002: Do Unreasonable Things: David Silverman from Clammr

002: Do Unreasonable Things: David Silverman from Clammr

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by Samantha Johnson

Audio Twitter

David Silverman wanted an audio version of his Twitter feed, and thus, with the help of his co-founder and long-time friend Parviz Parvizi, Clammr was born. Clammr is an app that allows users to listen to 24-second audio clips from all genres, not just from news but from podcasts, music, and magazine outlets as well.


“[Twenty-four seconds is] long enough that it can consistently deliver a valuable nugget of information,” Silverman said.

Before Clammr

Silverman went through a couple of career changes before he founded Clammr with Parvizi.  Silverman’s audio experience stemmed from his time as a band member, but he and Parvizi also started a company that imported ski hats, and their most successful investment was in the startup, Kelvin Slush Natural Co., a company that creates adult slushies mixed with alcohol. After a few years at their blue-chip corporate jobs Silverman and Parvizi decided it was time to launch their own company.

Testing Clammr

“We started doing low-level testing without building anything, so we did things like summarize news articles for each other using the Apple voice memos app,” Silverman said.  “Then we shared it with other people, and they all thought that was better than they expected it to be, and then we started just talking to people: ‘Would you want this product?’”

Growing Clammr

Soon they added technical founders Oren Goldfinger and Ken Ito to the team, along with 10 other employees.  After that, Clammr was being used by podcasters such as David Jackson, who created Clammr Cast and founded the School of Podcasting, and even celebrities like Snoop Dog started picking up the art of creating 24-second audio clips. Clammr is growing, but there’s always an air of uncertainty for Silverman.

David Silverman Clammr
The Clammr Founders: Ken Goldfinger, David Silverman and son, Ken Ito (missing, Parviz Parvizi)


“It’s super high risk, but it’s super high reward,” Silverman said. “That’s sort of a financial truism, but at the same time it is a psychological truism, I think in the context of startups.  It’s definitely not for everybody.”

Definition of Success

Nevertheless, Silverman is confident that his product is going to continue to succeed as the word gets out.

“I wouldn’t define success as just ‘sell the company for x price’ or IPO,” Silverman said. “There could be different ways that I get there to say that we solved this problem, and in so doing we expanded the pie for digital audio meaningfully.”


Link and Credits








Hosts: Mignon Fogarty and Patty Bobek
Guest: David Silverman of Clammr
Mixing and Editing Advice: Nico Colombant
Opening and Closing Music: “Happy Alley” by Kevin Macleod
Background Music: “Shine” from Silverman’s band Looking for Larry.
Sound Effects: http://freesound.org
Beer can opening: Cabeeno Rossley
Highway: Pedaling Prince
Stopwatch: fkurz
Snoop Dogg Launches Merry Jane Clammr: http://www.clammr.com/app/clammr/148726
Snoop Dogg on the Origin of Chronic Clammr: http://www.clammr.com/app/clammr/69137
This podcast is supported through the Reynolds Media Entrepreneurship Chair at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.