A Russian Developer Created an Android Version of Clubhouse
Whether they planned it or not, Clubhouse’s founders turned a psychological trick into $1 billion of value. Marketers call it the Scarcity Effect. In a nutshell, the Scarcity Effect makes us place a high value on what’s rare and a low value on what’s available everywhere. For the same reason why gold is more expensive than stone, Clubhouse shines bright in the app store. The invitation-only app that runs exclusively on iPhones is definitely rare. That’s why members love it, and non-members crave it.
The catch? The long wait for the Android version annoyed Grishka, who, unlike many people, could do something about it. So, he did.
Wait, who is Grishka?
He’s a young software developer who worked with Telegram and VK (the Russian version of Facebook). He also runs a blog where he occasionally shares his thoughts about software. If you hit the About Me page, you’ll find the following description.
I’m Gregory. I currently live in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and I’m too lazy to fill this page with something useful about myself.
However, when code is involved, Grishka’s laziness disappears. “I got bored of waiting for Clubhouse on Android,” he tweeted. “So I wrote mine in one day.”
How did he do it?
Based on my moderate nerdiness, Grishka used Clubhouse’s Application Programming Interface (API) to create a junction. Picture Clubhouse’s servers as an electric power grid and its API as the plugs. These plugs support a specific type of equipment — in this case: iPhones. Grishka created a hand-made adapter that allows Android phones to access Clubhouse.
The initial version went live in less than 24 hours but it had several issues. It took Grishka another week and eight updates to fix crashes and enable users to upload a profile picture and receive notifications. From there, Grishka’s followers started to spread the app across online platforms like Twitter and Telegram.
The genie is out of the bottle
When you look at Grishka’s story, you realize that apps can’t always dictate the rules. There are challengers who, for better or worse, can hack the game. It’s possible that Clubhouse isn’t pulling our psychological strings to market itself. Perhaps, the founders want to keep the beta version around until they fix every issue and deploy more infrastructure. After all, a surge of Android users can damage Clubhouse’s servers and future.
Either way, Grishka’s app might speed up the process.
This article is meant to inform. I’m not a software expert and cannot evaluate the quality or safety of Grishka’s Clubhouse version. Any actions taken are entirely at your own risk.