Secret’s Co-Founder David Byttow Talks Company Origins With Kevin Rose


David Byttow

Foundation is a web series where partner at Google Ventures and angel investor Kevin Rose conducts in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs. Kevin recently interviewed co-founder of the buzzing anonymous social app, Secret.

David dropped out of school at the age of 19 to pursue a career in gaming. He moved out to California and worked for The Collective, which later rebranded as Double Helix and was recently acquired by Amazon.

He ended up at Google which he left to work at blogging startup Medium, which he says he felt lacked a ‘sense of urgency’.

Before Medium launched he decided that the job just wasn’t for him, so he moved on to Square where his role was Senior Engineer.

While working at Square, David realized he loved what he did, but he wanted to do it with his own company. His plan was to travel the world in 90 days, hoping a startup idea would come to him but after talking with engineers at Square he decided to cancel his big trip.

They decided to work together and set out searching for a business idea. When pitching ideas to each other they built an anonymous feedback tool to see what each other really thought about their ideas. This isn’t an uncommon method of gathering feedback and is used by companies often.

David had a bigger vision, he tore down the feedback barrier and made it a platform where people could send anyone a message anonymously.

He left the group of engineers to work on Secret, which was previously called Whisper, full time after sending a message to the platform targeted towards his girlfriend that she said was beautiful.

David is currently working on ways to steer the content on Secret into messages that provide value to people, which he says stems from conversations that give real answers to problems that aren’t constricted by peoples reputations.

You can watch the full interview below.


Chris Atkins

Chris Atkins leads product development at PostalBit, is a writer, internet marketer, content coordinator, and startup founder. He has worked alongside serial entrepreneur and investor Jason Calacanis, and social media mogul Brendan Hampton. Chris previously managed social media and produced content for Launch.co, and curated content for Funny.gg (sold to Bitly). He has spent years covering the business, technology, health, and finance sectors among many others.

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