It's a sunny afternoon in San Francisco.

You're swaying in a hammock, discussing your favorite book with someone in Morocco.

You just met an hour ago on Dialup, a magical app you discovered through the New York Times. The app connects thousands of people per week in surprise phone calls.

You hang up and feel great.


Copyright © 2021 Cofounder Quest. Best with volume on. 5 minutes to play.
SKIP GAME?


It's a sunny afternoon in
San Francisco.

What should you do today?


Copyright © 2021 Cofounder Quest. The game takes 5 mins to play.


You don't really feel like being online right now.

You start scrolling and you're not sure why. You don't have any new comments on your last post. A person you don't know announces they have a new job. You see an ad.

Why are you still scrolling? You're in a great mood after that call!



So cool!

You post about the person you met on the phone in Morocco and how both read the same book. You get a bunch of likes and questions.

You get a notification. A new message from a friend.

Hey!



You look so peaceful!

You get a bunch of likes. Pretty nice.

You get a notification. A new message from a friend.

Hey!




(1) New message

Hey! I found this floppy disk in the park.... so weird! Something about it seems like it was planted. Thought you'd want it since you're interested in collecting weird tech artifacts. Can I give it to you?




Nice!

You're walking outside enjoying the breeze as the fog rolls in. Suddenly, your eye catches a shimmering piece of metal. There is a mysterious floppy disk on the ground.


You discover a tool to create social media copy.

Social Share Generator®

This would be a fine tweet™




Copy and paste on Twitter, Discord, Slack, Facebook, LinkedIn, or anywhere else you hang out online.


How to Play

Select options underneath the story to progress to the next section in the game. You'll eventually unlock a website that sends you on your quest!

This is actually a very real and very elaborate search for a cofounder!

For other questions, contact danielle@dialup.com. I'm also on Twitter @djbaskin.




My notes



From: Danielle

Hey, nice to meet you! Sure. Swing by this Thursday at 4pm.
>
>



A few weeks go by.

You're back in your routines and totally forget about the floppy disk.

You've been feeling a little down lately. You're behind on a bunch of projects and you're feeling kind of stuck. But you feel a jolt of delight when you remember there's a Dialup call in 10 minutes. You find a comfortable spot.



Your phone rings.

You suddenly hear a pleasant jingle coming from your phone. The caller ID says "Woodworking". You signed up for this topic a while ago when you wanted to make a new bookshelf.

You slip on a headset.


July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

You're suddenly on the phone with a 78 year old in a small town outside of Vancouver.


"Hello?"



July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

She replies, matching your enthusiasm.


"Nice to meet you! Glad the phone rang to interrupt me from procrastinating my writing. How's your evening going?"


July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

She replies in a comforting tone, sensing hesitation in your voice.


"You know. I'm glad the phone rang. I was feeling a little stuck with my writing piece."


July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

She makes an assuring sound.


"Oh! What's going on?"


July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

You tell her a bit more about what's going on in your life.


"Oh huh. I feel like I'm in the thick of that right now!"


July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

She explains.


"I've been working on a novel for a few years, and I haven't been able to get the ending right."


July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

She tells you about her book.


"My father's death when I was a kid. He worked on Canada Post’s tunnel system in the 1950s. A secret tunnel built for transporting mail underneath downtown Vancouver."


July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

You learn more about her life.


"I want this book to help people with grief, and I think it will, but I'm afraid that I'll somehow make it feel too linear."


July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

You both start laughing because you suddenly hear a bunch of squirrels in the background. Then she continues.


"Well usually, I'll just write, and if it feels forced, I'll delete it. And if it feels right, I'll keep it. Right now, the ending feels forced."


July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

You tell her about ways that you feel stuck.


"A useful thing I’ve found that motivates me is teaching! I teach kids how to write."


July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

You remember the topic of this call is woodworking.


"Oh! Yes, woodworking! What's something you've learned recently?"


July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

You feel much more excited to finish the bookshelf after talking about it. You learn about a wooden canoe she's building! She also tells you about the squirrels on her porch. You wrap up your call. You're feeling a lot better.


"Seriously, so nice talking to you."


July 17, 2021

Today's match


paperbird

00:00

CONNECTED

She replies excitedly.


"They are! Just stepped out on my porch. Thought I'd get some writing done tonight, but I'm watching a little family of squirrels in the rain. How's your evening going?"


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

You're briefly on hold, then you hear a voice. You're suddenly talking to someone else in San Francisco.


"Hello! One sec. I'm looking for my tarot deck."



August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

You hear some shuffling.


"Okay, got it. Hi! I'm Danielle. I don't tell many people this, but this is my app."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

You tell Danielle about your experience using the app for the last few months, often from your hammock.


"Whoa, you talked to a Sudanese refugee who's starting a pizza restaurant? I love getting these glimpses."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

You tell Danielle about your experience using the app for the last few months. You're reminded it's a tarot call.


"Wait wait, do you want a tarot reading?"


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

You ask her a question. She discusses her practice and starts shuffling.


"Think about a question you want to ask me and tell me when you want me to stop shuffling."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

She cuts the deck into three piles.


"I'm splitting the deck into three piles. Choose whichever one sounds right."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

You chose pile A. She flips the top card and describes the illustration.


"Nice. Page of Wands. You're embarking on a new journey, but you're obsessed with telling people about your walking stick instead of the journey."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

You chose pile B. She flips the top card and describes the illustration.


"Queen of Swords. You're feeling wittier than usual. You have a knack for language right now."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

You chose pile C. She flips the top card and describes the illustration.


"Nice. Temperance. You've been able to shift modes more fluidly than usual."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

You end up discussing a range of things going on in your life. You also realize you read about Danielle in the Observer!


"Oh, you've heard of my other projects! My Blue Check Homes thing? I have a lot of stuff on the internet."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

She elaborates.


"Imagine this. What if Dialup was just one example of an experience you can build on a larger platform?"


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

She shares her vision.


"I want to build a tool for audio and voice. Imagine something like Twilio but for creative applications. And super simple to use without knowing how to code."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

She talks about why existing options are too expensive, have limited capabilities for interface design, have poor audio quality, and require coding knowledge.


"Every customer has a switchboard. And they can build the flow of how they want their voice app to function."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

She shares scenarios on how people would want to use this.


"For example, companies that want to build voice-based experiences with live actors. Or connect people to talk about the thing in front of them."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

You discuss more details.


"I really want to make tools for easy-to-build voice-chat apps. I'm also in the middle of finding the right engineer who would be a great cofounder."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

You ask about her search for a cofounder.


"I'm trying to cast a wide net to see who's out there. And it really has to feel like the right collaboration."


August 15, 2021

Today's match


db

00:00

CONNECTED

You chat enthusiastically about places she can look. You wonder if it's someone you know.


"Hey I gotta be somewhere soon! But it was really great talking with you."



That was so cool!

You feel like you entered a portal into another person's world. You want to visit the tunnels!

You dwell more on the writer and her canoe. Your mind starts buzzing about this voice thing.

You remember that Dialup is based in San Francisco and wonder if you could get in touch.



You totally forget to reach out.

A few weeks go by and you continue using Dialup. You get great relationship advice from a nuclear physicist in Texas. You talk to a Sudanese refugee living in France about his plan to start a pizza restaurant.

At 6:30pm, your phone rings again. This time it says "Tarot" with a tiny icon of a crystal ball.



This is a mysterious floppy disk. In bright graphics it says "Cofounder Quest". You don't know what to do with it, but it looks interesting.


You're in Danielle's office.

"I'm just configuring the full moon call in Tokyo. One sec!"

You see a person behind a monitor displaying time zones and symbols. You see familiar objects around the room. There's a neon sign that says "Distance Tarot". Then Danielle turns to you.



You introduce yourself.

As you're talking, you realize you've read about Danielle's work in the Observer!

"I have a lot of stuff on the internet."



You keep talking.

You tell Danielle about the experiences you've had on Dialup.

"Whoa, you talked to a Sudanese refugee who's starting a pizza restaurant? I love getting these glimpses."



You ask about the future.

Danielle explains a vision of a larger company.

"What if Dialup was just one example of an experience you can build on a larger platform?"



You seem curious.

Danielle shares the possibilities of this tool.

"Imagine something like Twilio but for creative applications and super simple to use without knowing how to code."



You ask lots of questions.

She talks about why existing options are too expensive, have limited capabilities for interface design, have poor audio quality, and require coding knowledge.

"Every customer has a switchboard and they can build a flow for their voice app."



She shares scenarios.

You drink some water.

"For example, companies that want to build voice-based experiences with live actors. Or connect people to talk about the thing in front of them."



You're imagining the product.

Danielle elaborates.

"I really want to make tools for easy-to-build voice-chat apps. Something I'm also in the middle of is finding the right engineer who would be a great cofounder."



You ask about her search.

Danielle gestures.

"Yeah! I'm trying to cast a wide net to see who's out there. And it really has to feel like the right collaboration."



You have so many questions.

You realize nobody has built something quite like this. A platform for building voice experiences, but with a creative spin.

You remember something.



Whoa!

Your mind is spinning from that call. You realize nobody has built something quite like this. A platform that's for building voice experiences, but with a creative spin.

You remember something.



You reach into your inventory.

The mysterious floppy disk! It's so weirdly relevant. “Cofounder Quest". You try thinking of a way to load it. You realize there's a floppy drive on this old iMac you have in a closet.

You lug out the computer and it powers on.



You reach into your inventory.

You pull out the mysterious floppy disk. It seems weirdly relevant. The label shimmers.

You explain how you ended up with this, but have no idea what's on it.

Danielle points to a shelf.

"Cofounder Quest? I do actually have a floppy reader."



Success!


Please don't make illegal copies of this game.


*Whirrr*

The floppy disk loads successfully! You look into its depths.



Welcome to Cofounder Quest.


You're shown a vision! You see a software engineer beginning an adventure, working with Danielle on a thriving company that serves millions of people.

Then you learn that to reach this person, Danielle must travel through the lands of internet forums, Hacker News, word of mouth, and warm introductions to get there.

Bravely, you set off to help Danielle find them.



The floppy disk loads successfully! The disk whirs.


Achievement Unlocked!: Squirrel Calls

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