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Somewhat Frank

Oct 8, 2018

Over the past couple weeks (and I’m sure many others) I have had to fight the urge to send out tweets expressing my opinions on the latest happenings. While I support “freedom of speech” some of these tweets may have been offensive, so I went with the age-old saying:

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

I’ll be sure to make an impact in other ways (e.g., November elections are coming). That said, I’m sure we’ve all sent tweets we’ve had second thoughts about later. Or you’ve decided not to send a tweet only to file it into a note on your phone never to see the light of the Internet. Enter Brizzly, the website for getting thoughts out of your head by sending them into the ether. My old friend and longtime product leader Jason Shellen created the site recently as he resurrected Brizzly from its early social web past.

In addition to his strong product leadership experience, Jason Shellen is an entrepreneur. He built and sold Brizzly which was previously a third-party Twitter and Facebook interface. It was unveiled at one of TechCrunch’s events in 2009 and was acquired by AOL in 2010. Shellen went on to run AIM at AOL until moving on to work for Pinterest and then leading products at Slack. In that time he stayed in touch with his friends at AOL and eventually got an opportunity to buy back the brand. So today you can go to Brizzly and post whatever is on your mind only to never be seen by anyone.

Aside from Brizzly, Shellen recently shared a very personal blog post about his struggles with chronic pain. He’s had a long road to get to this point of sharing – it was a journey that had some very dark moments. We’re glad to hear he is on the upswing and appreciate his honesty as I think it will help others also suffering from similar chronic pain.

I should also mention, pain management startups are of interest to me. That’s why I loved Oska Wellness our 2017 Startup of the Year so much. They’ve created the Oska Pulse, a pain relief machine to help others with this struggle. Their non-drug approach uses Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMF) to boost the body’s ability to repair injured cells to relieve all types of pain.

So take a listen to episode 5 of the Somewhat Frank Podcast as I talk with Jason Shellen about both his chronic pain and buying back his old company Brizzly to relaunch it. This interview was done over the internet so apologies if my audio has a slightly more reverb and “voice of God” quality. We’re only on episode 5, so we’re still working out the initial kinks, and we’ll get better with time, so appreciate you hanging in there. I hope you enjoy this episode with product leader and entrepreneur Jason Shellen.