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Interview with Matt Guay

The future of collaboration is here, but we need a mindset shift

Nimrod PriellCEO, Co-founder of Cord.com
  • Product
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Nimrod Priell, CEO of Cord, joined by Abby Barsky, Head of Marketing and Partnerships, sat down virtually with Matt Guay to chat about the future of collaboration on Capiche’s SaaS Radio Hour.

People already realize the power of collaboration.

Just think of the tools you’re working with daily: SaaS products like Google Docs, Figma, and Pitch have already added collaboration elements to their platforms (hello, Anonymous Muskrat 👀). Software companies know people want it — that’s why they gradually add chat abilities to their products, but it’s usually at a cost.

It doesn't look like anything to me.

“This creates sub-par and inconsistent collaboration experience for the end-user,” said Nimrod. Notes go in separate inboxes, feedback gets lost, teammates cry in frustration.

The way we use multiple tools is way clunkier than it needs to be.

But as it stands, it’s unavoidable – you have to use them all to get your work done.

For example, an email marketer working in Mailchimp may grab copy from Google Docs, designs from Figma, and feedback from Slack to create a campaign back in Mailchimp. We don’t need work to be this excessive.

You already use a lot of apps, and it’s time to connect them for a streamlined workflow. One inbox. One notification to check. Many sighs of relief.

“Switching costs” aren’t in your budget.

The average small business uses over 100 different apps, and Matt shares that Capiche’s four-person team uses over a dozen tools.

Think of all the lost energy, time and brainpower it takes to switch from coding/designing/writing to chatting apps, then back to coding/designing/writing, at least a dozen times per day.

“Every time we switch, we’re losing seconds of our time.” -Nimrod

With Cord, you can stay in the context of what you’re working on to stay in deep work mode.

Cord’s long-term value = streamlined collaboration

Immediate relief = eliminating clunky interactions

Facebook-level solutions inspired Cord.

Nimrod has an extensive engineering background, specifically surrounding chat, productivity, and community (aka peopleware). His tenure as a PM at Facebook inspired much of the vision for Cord.

When Facebook’s development teams kept running duplicate analyses, Nimrod knew the overlap was wasting valuable resources and time. They built a way for related data conversations to integrate across an expansive suite of internal tools.

“With Cord, we’re doing that more broadly,” he said.

And you don’t need a Facebook-sized organization (or budget) to use Cord. Even if you’re using a dozen different SaaS tools for your startup or scale-up, you feel as interconnected as the most productive companies in the Valley.

“You want to have a record of the conversation attached to the context for posterity and clarity. You can access this information when you need it versus looking in a different tool.” - Nimrod

Informational architecture is a lot like Animal Crossing.

Abby gives an unexpected metaphor for how we use tech: “The internet is spatial software—when you’re on the computer, you’re always walking around. We’re walking back and forth like in Animal Crossing.”

Work is the random interactions you have in those spaces, and you want to form memories in specific locations.

It doesn't look like anything to me.

Cord contextualizes your conversation based on what “room” you’re in while you’re on a stroll.

“We’re changing a fundamental habit, like how do we communicate and where do we go?” said Nimrod. It’s the same set of challenges Slack had to go through migrating people from email.

Check out Slack’s 2013 post that Nimrod mentioned, “We Don’t Sell Saddles Here”, about getting the internal team on board.

The future of collaboration is bright

Cord has its company set up for deep work and minimal disruption. There are almost no standing meetings, and Cord is standard across all business functions. As “user zero” itself, the company has a wishlist of future feature releases.

Marketers and product managers are already seeing Cord as a faster way to give feedback to their teams.

“We’re early and just getting started,” said Nimrod. But the innovation is happening, and customers’ needs are paving the way for an even better product.

Nimrod is also inspired by Microsoft’s Fluid Framework that allows users to embed parts of the tool (e.g., Excel data) in the chat. “What if we could do that for our SaaS vendors?”