(6/28) A tool that helps product managers, marketing and customer-facing teams work better together

Plus great startup ideas & advice from Altos Ventures, Andreas Klinger (On Deck), Peter Yang (Reddit) and more!

Welcome to the 4th edition of the Geeks Of The Valley Newsletter where we share our written memo on startups that have yet to raise any funding or announce it publicly, new startup ideas from some of the most original minds in tech and VC’s, and a must-read tactical advice from founders/VC’s that have built and invested in great companies.

🏢 Venture Insights

👥 Team

  • Jassim Latif: Previously Director of Product & Strategic Partnerships @ Slack, Director of BD @ BitGo (backed by Redpoint and Founders Fund), EiR @ Social Capital, various roles @ Google.

  • Sachin Ranchod: Previously Senior PM @ Slack, Head of BD, EMEA @ Github.

  • Duretti Hirpa: Previously Staff engineer @ Mailchimp, Senior backend engineer @ Slack, Engineer @ Fastly (Series F, IPO-ed).

The Sparks 

  • The rise of the cross-functional collaborative platform.

5-10 years ago was the moment where we saw the rise of the creation of collaborative SaaS tools that cater to a specific team (ie: design - Figma, programming - Github, communication - Slack). But today, the increasing complexity of products and services forces companies to take a “horizontal” approaches to provide value for customers. Hence, it leads to an increase in the need for collaboration across teams to cut across the traditional model of functioning silos. Another good example t with a narrower focus is jam.dev, a collaboration tool for product teams (designer, developer, PM, etc..) which turns any website into a collaborative doc.

  • A well-blended experienced team.

Imagine the vast experience needed in building a product team at one of the very integral communication platform companies of this decade, combined with deep technical expertise in developing an all-in-one integrated marketing tool. Having the highest revenue as for 2019 compared to their other competitors. Lastly not forgetting the go-to person that was responsible for heading the business activity for Microsoft’s 3rd largest acquisition till date. Boom!

  • “Sell the innovation, not the product”.

Love this quote by Stewart Butterfield, which I believe also applies to Zipper. Given the Slack DNA residing inside the 3 co-founders, they have successfully changed the way a lot of people think about communication. Their ability to capture a previously saturated market with numerous enterprise players had opened up the eyes of many VCs and people alike. And the advancement of technology made it possible to shorten the new feature launch cycle to as short as a week instead of months. This made it crucial for teams to sync in every aspect of the decision that “making decisions together, faster and better” is the vision that they’re selling.

Note: This analysis was originally written in December 2020. More details can be found here.

💡 Startup Ideas

  1. Bani Singh, Founder @ Waitlist.

  2. Taylor Majewski, Columnist @ Every.

  3. Andreas Klinger, CTO @ On Deck.

    📚 Top 5 Tactical Advice..

    1. Quick tips for hiring remotely - By Andreas Klinger

    2. Look for ‘Despite Moments’ as you search for ‘Product Market Fit’ - by Connor Murphy

    3. Beyond Competitive Advantage - By Altos Ventures

    4. Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing - By Andrew Chen

    5. How can you build a community to build better products? - By Peter Yang

🎙️ Episode Of The Week

Listen here

Rabeel is the Founder and CEO of Sarmayacar, the leading VC firm in Pakistan, and a Kauffman Fellow. He currently serves on the boards of Bykea, Dawaai, ProCheck and Patari. Prior to his return to Pakistan in 2018, Rabeel spent a decade in London, working as Vice President of private equity at GIC (Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund), after starting his career as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley. 

Rabeel graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was also the President of the International Students Association for two years.

Thanks for reading! See you next week, geeks 👋

If you know anyone that you’d like to be featured in our podcast, feel free to send a note to geeks@geeksofthevalley.com!

This article was edited by Roshan