we can figure that out thoughtfully.” And I think that when you take that approach with confidence, it actually instills a lot of confidence in an investor, in a client. So I think that shows great self-awareness, Naomi.

 

Naomi Shah:

Absolutely. And honestly, these were things that I picked up from getting pitched to a lot, where sometimes I would be in a conversation with a founder where I’d suggest, “Have you thought of this? Or what do you think of this?” And if they hadn’t thought of it, but they were willing to engage in conversation around it or say, “I’m not sure, I need to look into that,” and have that humility that maybe they don’t have all the answers, I was like, “That might be a founder that is really fun to have brainstorms with and discussions with because they’re open to learning.”

 

Naomi Shah:

And I actually think that if you have all the answers, then you’d already be a massive success, whereas at the earliest stages of founding, a lot of things are still unproven.

 

Chris Erwin:

After this pitch, do you get the funding? I think it’s a $3 million seed. Does that happen pretty quickly?

 

Naomi Shah:

Happens pretty quickly. And a big reason is that I raised from people that I knew. Plus, we brought in Advancit Capital, which is Shari Redstone’s investment team. I already had a team around Meet Cute of founding team. We already had our head of content and head of development. And so we go right into making a story. We now have capital to start testing this out. And we start bringing in creators around us like writers, producers, voice actors, and just start developing relationships in the field. A lot of this is trial and error.

 

Naomi Shah:

And so we start saying like, “It doesn’t make sense to have a writing team in-house. It does it make sense to go get a studio space or rent studio space. How do we open up a bank account?” And so I had this like ongoing checklist of things. Some of them is super trivial, how do we get an EIN number? All these things that I had never had to do before. And so I just asked a ton of questions of people around me and asked for help when we needed it. And that was what the first few months of starting was like, it was just, this fire comes up, let’s put it out, let’s try it again.

 

Naomi Shah:

We don’t know the answer to this question, let’s go ask an expert in the field and send out a few cold emails. And that was the process of figuring it out.

 

Chris Erwin:

I think you finalized the funding in January of 2020. So this is just right before COVID is hitting. But at this point, have you released any content?

 

Naomi Shah:

Our first series came out in December of 2019. So we did put some content out there, and no one knew about us at that point, so we just sent it around to people we knew, friends and family, asked for feedback, posted it on social media. We were just trying to get our earliest beta testers, for lack of better word, to give us feedback.

 

Chris Erwin:

How was it received?

 

Naomi Shah:

It was received really well. People really liked the short form. Some people hated it and were like, “This is never going to work.” And then it was up to us to take certain feedback with a grain of salt and say, “No, we want to make another one. We think this is going to work.” Overall, feedback was very positive, it was really fun to see even not being discoverable in the podcast platforms, yet we were getting some organic lessons from people, sharing us with their friends. Our creators that worked on that story shared as far and wide, like the voice actors, the producers, the developers of that story.

 

Naomi Shah:

And that was really encouraging to us to see how proud the people who worked on it were and how they wanted to make sure everyone in their networks knew about it too. So pretty quickly we had like a few hundred people listening to the story and qualitatively getting some feedback around what engagement. And listening was like, it encouraged us enough to make the next few in January.

 

Chris Erwin:

I know that at RockWater for our content, some of the most powerful ambassadors are just our internal team. So after we podcast or publish a writing piece, they help spread the word and then hopefully it catches fire elsewhere. That’s how you build initially. I have to ask, one of your themes has building a really diverse set of creatives, and also which then enable very diverse rom comedies, micro cast stories from a values perspective, from geography, from ethnicity, from gender, sexual orientation. Was that part of the mandate from very early on, or is that something that evolved in the beginning of it?

 

Naomi Shah:

That was something that we made a conscious decision about. So rather than building out an internal team of writers and producers, we thought if we can open a network of people that can participate in Meet Cute and can participate in our creative process, that’s going to be a part of our business model to have multiple voices, that diversity and inclusivity piece that we valued as a company, but now it’s baked into the way that we create. So I think that at first, it was just we want those voices to be a part of Meet Cute because we think that will create better storytelling, and that was important to us.

 

Naomi Shah:

And over time we were like, “This is our MO. This is something that we’re doing that no one else has. We have the largest network of creatives because we’re enabling people from multiple geographies, people from any sexual orientation, people from around the world to participate in our storytelling. And so I would say, it’s both a business value and it’s a creative value at Meet Cute that we think that the stories that were told from people who might not have a voice in media and entertainment today otherwise, we get to benefit from their storytelling because they care about the stories that they tell.

 

Naomi Shah:

They share it with their communities, they write stories for communities that might not be represented in pop culture. And that means that those stories are making our platform more diverse and inclusive in a really organic way. And what’s important to Meet Cute is that we don’t tokenize those communities. We’re not saying, “This is a story from the LGBTQ community.” No, we want that to be normalized in our feed, and just to be another rom-com, all of these stories are rom-coms. There are multiple ways to love in the world, and we want to be the brand that captures all of those stories.

 

Chris Erwin:

I really like that. Speaking to another very strategic decision that you made early on was micro casts. This is something that’s near and dear to my heart and that of the RockWater team. We launched a micro cast podcast ourselves called the RockWater Roundup over the past few months, where you get your industry news in like 10 to 15 minutes. The reason behind that, we’ve been evangelizing this to our clients is because the growth of smart speakers expected to be like a 650 million install base over the next few years.

 

Chris Erwin:

We think it’s going to bring audio into the home, more routine-based listening, listening in between your day-to-day moment. So that’s probably like shorter time. And then Spotify has their playlist and they’re curating for you and they want to have shorter snippets to pull in, we think that there’s a lot of tailwinds of like micro cast is an exciting format, but it still hasn’t caught on in the broad industry. But you guys made this decision dating back nearly two years. So is that you’re going to stick to, or are you also exploring long form? Tell me about that.

 

Naomi Shah:

Yeah. We really like, exactly to your point that these stories can fit in in your day, anywhere. Within our 15-minute stories, we have three-minute chapters. So on the way to a meeting or when you’re waiting for your Uber or whatever it is, you can throw in a story and throw in a chapter and get a little escape from your day. And that to us was really exciting, because there are a lot of books out there that could be eight or nine hours, but it’s just a bigger time commitment. And so we wanted to create a slightly new product and a new use case.

 

Naomi Shah:

And we’re finding that people are consuming these throughout the day in the mornings when they’re getting ready for work. Even though rom-coms traditionally are like your evening, Friday and Saturday entertainment, now we’re pulling them into new parts of people’s day because they’re so accessible and they’re so short that you can fit them in anywhere. And so to us, it was exciting that we could create new listening behavior around this genre.

 

Chris Erwin:

I like that. I like to read Modern Love from The New York Times. Like you said, Naomi, I typically read that maybe at night, on the weekends, it helps me relax, go to sleep with just like a good feel. But I was listening to one of your episodes, like a cruise episode because it reminded me I had lost love on a cruise line dating back 15 years. And I was like, “Oh, I got to check this out.” And I just liked the feeling that it left me with. So I liked that you could start inserting this feeling like earlier in the day or midday, a little bit different.

 

Naomi Shah:

Exactly. Like you have a stressful meeting, you want 15 minutes of optimism, or hope, or human connection, we want Meet Cute to be the go-to place for that. And to your point, there is a lack of optimistic stories. If you think about Ted Lasso, I don’t know if you’ve seen that?

 

Chris Erwin:

Oh, I love Ted Lasso. I just started watching the new season, it just came out.

 

Naomi Shah:

Yes. The second episode I think dropped yesterday, but I’m obsessed with it, and everyone that I’ve talked to is obsessed with it. And it’s because there isn’t that much content out there that isn’t darker or anxiety ridden or doom-scrolling related. And I think people are craving that, especially after the last year, it was such a hard year. There were so many negative news cycles. You were scared about a lot of things in the world, and people want an escape. People want a consistent feeling of hope in their lives.

 

Naomi Shah:

And so you can get that through a Disney movie, you can get that through Ted Lasso. How do you get that around human connection and love? We think that there is a place in the world for that, and that’s what we were hoping to build at Meet Cute.

 

Chris Erwin:

Naomi, before we wrap up with the Rapid Fire round at the end, I just want to hear, look, you launched a business right before COVID. COVID hits, you’re a new young founder, incredible challenges, but clearly you guys are doing something right, because fast forward into the end of 2020, and you raise another six million. That I think is from Lerer Hippeau, Newark Venture Partners. And then it’s off to the races. So tell me quickly, where is Meet Cute headed from here? What’s the grand vision?

 

Naomi Shah:

Meet Cute vision for the company is to become the official source of romantic comedies. We want to be one of the largest entertainment brands on the order of magnitude of Disney and Pixar, and create universes that people fall in love with, characters that you want to wear on your sweatshirt and your tote bag. And honestly, be a best friend to people in the entertainment world because of the stories that we’re telling. And so the core of that is being an incredible storytelling company, enabling creatives to do their work best, and building a verticalized media business that focuses on optimism, and hope, and human connection.

 

Naomi Shah:

So five years from now, we’re still working on our audio stories, we can adapt some of those into other formats, into TV, film, books, live shows. We’re selling merch for some of our biggest theories. We have a community of people that cares about the show and wants to listen to every series that comes out. I could go on and on. There’s so many possibilities for what you can do, but at the core bit, it’s become one of the greatest entertainment brands that’s long lasting, that stays relevant and fresh, no matter how society evolves and pop culture evolves, we want to be at the apex of that.

 

Chris Erwin:

And right now, you’re focused on building audience and you’re not yet monetizing, is that right?

 

Naomi Shah:

We’re focused on audience and community. That’s correct.

 

Chris Erwin:

I get that you are preparing for the long term, the vision for five years, but we’re in something that we talk about, we’re in the middle of the audio wars, and you see incredible capital flows. Amazon buying Wondery, Amazon buying Art19. You see the exclusive rights deals for Call Her Daddy with Spotify, and also with SmartLess. You see SiriusXM buying Stitcher, and so much more. Is there a world where you must be thinking about, you may have already gotten inbounds for Meet Cute as an acquisition target? What do you think about that?

 

Naomi Shah:

Yeah, there is a ton of movement. There’s new headlines every day in the podcast world, in the world of acquisitions. A lot of people are looking for exclusive content. I see Meet Cute as a large entertainment brand. And so working really hard to not get distracted in the meantime as we’re building that and just focus on telling amazing stories and building our community, I think it does take putting blinders on. And our work is set out for us, and that’s something that we’re excited about in the next few years.

 

Chris Erwin:

Before the Rapid Fire, I just want to give you some kudos, Naomi. Going into this interview, I think I was telling you before, you’re one of the youngest people that we’ve brought on in terms of your experience, your experience before actually starting a company, but I think it’s been so rewarding for me to hear about coming from such a different background from so many other media and entertainment professionals that have interviewed that it’s been very refreshing. And I think that you make a really great case for why a background like yours is so powerful and it’s so relevant and could be a really strategic asset for you.

 

Chris Erwin:

That’s great to hear for additional investment that might come your way, additional team members that you want to recruit, but I really think that your story could also start to recruit new founders into the media and entertainment ecosystem, which would be such a beautiful thing. I think overall, Hollywood, traditional and digital new Hollywood needs some rethinking, some new brains and muscles to add to the mix. And I think that you’re really paving the way for it. And I think that how thoughtful you are for how you are building and how that’s inspired by some of like your home grown roots and your parents is a really beautiful thing. So I think you’re set up for some really great success. And I want to acknowledge that

 

Naomi Shah:

Thank you so much. That means so much coming from you. I think that like new founders in any space, rethinking things, flipping the status quo, building from scratch, I love seeing that kind of movement in an industry, especially one that has been around for so long and things are done a certain way. And so I’m very excited to be building in a space that we can rethink a lot of the existing assumptions. And I know the whole Meet Cute team is excited about that. So I appreciate you acknowledging that. And I think that more people should jump into feels that they might not have experiencing, but have good ideas around.

 

Chris Erwin:

All right. Now we’re in the Rapid Fire round, six questions. The rules are that you can answer as short as possible. So it could be just one sentence, it could maybe even just be one or two words. Do you understand the rules, Naomi?

 

Naomi Shah:

I understand the rules.

 

Chris Erwin:

Proudest life moment?

 

Naomi Shah:

Meeting President Obama.

 

Chris Erwin:

Oh, wow. Okay. What do you want to do less of in 2021?

 

Naomi Shah:

Being a slave to Google Calendar?

 

Chris Erwin:

What do you want to do more of?

 

Naomi Shah:

Spending time on big picture vision for Meet Cute.

 

Chris Erwin:

Not setting up EIN numbers anymore? That mini-stuff.

 

Naomi Shah:

Not setting up the EIN numbers. That’s right.

 

Chris Erwin:

What one to two things drive your success?

 

Naomi Shah:

Caring about community and the people around me.

 

Chris Erwin:

Advice for media execs going into the second part of 2021, and then into 2022?

 

Naomi Shah:

Have conviction even when things are really rocky, like a global pandemic, and don’t overthink things.

 

Chris Erwin:

Yeah. Keep it simple, is a core value for us too. Any future startup ambitions?

 

Naomi Shah:

I like blinders, so I’m focused on Meet Cute right now. I think Meet Cute has a lot of potential in terms of new products and offshoots from Meet Cute. And so I’m excited to explore that more.

 

Chris Erwin:

Before I ask you the last one, I have to go back. What were the circumstances for meeting Obama?

 

Naomi Shah:

Honestly, that was the first thing that popped into my head. I think that the things that I’m proudest about are the science research that led me to meeting President Obama. It was just something I spent seven years working on it, and that was an example of hard work pays off. We got to visit the Oval Office and I have a really funny photo with him where I have like a Lego trophy and it fell on the floor, and all that. So that was the circumstance.

 

Chris Erwin:

I love that. Very cool. All right. Last one, this is easy. How can people get in contact with you?

 

Naomi Shah:

Any social media. I’m on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, DM me, follow Meet Cute. Love Responding to DMs and happy to chat.

 

Chris Erwin:

Awesome. Naomi, this has been a delight. Thank you so much for being on the show.

 

Naomi Shah:

Thank you so much for having me. This was awesome for me as well.

 

Chris Erwin:

Wow. It’s amazing how much Naomi has accomplished so early on in her career, yet she’s so down to earth. That was such a fun chat. Really enjoyed it. All right. In closing, reminder that one, we love to hear from all of our listeners. So shoot us a note. If you have any guest’s ideas, any feedback for the show, you can reach us at tcupod@wearerockwater.com. And also that we have a new podcast that’s out, it’s called the RockWater Roundup, where me and my colleague, Andrew Cohen, we break down must-know media news and under 15 minutes.

 

Chris Erwin:

So whether it’s sports creator competitions, livestream commerce, the audio wars, we cover it. So go check it out at rounduppodcast.com. All right, that’s it, everybody. Thanks for listening.

 

Chris Erwin:

The Come Up is written and hosted by me, Chris Erwin, and is a production of RockWater Industries. Please rate and review this show on Apple Podcasts, and remember to subscribe wherever you listen to our show. And if you really dig us, feel free to forward The Come Up to a friend. You can sign up for our company newsletter at wearerockwater.com/newsletter. And you can follow us on Twitter @tcupod. The Come Up is engineered by Daniel Tureck, music is by Devon Bryant, logo and branding is by Kevin Zazzali. And special thanks to Andrew Cohen and Mike Booth from the RockWater team.

 

Ping us anytime at hello@wearerockwater.com. We love to hear from our readers.

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