Bridging the gap between texting and talking.

  • Voice conversations are a faster, more contextual way to communicate.
  • Today, phone calls are the primary way to have voice conversations.
  • The format of the phone call hasn’t changed in over 100 years.
  • Calls are inconvenient to arrange, especially for groups.
  • Things like phone tag, coordination, and social stigma hold us back.
  • Chalk provides a total redesign of the phone call, bridging the gap between texting and talking.
  • Having a voice conversation is as easy as toggling your mic on, making it easy to upgrade from a text conversation to live voice.
  • You can easily indicate your availability. …

Why Chalk Exists

My friends and I used to play an online game called League of Legends. Somehow we deluded ourselves into thinking we could climb up the ranks of the game and into the world of professional eSports.

Of course, making it “big” in any game requires quick reflexes, determination, and basically superhuman levels of communication. For us, a group of geographically dispersed 23-year-olds, communication seemed like the obvious challenge.

Our main goal was to make voice conversations easier. So, we tried different combinations of apps, with the goal of capturing that “in-person” feeling.

We ended up hacking together a hodgepodge of…

Wisdom in contradiction

Why is it so hard to believe two conflicting ideas? Why are we always fighting about whether one extreme is true or the other extreme is true? Why can’t the answer be both?

To answer these questions, let’s explore some of the false dichotomies that we seem to constantly fight about.

  • Idea is key vs Execution is key
  • Focus vs. Diversification
  • Delusional confidence vs. Paranoia
  • Work hard vs. Work smart
  • Decentralization vs. Centralization
  • Effective leaders are assholes vs. Effective leaders are kind
  • IQ is an important metric vs. IQ is a useless metric
  • Secrets / scarcity vs. Transparency / openness

The word community is incredibly overused these days. It’s what everyone seems to want but nobody can actually provide.

Without high-functioning communities you get depressing graphs like this:

Interpersonal Trust

That’s why I’ve put this list together.


A community should be built around something that its originators are palpably, infectiously passionate about.

Getting people to buy-in to anything is tough. If a potential community member shows up and feels like there’s not an overarching purpose, if they can’t feel the why, they’re probably not coming back. You should be able to walk up to anybody at any community event and ask them…

Juyan Azhang

Co-founder @ Chalk. Rebuilding the phone call.

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