Metacast: Behind the Scenes
Metacast: Behind the Scenes
#16: We're back!

#16: We're back!

A massive update since March

In this issue

We took a forced break from the podcast and the newsletter due to travels and sickness. Now, we’re back!

Here are a few snippets of what we’ve been up to in the last few weeks!

🎙️ You can also listen to the expanded discussion of these topics on our podcast on Metacast, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or watch us on YouTube.

TikTok-ification of release notes

Since we started our subreddit, we’ve been experimenting with release notes. You might have seen the text+images updates like this one. They were fairly tedious to produce and not always easy to follow, so we started publishing release notes in a short video format.

Check out the quick walkthrough of new features in Metacast v0.68 (our latest open beta version). A new video for 0.69 is coming shortly!

YC Application

Applying to YC is becoming a tradition for us. We’ve just applied for the third time!

The process of rewriting the application makes our thinking crisper and helps us tighten the value proposition . Writing the application is valuable in itself, even if we don’t submit it. Also, it’s always fun to hang out with Arnab to record the founders video in person!

We’re not sharing our founders’ video because there’s too much detail about our roadmap, but here’s the 3-minute demo we submitted with the YC S24 batch application.


The full cast of Metacast met up in Florida in-person for the first time!

The three of us worked together at AWS before, so it’s not the first time we meet, but it was the first full-team meetup as a Metacast team.

We got a lot done: fixed a problem that haunted us for a few months (see the next snippet), got on the same page about app subscriptions, chatted about pricing and money, etc. We also had a dinner, rode bikes, and watched alligators in the Everglades national park. It was fun!

But it’s also very tiresome to always be around other people! IMO, the optimal ratio of in-person days to WFH days is 9:1, or 1 day every two weeks.

I recommend listening to the podcast starting at 15:40 where we reflect on what it’s like working in person.

Make Android cool again

Houston, we had a problem.

Both iPhones and Androids dreamed of electric sheep were hot to the touch when using Metacast. The issue was notoriously hard to reproduce. Eventually, we fixed the bug on iOS but Androids kept getting hot. We weren’t comfortable charging for the app with this issue, because it was so obviously buggy.

During the offsite, we set a goal to make Android cool again, once and for all. And we made it. I won’t bore you with details. TLDR — a security feature we didn’t need was eating up the precious battery and heating up the device.

We turned it off and voila — Androids are not so hot any more! Not even lukewarm.

We want to thank our beta user Ilya K. who patiently sent us logs, offered advice and tested bugfixes until we figured it out!

Paid subscriptions

We’re getting close to launching publicly. A big dependency for the launch is an ability to charge for premium subscriptions.

Software can’t be free unless one of the following is true:

  • Developers pay for you using the software with VC money

  • Big customers (“whales”) pay for the usage smaller customers (this is done in the hope that some smaller fish will grow into whales… why would anyone believe a fish can become a mammal? some do though, but it’s very rare)

  • Developers sell your data to third parties

  • Ads are all over the app

We will explore an ad-supported model, but we hate ads and so does pretty much everyone. I’m yet to meet someone (not working in ads) who’d be like — “I love when ads cover 60% of the screen. They help me discover new products.” Ads are annoying.

At launch, we’ll have just one premium tier that includes all features of the app. We’ll have special pricing for our beta users, so if you’re not on the beta yet, try it out at

We’re in the process of configuring paid subscriptions with RevenueCat, a service that makes implementation of subscriptions across platforms less complicated. They take 1% of your revenue once you cross the $2.5k MRR threshold, which is reasonable at our scale (we’re a small fish, not even a dolphin yet).

We’ll probably write a blog about this at some point. Stay tuned.

New website!

We’ve launched a new website at It’s more than just a landing page with links to Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Now, when you share episodes from Metacast, the links will open in the browser if you don’t have an app installed.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, we also added links to Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube. The hypothesis is that by making it easier for users to share episodes (regardless of whether the recipient has Metacast), we’re building a viral loop back into the app.

There are still a few rough edges, but check it out!

The site is built on Next.js and hosted on Vercel. We’re also implementing a blog with Outstatic where we’ll eventually be writing more search engine-friendly, long-form content.

The site was built by Jak, a recent grad of Purdue university who first started as our design intern, then became a contractor for the website. We’ll have Jak on the next episode of Metacast: Behind the Scenes.

US corporate taxes

My least favorite part of Metacast is the admin work…

Even though we haven’t launched yet and made just a few hundred dollars in revenue last year, we had to file taxes. Boy, this is expensive! We filed with a tax professional and paid $1,800 for his services.

We could've done taxes with Fondo for $1,450, but I wanted to talk to an actual CPA in person the first time we did it. We used a local tax specialist who previously did my personal returns. It turned out to be a good decision, because I messed up our books (in QuickBooks) due to lack of experience in accounting. The CPA helped rectify those.

In addition to the federal corporate tax filing, we had to pay a $450 franchise tax to the state of Delaware where we’re incorporated. Delaware offers great liability protection — that's why startups choose DE to incorporate — and startups have to pay for the privilege to be incorporated in the state. Fair enough.

Because we have no tangible assets on the balance sheet, we only paid the minimally required $450 for 2023. We used tax prep startup Fondo for the filing, and it cost us just $1 to file.

Read my full post about admin expenses on LinkedIn.

Ad break — have you installed Metacast yet?

Metacast is in open beta and is free to use until we implement the monetization features. Please give it a try and send us feedback. Your support and help means a ton to us! Download Metacast for iOS and Android here.

Bonus content

Check out the new episodes on the Builders Gonna Build podcast:

  • Ep. 5: Interview with The Pragmatic Programmer’s author Dave Thomas

  • Ep. 6: Interview with one and the only Chief Cloud Economist Corey Quinn

  • Ep. 7: Interview with 37signals’ co-founder and CEO Jason Fried

These episodes are re-runs from last year. We’ve just recorded a brand new episode for season 2. Coming out next week!

Follow our journey of building a podcast app Metacast 👇