Description: Teambit helps leaders to understand, recognize and develop their team with regular feedback
Years: 2016 - 2018
Role: Co-founder (design, product, marketing, customer development)
Link: https://teambit.io (deprecated)
Facing the problem for the first time
Back in 2013, I was one of the co-founders behind Loum - a social network for local communities (you can think of it as Facebook Groups for colleges and dorms).
As first-time founders, running a remote team of nine, we lacked a good understanding of things like team engagement and performance development.
For the time being, we've somewhat managed with regular chats and Google Docs, but we thought there should be a better way.
And so with Loum dead a few years later, my co-founder, and I decided to look at that problem in earnest.
Digging into the problem
Our exploration started with extensive research to understand the underlying reasons behind disengagement. To do that, I read loads of content, emailed tens of thought leaders and interviewed 20+ people (ICs, managers, HRs).
Some of the things I worked through
In all of that research, regular feedback came up time and again as a key to understanding what worked and what needed improvement.
And so at the start of 2016, we started exploring how to make feedback a daily habit. I was focused on design, product, and marketing, while my co-founder led the engineering work.
As we worked on Teambit in our spare time, this turned into a pretty long journey. Eventually, in July of 2017, we launched publicly.
Feedback, in all its forms, was at the core of the product. Whether it was gathered through regular engagement surveys, performance reviews or given unsolicitedly, Teambit ensured it was in the same place.
Feedback, request and survey pages
Moreover, by integrating with other tools the team used, Teambit made it much easier for people to request and give that feedback in context.
Examples of how integrations and templates helped to make feedback more streamlined and contextual
Following the launch, we continued iterating on the product releasing multiple updates and improvements.
The latest version of the product
Learning the lessons
Unfortunately, running Teambit as a two-person, part-time team, didn’t prove to be sustainable. In the middle of 2018, with our revenue flattening, we decided to pull the plug on the product.
Looking back on those three years, there were many mistakes we’ve made. But the most crucial one was in our product strategy.
We entered a market, on one end dominated by sophisticated platforms that solve many aspects of the problem and, on the other end saturated by simple Slack bots that do one tiny thing well. Our strategy was to become a product that would fill the gap in the middle, yet adoption proved to be a struggle.
Despite mistakes, working on Teambit allowed me to deeply understand the workflows, challenges, and needs of many leaders, and build a product to help a number of them build better teams.