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Jason Chen
2/7/2018

A worthy home for your team’s knowledge

Introducing Slab

TL;DR

We are reinventing how teams share and retain knowledge with Slab and have raised a $2.2M seed round. Check us out at slab.com for early access.

introduction screenshot

Storytime

After my last company was acquired by Salesforce, a daunting task was integrating our product and technology into the mothership. One of the challenges was moving off of Amazon S3 and onto Salesforce’s internal file infrastructure. The problem was no one knew how it worked — which was surprising because we were a part of the team that was responsible for this stack. Surely it would not take too many hops in the coworker network to get to answers.

It took all the access we were privileged to as acquired founders, through two SVPs and one CTO, to finally track down an original team member that built the infrastructure. He didn’t have to tell us much — he had actually carefully and thoroughly documented not only the API but also the architectural design and tradeoffs! This trove of knowledge was all hidden in a Google Doc that the team had neglected to share with the hundreds of new engineers that have since joined the company.

Knowledge as a competitive advantage

Every company, small and large, faces the challenge of sharing and retaining knowledge when teammates join or move on. Many will at some point adopt a knowledge base, wiki, or intranet in an attempt to solve this. But for most, the solution breaks down and becomes a place where information goes to die. Progressive companies like Google and Twitter recognize this danger and make concerted efforts to prevent such an outcome. But smaller and less bleeding edge companies find such efforts too difficult. They simply accept that their employees will operate on missing or outdated information and lose access to knowledge and expertise when personnel changes.

To remain competitive today, teams must constantly be learning — deliberately seeking and obtaining new knowledge, sharing insights and ideas with teammates, and documenting discoveries to retain their hard earned efforts. In this Information Age, the ability to transfer and retain knowledge defines a team’s competitive advantage. The right software can help every team thrive in competition and make every workplace a source of learning and growth.

Introducing Slab

Slab’s mission is to build a worthy home for your team’s most valuable knowledge. Founded by a seasoned team of builders and operators, we have experienced first hand challenges scaling coordination and collaboration at hyper-growth companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Zenefits.

The foundation starts with a knowledge base that your team will actually want to use. The likes of Github and Slack have demonstrated how useful — even delightful — productivity software can be. Slab brings the same level of fanatical attention to the user experience. One of the most demanding parts of this experience is the editor, and our open source editor Quill has become the modern standard, with Slack themselves, and others like Asana and LinkedIn relying on it in their user facing production products.

Equally crucial is reliably providing answers to what you are looking for. Slab brings the state of the art in search, now optimized to near-perfection in the consumer world, into the enterprise. With a domain specific corpus, near-perfect readership analytics and author authority, all packaged in a structured and easily partitioned form, Slab can bring to the workplace a search relevancy experience that would surpass even the best in the consumer world.

Building the change we want to see in the world

A common entrepreneurial framework is to live in the future and build what is missing. Lacking the ability to predict the future, we imagine what we desire in the world instead.

We aspire for a future where the workplace is an unending source of learning and growth. Young graduates would join companies solely for their access to valuable knowledge and learning potential. Through employers, education would continue throughout adulthood in all professions creating a robust workforce that can seamlessly adapt to tectonic shifts in markets and technology.

Today, Slab is taking the first big step. We are excited to announce our seed funding of $2.2M, with Matrix Partners, CRV and NEA joining us on our mission. We welcome you to be a part of our journey and sign up for early access at Slab.

Slab team (left to right) James Hsi, Jason Chen, Chengyin Liu, and Anvisha Pai Slab team (left to right) James Hsi, Jason Chen, Chengyin Liu, and Anvisha Pai

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