Trust Your Instincts with Sal Groover (Giggle)
Katerina: Hi Sall.
Sall: Hi, thank you so much for inviting me here.
Katerina: Thank you so much for coming. It’s great to have you on the show because fear and anxiety actually is what made you who you are today — an entrepreneur. Could you tell us a little bit more about you and how did you start Giggle?
Sall: Yeah, sure. So, I was a screenwriter in Hollywood for almost 10 years. And while I was there, I experienced everything that the #MeToo movement is about. But I actually left just before it happened because I just couldn’t handle it any more… Because everything that would happen to me… I would tell my agents and managers about it… [they were all men] and I would always be told, um “Do you want your movie made?”… when a director would groped me and do horrible things or… This is just how it is when I would go to a meeting or just to be told to impress them with a script to sort of win them over after they would do horrible things and so I got to the point where I couldn’t write any more… I was crippled… I could… The only reason I got out of bed every day was because I had to feed my dog. I couldn’t write but I would try everyday to write, and I just couldn’t.
And I’ve since found out through therapy that the reason I couldn’t is because my sort of survival instincts have kicked in and writing meant going and getting assaulted. So I was protecting myself from that happening. And so, I was in it, I was completely isolated because Hollywood and lots of different industries like Hollywood are designed that way… to sort of isolate you… that you don’t have anyone to talk to… or anything like that and then living in a big city like LA.. I live by myself and I work by myself.
So finally I got to the point I had to come back to Australia to spend time with my family and have some therapy and recover from everything. And it was while I was in therapy, my therapist kept saying that I had to learn how to reconnect with people, and especially with women. And my mom at the same time, when I would be telling her everything… she would be going… “We have to find a way for girls to help girls, so that they have someone… they can reach out to each other in a private and safe secure way”.
And so, from all of these experiences, we came up with Giggle. And so “giggle” is the collective noun for a group of girls. And the Giggle app is a girls-only app… and we have AI verification when you’re onboarding so that it is only girls who are allowed on the app. And it is where it goes at the moment… the categories we have for freelance work, activism, emotional support and health but in the future it will also be for room-mates and for travel companions and AirBnB style, accommodation. If you want to talk about your religious beliefs, exercise, hobbies… just social things like Trivia or going to the movies… things like that… so it’s going to open up lots of other things… But yeah at the moment it’s sort of a bit smaller and it’s just a place for girls to be able to connect, be who they want to exist, sort of… in this tiny little corner of the world where boys don’t exist…
Katerina: Yeah, I’ve actually downloaded this app today… and I am still in a process of verifying but yeah, it’s using AI and it’s really clever. My passion is AI and I’m studying and researching the impact of disruptive technologies on jobs.
Sall: How cool…
Katerina: It’s fascinating but it verified the face.
Sall: Yeah, yeah, it does and basically what it does…. there’s been this… there’s been controversy about this. All it does is the company that we use that has implemented the AI into it. It just compares your selfie with like a million other selfies and it’s actually set to not allow boys in. So it’s not… that it’s not set to not allow girls in… like it’s not judging your appearance or anything… it’s just like is this a photo of a girl or just a photo of boy. Yeah, it’s as simple as that. Um, yeah… it’s pretty simple and it’s just, you know, the best technology that’s available at this very moment in time.
And there’s been there has been controversy. I’ve gotten quite a lot of hate from it, especially from men — it’s the number one group… but having such a thing. And I’m like if you were this impassioned about it…
Katerina: What’s wrong with women just having their own space right?
Sall: Exactly. It’s just the anger of women having their own space is very interesting.
Katerina: Yeah, because you see creating an app it’s… it’s a very technical thing to do, right? How did you pull it all together? Because its…
Sall: Yeah, well, actually, so I’m actually creating a new feature at the moment. I draw. I had a vision like I don’t code, obviously, so I had a vision of what I wanted it to look like. And what I wanted to do. And I designed the whole thing. And then we actually with my dad… my dad taught himself how to sort of design user programme… to sort of just design the framework of it for the… sort of… they’re just… not a working model but just a good demo model of it. And so by the time, we went to developers we had what it was for them to be able to code so there wasn’t any confusion. But yeah, it’s, it is crazy technical… I just get ideas of this… what I want to do and then I have to go and ask all of the technical people like “Is this actually physically possible?” or like is this something that exists… I don’t know. So, yeah, it’s been so far so good.
Katerina: Yeah, it’s great and I guess… the problem with these social apps is that very often if something doesn’t work… like there are some technical problems or bugs, people just leave you one-star reviews. How do you deal with it?
Sall: Well, we only have we have… people… okay so Giggle has early… like has apparently a one-star rating on both on Google Play and App Store. And that’s because… they’re basically in February… so we haven’t officially… we hadn’t officially launched at this point, but I had done a video and posted it to our Instagram about the misogyny that I deal with every day as a female, CEO of a company. And is… I deal with it every day, it is crazy. And it’s, to me it’s even crazier because of the company I’m a CEO of like I just think that it’s absurd to be misogynistic to me. How stupid could a person be? Knowing that I’m going to talk about it. And, use it to prove the need for Giggle. So I didn’t this video and so anyway…. Some boys had sent it viral on Reddit, and Twitter, and so we’ve got this rush of people in February. And so because we exclude one half of the population which is boys, they leave us one-star reviews.
Sall: So, we’ll never have a five-star rating.
Katerina: Girls… if you’re listening… please leave Sall a five-star review.
Sall: I stopped, I stopped reading them like because it’s not, it’s not, it’s not healthy to. I only care, the opinions or anything, opinions, I care about, or if you’re like part of the population of Giggle. And so if you’re a girl. And like some girls have said like oh I would like it if it had this or like this didn’t work for me on this time and it’s like “Cool”… I’m still… you know so new, we’re still working out bugs and so I always want to know, different things. There was one… I stupidly ventured into a Reddit thread, where there were some people talking about Google and… And there are some, especially sort of what they self-described as very radical feminists who have an issue with the name “giggle”, and then also that I often refer to sort of females or women as girls. And I was trying to explain to them like… they would say like, you know, the biggest thing was… they were saying like, you know, men use the term girls to press down… it’s a patriarchal term and things like this. And, I was like every word is a patriarchal term like.
Katerina: So who’s making comments like this.. other women?
Sall: Yeah, well, they are self-described radical feminists… yes… yeah. It’s so funny. Some people will call me a radical feminist and then others will say I’m not feminist enough. But I’m like “No… “giggle” is the collective noun for a group of girls… that’s just… what it is. I just think it’s cute I thought what a great way to reclaim that connotation that is that, you know. I know that people think like giggling girls and stupid and vapid, but we all know that when a group of girls is together. They’re not vapid or stupid. And they will just go on not being vapid or stupid. And so the concept of what a giggle is will change. It’s just, you just have to reinvent language that way by doing. And then the only reason I say girls is because I would never…
I am 35 and I still refer to myself as a girl. But I I just sort of thought like, oh, because we’re dealing with different ages like a woman might be too limiting… not everyone’s a lady. What would you use females? It’s too clinical… girls… like it’s just fun. That’s how it feels right so we have girls talk we have girl power and now we have a girl app.
Katerina: Gosh.. Because I mean… that people have a problem with the word describing it… I mean that the concept is great… isn’t it? It’s just the place to connect women in one social place… give them empowerment and freedom to express themselves.
Sall: Yeah. Exactly. One thing stuck out to me… I sort of always remember it… and play it over my head. It was just in Reddit and it was this woman who said that she was a Professor at a small college in America and she was like “My students and I saw it and we just laughed about it and how ridiculous it was to call something giggle, and then we moved on to more important things.” And I was like you know what, beyond like… you know… no, that’s not cool because not only it’s called “giggle” because it’s that’s a great name for a group of girls. That’s what the app does… it builds groups of girls so it’s a double entente, like, there’s a reason it’s called this so it’s like if you go to college… research before you go and publicly state something. It’s like… it’s like a hated dismissal of a noun, which is… moving on to talking about more important things because I was like I sit here every day working out how can I help girls and connecting with other groups that help girls… especially in countries where they don’t have the privilege of caring about language. They need to be able to connect with each other because they don’t get to go to school or get to go to work or leave the house there. We are privileged.
Katerina: Yeah, if she has a problem with the name… I guess she’s not a part of your tribe.
Sall: Exactly. She’s not part of the Giggle.
Katerina: Yeah, exactly. She should be somewhere else.
Sall: Yeah… if you’re like sort of a troll on the internet Giggle is not for you. It’s as simple…
Katerina: Yeah, so how do you deal with trolls… that’s a hot topic… how do you deal with cyberbullies that don’t get you, but they leave, horrible comments that yeah I can affect you mentally?
Sall: I don’t read them, to be honest, I don’t read them. My mom and I talked about it quite frequently because I know that they’re there. Um, I don’t, I have had, like, as I said before, I’ve done this video about misogyny I deal with on an everyday basis. Then, the trolls in my actual life bother me a lot more. If you’re just someone on the Internet, and anytime I have read something, there’s at least one inaccuracy in there anyway so I’m like oh you don’t even know what you’re talking about. And so, like, if you haven’t bothered to research it before speaking, I not really going to engage. But yet in my actual life, I’ve had men, making Giggle as difficult as they possibly can for me. And that keeps us up at night or makes days more stressful and…
Katerina: Are they your relative so some other some people?
Sall: No, just people that are involved with Giggle, and if I can’t, it’s such a horrible thing is that at this point in time, I can’t talk about it too much. In part out of… out of fear of the repercussions anytime where I have said something… sort of the reality, I deal with…. If I talk about something or if I post something… “Oh, okay. So this is what the man has done to me today or this is the misogyny I’ve dealt with today. Their sensitivity or their ego being hurt by that?
Sall: And whether that is trying to hurt me financially, hurt my reputation, harm the different aspects of Giggle … or just sort of hurt my self-esteem, I suppose. Yeah, so that’s that’s… trolls? I don’t care, they don’t… they’re not stopping me from doing anything.
Katerina: So, how many people do you employ?
Sall: We have a small team that we contract… But we have… there’s a group … Oh, how many of us are there? Gosh in total? In total… on an average day there’s probably about, I think, like, somewhere around like eight to nine to ten people… that dealing with… whether it’s sort of dealing with the back end of it coding of it or design, marketing, publicity.
Katerina: Yeah, yeah. So if some of the people on your team are not very supportive, how do you deal with this?
Katerina: So, if they are not sharing your vision.
Sall: I think this is the hardest thing… like… this is the hardest part about being a female co-founder, entrepreneur… it is harder for women to do what I do, it just simply is, it’s like you know how it’s sort of a proven thing that, you know, a man will go apply for a job that he is not qualified for… but a woman won’t.
Katerina: Right… Yes, yes.
Sall: Yeah, it’s that on steroids but you’re actually doing it… like I’ve never been a CEO before, but I had an idea. And I was like “Okay, this is what I want to do this is like sort of I feel like my whole life has led up to this, I have had my experiences in Hollywood before … like I’ve been part of a cutthroat industry before. Everything sort of led itself to this… so I’m not very intimidated by it.
Sall: But I’ve had someone, a guy really trying to stop me from being the CEO of a company that I thought of.
Katerina: Can you just elaborate on this a little… without revealing too many secrets..
Sall: Yeah.. He was just, it was just… a lot of like, no.. no she can’t, no, no… And I sit there all the time being, like, you know like, I’m 35 and it’s my idea I’ve, I, I have a master’s degree, like I’ve had 10 years in another industry I have experience in life, and I’ve had 35 years experience of being a girl, which is more than I could say for anyone else in the room at the time.
Sall: And I was like, one thing I always used to go back to is like, you know, the Social Network the Facebook movie… that you know there were scenes there .. like when someone was saying to 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg “Oh, you can’t be the CEO of this company”, no the whole celebration of that movie was like “No, I am a CEO, bitch”.
Katerina: I haven’t seen this movie yet.
Sall: I won’t spoil the ending. But I was like the whole, like, the movie is celebrating that he’s the CEO, but he was a 19-year-old. And, you know, I’d obviously didn’t know what the reality every day was like for him but I know mine is and just having to be like well, of course, I would be… it was just very much the attitude was, it would make investors nervous if I was there. But I’m like… but I am. I do the work I may as well get the title of it.
Katerina: Yeah, problems. Yeah… a fascinating story. Sall, could you tell me what are your difficulties running this business running Giggle.
Sall: Honestly, I always say this, the biggest challenge of Giggle has been navigating the male ego. And it sounds ridiculous to say that in an all-girl company, but when you’re doing a startup the people who have the money… nine times out of ten are men. So, the barrier is you have to get past, so you can have a company full of women but the barrier is you have to get past are always men, and never underestimate how many men out there aren’t that excited about empowering women.
I’ve had situations where you know I’ve been quiet and passionate about things and I’ve gotten… I get I’ll get angry and assertive when I need to…. and, and I’ve had to say to people like this… this is what an empowered woman looks like if you want to profit off of it or if you want to be involved in it… you have to embrace being around this. So it’s just, you know, just, just having to, sort of… join in. Yeah, it’s navigating the male ego, as I said, I can’t even talk about all of the things that I have to deal with because if I upset somebody, I’ll get punished. And, it scares me, so I don’t any more.
Katerina: Yeah. So do you have other women in the company that support you?
Sall: Yes. So I have a co-founder of Giggle .. it’s my mom, which is amazing. Um, and so, then my… the other sort of my main girl that I’m with every day is Sady who runs Giggle from New York. So we’re … like she’s there, I’m here we’re in contact all of the day and like all hours of the day. And she keeps me sane. so we lived together in New York New, we were room-mates, and just, like, sort of, is another sort of element of Giggle came from because I was living within this apartment in New York with… it was four of us girls at the time and it was just like, we had this amazing support network for each other into this big bad wild world. And it was just so great. So yeah, so she is the other sort of main Giggle point person every day that I’m in contact with, and she is great if I’m.. freaking out about something which sometimes I do… and I’m having a breakdown like every now and then… there has been a troll that has gotten to me. I am like … for example, there were some transwomen who had an issue with Giggle, and I believe it was because they’ve sort of had been informed that they were not welcome on Giggle, but I’ve always ensured that transwomen are welcome on Google.
Sall: And so I was sort of, it hurt me so much that anyone would spread the lie that they weren’t or the people, or that any transwomen would feel unwelcome in “another place”, and so it really really hurt me. So Sadie was very good at coaching me through that, she just sorts of… I suppose of being my age, so it was sort of a thing… was… she really understood, like, just us being in this same generation and carrying over past history.
Katerina: That’s great. You have a mom who’s supporting you. My mom never understood me and never been really supportive.
Sall: Yeah, that’s really cool. Yeah, I wouldn’t say in any way that I was raised by a feminist or anything. But my mum, definitely sort of found her voice. She’s always been very feisty, but she definitely so to find her voice around the #MeToo movement time when that started to happen. And so it’s actually been very fun for me to watch my mom… sort of… evolve and become this very outspoken empowered woman. Yeah, it’s like the opposite. I’ve always been outspoken and what some might call a bitch.
Katerina: Right. Yeah I mean it’s just… when you, when you think about this, it’s, it’s like you know fish swimming kind of against the tide sometimes, isn’t it? Because you’re sometimes… trying to promote something which is not welcomed by a large majority of people, right? It’s, it’s…
Sall: The main one is men, obviously… that’s, yeah. Yeah, no… it does feel… at the same time I get quite empowered by that… sort of that hate bet because… nine times out of ten, the criticism I get… or any crap that I do get on a daily basis… just proves the need for Giggle.
Katerina: That’s right. Yeah, yeah.
Sall: Yeah, like one of the other categories that we’re going to be launching in the next few months is mentoring and networking. And it’s a sort of business category where girls can connect and start their own businesses, where men have nothing to do with it. I’m like use Giggle to start your own startups and I want there to be like women like VCs and angel investors who go on there and finance them as well because it is hell, trying to go with a girls-only product out there in a male-dominated world… I just hate it, every second of it.
Katerina: So what was the most difficult challenge you’ve had to overcome running Giggle?
Sal: Oh, Gosh, may still ongoing isn’t it. I mean if you go on a day-to-day basis and Giggle itself is… I find ultimately quite easy. I’m just… I’m passionate about it. I know what I want to achieve. I know what Giggle is. I know where it can go. I just want… I just want to help girls, or have just a platform for girls to do what they want on there… girls will tell me what they want to do on it, it’s just… it’s just there it exists… now just tell me what it should be. Um, so yeah it’s just as simple it’s navigating the male ego that is the biggest challenge. When I have to sit there and… for example, mom and I will talk through stuff and we’ll agree with things and then we’ll be like “Okay, now how do we go and talk about it?”.
Yeah. There is a team player element to it and everything. I’m just not a fan if I sit in a room… and I’ve sat in many where I have like a 50-year-old man saying like “No, I think this is what people should be like”, and I’m like “ Yeah, it just like I don’t care about your opinion, I just don’t care, You will never use it, you’re not part of the market, you don’t know what you’re talking about… like I just don’t care”. And then I get called closed-minded and, like “I’m not”. It would just be like someone… a Nike executive, designing a running shoe and talking you having to listen to someone who’s never run before in their life. You wouldn’t waste your time.
Katerina: Right. Yeah. Yeah, well, you know in… when you were a screenwriter in Hollywood. You went through this phase of anxiety and, you know, psychological sort of problems that actually made you an intrapreneur. But what is your worst nightmare today? Are you an anxious person?
Sall: Yeah. Definitely, I still do have like… I am genetically an anxious person… I’ve always been anxious… My Nana has had huge anxiety, my mum has, and I do. So I have a predisposition to anxiety. Um, but then, because it got so bad… it was bad for like five years. Um, I now… I have medication for it. And I have tools…. like I finally… like… therapy gives me tools to be able to deal with it, so I can sort of step sit there, breathe, ground myself in my surroundings, and then deal with a problem… because it can be little things that will trigger me. For example, back in Hollywood, it got to the point where I hated answering my phone. I hated it. Because there was just, either rejection, bad news, or some fight I had to be part of just like fighting for a script or meeting or something was just all horrible, you know. So, I hated answering my phone and I just, I wouldn’t I would always, I just wouldn’t answer my phone so I had to reteach myself. And so now, like, I have the tools now to do that. And yeah, I’m very… I feel lucky that I sort of had my nervous breakdown before Giggle. It would suck to have it now. It really would… it would make it a lot harder, but so far so good. I haven’t had a breakdown yet.
Katerina: So what do you do to actually keep yourself sane? Are there any mind hacks or any strategies… anything you do today to kind of help you relax?
Sall: In this, like, COVID-19 time? No. I‘m going out of my mind… like…
Katerina: I’m trying not to ask questions about COVID-19 because of the true impact… we’ll know about the true impact of COVID-19 in a few months time.
Sall: Yeah. Yoga has always been my big thing back for quite a few years now… going and doing yoga. And so, and… I always know if I’m getting really anxious or really stressed… if I can’t even… if I like physically can’t go to yoga, because I know I can’t quiet my mind for that hour… Is it a normal day or even like on a heightened day… you know you can’t use it… like I know it will be released, but if I cannot talk myself through that then I know I have to take a step back and relax for a minute.
But yeah, yoga is my number one thing and then… and this is actually also from my screenwriting days… having a really long shower. I find long relaxing showers are one of the best self-care tools in the world. I used to sit in the shower for ages trying to think of story things that if you get stuck, the trick is to go and sit in a shower. Be cleanse with water, it will clear your mind and just work out the next part of the story and so I still sort of do that.
Katerina: Wow that’s great advice. If you are not on a meter… We are on a meter…
Sall: So, the weird thing one day will be like “I’d like to leave a board meeting … I’m gonna get a shower… I’ll be back when I clear my mind.
Katerina: So, how do you deal with uncertainty, because with Giggle, you are in the growth stage… you plan so many new things. But don’t always know how it’s all gonna work out for us… so how do you deal with uncertainty.
Sall: I suppose… because I know… as I said I know what I want to achieve with it. And I know what it is and I’m also quite open-minded about changing what it is and being very receptive of the ultimate market that latches on to Giggle. And so I know there’s an element of trial and error with it. I’m not very rigid with everything. I’m just like, my ultimate goal is to provide a place where girls don’t have to deal with the bullshit of misogyny. How I get there? Let’s work it out. Like I’ve built this thing. Let’s see how far that can get us and then we’ll go the next thing. Yes. Yeah, so I know uncertainty doesn’t take up a lot of my mental space, to be honest, it’s just working out okay this is what I want to do, how could I do it.
Katerina: Yeah. Yeah.
Sall: To as much as you can plan for something like I didn’t plan for everything that’s happening in the world right now. And that’s hard when you’re a brand new business and you’re still doing investment rounds and everything and then the world economy collapses. That’s stressful, but can you just go okay I’m going to change my plan a little bit because we… we were planning on doing our next funding round and it’s, we’re doing it with equity crowdfunding because I want .. I said like I don’t like the VC world. So rather than… doing that I want…. actually just girls of the world to have ownership in Giggles and to have equity in it. And so that’s the way we’re doing it and planning it and. But what a time right now to launch something called equity crowdfunding. Can’t do that in a social distancing environment like it’s just what’s like the worst possible branding you could do…
Katerina: Is Giggle on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter?
Sall: No, no, no… Kickstarter is just like a crowdfunding thing. Equity crowdfunding is very different.
Sall: Yeah, equity crowdfunding is very different and it’s actually bound by the countries that the company is incorporated in. So, we’re bound by Australian laws with it, but it means that basically NGOs can buy shares and Giggle.
Katerina: Yeah, yeah.
Sall: Yeah, so it’s a relatively new thing it only came to become a legal thing to do in Australia in 2018, so very very new in the startup world. Yeah, but it’s very organic to Giggle of what it is… it’s just right now, not a great time to do it so yet you just have to… we will talk about this actually the very beginning at Giggle… be elastic… just always be open to move and change. Like for example we just have spent the last three months waiting for our Giggle Room and Travel categories to finish being built.
Sall: They’re… they’re available… Would we launch Giggle travel right now? No… It’s not a possible time for it to be ready. And so Okay you have to just shove it and go Okay, what’s the next thing.
Katerina: Yeah, you can do virtual travel, I guess. Just take a selfie and …
Sall: Everyone is like “What this place in Paris looks like… imagine I’m there”. Yeah, it’s just, yeah so you just have to be able to roll with the punches, and I feel fortunate that I have a company that is just buying what it is… pretty easy to do that.
Katerina: Yeah. Do you define yourself as a successful entrepreneur? What success means for you?
Sall: Freedom to have my voice, and to have my ideas realised. If I can say what I want and say what I mean and have that listened to and get some sort of respect in return from the people that I care to have respect from… then yeah I feel really good. That is in front of me… because I was silenced for such a long time and I was a writer who was silenced for a long time and I lost my voice… so having that is my most valuable thing. I learned the hard way of what it’s like to not have a voice.
So yeah, that’s part of what giggle is is making sure that every girl can have a voice, and it’s not…. When I always see… when I was feeling very silenced and just had no confidence to go out and tell my story or anything. And people would sort of say just go until your story is like, it’s a huge leap from feeling so vulnerable to going out and telling your story.
Sall: Yes. Yeah, and I feel that Giggle sort of is one of the stepping stones in that because all of the conversations are private, and that you can choose who you connect with and it’s about consent that you can get comfortable in a private setting with the stranger and sort of build this relationship. Finding your voice and having your opinions and talking about them. And then take that confidence that you get from being in these environments, into the real world.
Sall: And, yeah, because I don’t, I don’t like the internet hate that’s out there at the moment I don’t think it’s serving any good whatsoever, being the worst possible version of yourself. Yeah, and trolling people and I think it’s absurd.
Katerina: So what can you tell girls and female intrapreneurs who started something but kind of hit the wall of challenges, and just about to give up? What what would mean you tell them?
Sall: Trust your instincts, is the number one thing your instincts exist for a reason like they are your instincts that survival instincts that they’re from when you know from our ancestors… when they were quiet to be there. If your instinct is telling you to stop something… listen to it and change what you’re doing because then you will thrive and something will be easier. If your instinct is just telling you to do it. Do it like this just … it could… your instinct is telling you like honour it.
If you don’t know what else well. I think that’s the most important thing. And then, be prepared to live on Ramen noodles for ages. But I’ve been a writer for such a long time, so being like some form of a starving artist is not that much of a stretch for me. Oh. I just read a book try to change myself..
Katerina: So, I guess, you need to write yes you know you need to write a book. But you’ve been through.
Sall: Yeah, one day, two things will come together… yeah eventually… like when I, you know, much later down the track of Giggle, I will write something…
Katerina: Yeah… it’s an inspirational story for girls who have doubts and went through the same experiences as you did.
Sall: Yeah, cuz I remember like what I was dealing with depths of depression. And I would listen to stories of girls who had come out of it. Um, and, you know, and they would have all this new confidence in what they are now doing in there… like these great things in their lives… but you know when you’re in the depths of depression and you’re like, you’re like… “What are you even talking about like… you have all of this stuff now… I have nothing… like you know … just your brains just hating on you.”
Sall: And I think that having to rebuild myself and how slow it actually is to rebuild yourself from depression is quite an interesting and valuable journey to then starting your own company because it teaches you patience and how it doesn’t you don’t just wake up happy the next day or depression-free or anxiety-free. It’s every day having to work at it and it’s the same as a company, you just have to work at it every day.
Katerina: Yeah, it just takes time.
Sall: Yeah, it just takes time. That’s it. And then suddenly that you wake up in 18 months and it’s like … I’ve been doing Giggle now for… It’s getting closer as about 18 months, we’re getting closer to two years. But it’s only been this year that it’s been like something that exists, but that’s even not fully realised yet like there’s just still so much to do and so much further to go until it’s even what I would say that what I would cause the real beginning of it.
Katerina: Yeah. So what’s next for Google is just going globally cuz you are in 31 countries?
Sall: We’re actually just… we didn’t do account for a while but we actually did a report this past week… we’re in 83 countries right now.
Katerina: Wow.. Okay.
Sall: Yeah, which is really excited. So I… The next things. We’re going to be launching so obviously there’s quite a few categories on there that still locked. And it was supposed to be Giggle room that was going to be the next one, do a big release and launch around, and that was going to be the… we’re here on the global stage and they start doing a marketing campaign and everything. But yeah, we can’t launch Giggle room, we are trapped inside. So this next week is will be how we will be having lots of meetings about what we’re going to do what we call class categories like exercise and probably mentoring and networking… we have lots of different categories that can very much be utilised in how the world is at the moment, so which is going to work out the best way to do that.
Katerina: Yeah. Yeah, That’s great. I wish you all the success, growing this amazing business and I’m sure a lot of listeners will support you and will spread the word and leave 5-star reviews.
Sall: Yeah even with the five-star review, even though…. well, the men will then come along and override it.
Katerina: You know, every product … when… when you see all five stars reviews — something is wrong.
Sall: Totally, yeah.
Katerina: … you know that you’ve got something, right?
Sall: Actually, this is a this is a cute anecdote. When they all started like men have discovered Giggle. And they sort of… just… we had this just waterfall of downloads and it was going crazy. And then my mom just walked into my office hysterical going like “Oh my god” like she just had not experienced that kind of trolling or hate or anything before. And I was like “Oh mom, we’re always gonna be hated by the world. It’s why we created it.”
Katerina: They are jealous that no one created something like a Giggle for man.
Sall: I think you should… I think that… I think it’s really important… I think they should totally be a place that men feel comfortable to go and talk about emotions and support each other. I think that would be very healthy…
Katerina: Because the suicide rate among men is quite hard as well because they just suffer in silence and they don’t have this platform yet.
Sall: I think they totally have a place where they can go and connect and have a conversation and be emotional and be anonymous if they wanted to be. I just, I obviously am not the face of that company, but I hope someone does it. And a group of boys is called a Plush. So, there you go.
Katerina: So they stop going after Giggle girls.
Katerina: Yeah, that’s great. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
Sall: No thank you. Thank you so much for having me.
Katerina: Thank you so much and good luck with everything.
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