Tools I Use Daily With Interesting Founding Stories
I love great stories behind great tools, products, or meals.
Slack is a product that was born from a game, Glitch, that failed.
It was an internal communications app that was created while building Glitch. I encourage listening to the story in the Master of Scale podcast.
It started as a dream out of frustration. Eric Yuan, the founder of Zoom, took a ten-hour train ride to visit his girlfriend regularly.
"I detested those rides and used to imagine other ways I could visit my girlfriend without traveling — those daydreams eventually became the basis for Zoom," Eric said.
While at Cisco, he talked to clients and realized that there should be a better product to conduct video conf meetings. He left Cisco to start Zoom.
Notion nearly died. It was built on a suboptimal stack. I will tell the story another day.
Loom started as a usability test app that had no traction. The founders pivoted 4-5 times in 7 months. One of the pivots was an extension that helped people record feedback videos showing their screens and face.
And Loom was born.
Crowdsourcing corrections and grammar checks.
Grammarly's success story has been eight years in the making.
The initial product was sold to universities to help English language learners write better. They then realized that half their users were outside of academia.
They pivoted from the enterprise model to the consumer model.
The story is being written.