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Episode #8 - Evan Davies - Keeping it all together at work with Coda.
July 15, 2020
Podcast

Episode #8 - Evan Davies - Keeping it all together at work with Coda.

Coda

Evan Davies is the Head of Solutions, Partnerships, Marketing, and Brand at Coda

Prior to joining Coda Evan was the founding team member of Box Consulting's Austin team, growing to 11 consultants managing over 400 deployment projects. He directly sold over $1.5M in consulting work, doubling attach rates to licensing deals and tripling bookings YoY.

Prior to that was at Accenture where he designed and implemented trading operations and analytics products for Fortune Global 500 clients. Evan has a degree in Civil Engineering.

Today Ben & Evan talk all things Coda, Partnerships and marketing solutions.

Evan Davies - Stories Podcast-MP3 for Audio Podcasting

Sun, 4/26 5:38PM • 43:47


SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, tools, build, code, coda, company, systems, team, product, feel, manage, solution, bunch, spreadsheets, synthesize, day, helping, customers, remote, started


SPEAKERS

Evan, Ben Tossell


Ben Tossell  00:00



Evan  00:26

Yeah, likewise, in my my new living room. Yeah, I'm Evan Evan Davies, I've, I've been at Kota for about three years now. I run our solutions, partnerships and marketing teams, which is, broadly speaking, all the ways that we kind of get the word out about coda to the masses, but also how we think about developing compelling solutions on the products that that help people get jobs done. I started at the company actually when we were in stealth mode. So back back at that point, we had a few customers, and we're still kind of working through the infrastructure of the product. And so one of my first jobs was kind of getting, getting our first customers on boarded, including some of the ones that are pretty prominently featured throughout our site. And then has shifted over time to kind of focus more on the marketing and outbound side of things. Before that I was at box for a number of years actually running an internal professional services team. We are part of what's called box consulting. So a lot of our primary job was once boxes sold into a customer, how do we make sure they're as successful the product as possible within the shortest period of time? And then before that is in actual traditional professional services, working at Accenture. So I'd say most of my career has been in customer engagement and evangelism and trying to try to help people make the most out of their investments and tools.


Ben Tossell  01:58

Yeah, I mean, I've seen that like To me, like, customer success seems to be more important than like, customer acquisition. Like if you lose, yeah, I think I think I've stolen that from somewhere and must have heard it. Talk about what's happened, just sort of lift that and set myself. Yeah, we hired mail recently who's doing customer success for us. And it's just like, you can just see all the ways that other people talking to other people about how they're using things. And that's how, like, I see a bunch of product, people who run no good tools or any company, seeing other people use that product is like, that's where they find a lot of use cases from. And they realize, Oh, yeah, you can use this to do that thing. And I never even knew that myself. Yeah,


Evan  02:48

people people don't realize that important. Like, I think historically, customer success is somewhat of a long time ago was kind of on the same footing. It's just like customer support. Like how do you handle requests from customers to help? And then over time, like the discipline may partially gainsight codifying it a little bit. But But I think the discipline being more about how do you grow and and, and Manage Accounts once they've once they've purchased your products, but I think like, ultimately, being able to understand your customer super deeply and then respond to them and give them both ideas and how you can use the product, but also unblocking their implementations their own tools like people get in their own way when they're trying to get things up and running. And so even the aspiration when you're like on a landing page of a product, you're like, Oh my god, this is so dope. I can't wait to put this in place. And then you encounter the first person on your team or detractor who's like I don't really know why we need this. If you suddenly realize that the job of putting putting the pen to paper on getting a product out there is not is not just about like launching it and giving access to another user and About how do you kind of onboard them? How do you make sure they understand what the use cases are? How do you make sure the company and the teams are ready for what you're trying to sell? And are ready to adapt their process to new to a new tool? I think it's all super important. And frankly, like the most important hires, you can make early days.


Ben Tossell  04:18

Yeah. And do you think with like, the no code type movement coming through? Do you think there's more? Like, it seems like there's a bunch of things you can do? I mean, we struggle with it, in that there's so much we could build so much we could do, we could stack this tool to do this thing. This. There's so many tools and so many different use cases for different things that it's almost difficult to know where to focus and like, if a customer comes to us and says, like, how do I use this for my company? My first question on my reaction is will tell me what you would like to ask me first because I can't Like I get a list of things all day that I've seen other people do. So there's the I think, I don't know how you've seen people come to coder and say the same thing as Okay, well, I can see all the templates, I can see all the things. How does it do this? Or is it more like, have you dealt with the same situation where someone says, Okay, can I like how does it fit with my company? Like, how does it work? How would I do this? I'm on my side. Yeah. It is


Evan  05:30

interesting. I mean, as you know, I mean, Kota. No code is one flavor of how people have experienced coda, but generally speaking, like our positioning in our our goal is to be an all in one doc. So it's, you know, we're blending. We're blending both the flexibility of traditional like doc and spreadsheet tools, but we're also allowing people to experience the power and user user experience UX UI of like modern business software, and in the same space, and so what people can actually build with it is can feel as simple as like writing a doc writing a spec taking notes. But it can mature into something that feels a lot more like a no code solution. So we actually end up we end up seeing all different sides of it like from, from the early stages, people just understanding how to structure their docks most effectively. Like if I'm putting code in place for remote meeting management, I just want to know, like, should I take meetings in this format or this format? What are the trade offs for doing it one way or another. And then the other side, it's, you know, customers who have really big problems and we one of the earliest deployments that that I worked on when we were first in stealth was was with Uber, which is now one of our biggest deployments. As a company and it started with pm and a TPM at the company. We're like, Hey, we're about to do this giant project with hundreds of people involved. This was the latest driver app redesign. And in that process, we're kind of like, Alright, how do we we're going to consolidate a bunch of existing tools like docs, spreadsheets, if you like Trello boards, a few other things. But we also want to make it a really great experience, not just for us as PMS, but also for the engineers who end up having to do the work, as well as the executive team and the marketing teams who have to like receive this work and figure out how to prioritize their launches. And in that we're basically like doing code development. Like we're kind of sitting on the phone with them and kind of helping understand the requirements, take those and translate using our building blocks. But also helping them navigate the the complexities of rolling out a tool like that to a large set of teams. And so they they were like one of the things we helped them understand and help them navigate was all right, we now feel like we have a good solution to this problem. How do you progressively take this in To the various stakeholders who are going to need to use this tool every day and make sure you get by and make sure you've iterated on it enough. such that when you do roll it out, officially, everybody is prepared for it. They're all bought in and they're all ready to start using it effectively. And I think that's like, if I take a big step back and think about what no code generally is doing to the CS side of the house, people are starting to take on more of that function as part of the job being a no code builder. Yeah. Like, I mean, developers, inside of companies take that on when they build a bespoke process. And then they, it's there to enable a team or enable an individual, but at the end of the day, if that person struggles with it, they're the ones who have to help kind of reshape it or make it better or educate them. So I think that's it's going to add workload, but I think it's, I think it ends up being a symbiotic process. It means that you have like a tighter connection. With the teams that you're serving, and frankly, if they do a good job, because it's no code, like the idea is that that starts getting offloaded to the user of the product. It's not about like the developer user relationship anymore. It's about making those that connection much tighter and almost removing that divide all together is kind of the aspiration, at least as we've talked about it.


Ben Tossell  09:22

Yeah. Andy, like in those scenarios with like that evil one specifically is how do you then enable the the the people who who have said yes to coda and yes to the solution? How do you then like help turn them into the champion in the company to make everyone get on board? Is it like, is there actual education of like on premise and other things or is there Do you have any different ways that you do that as a company? Yeah.


Evan  09:56

We've done a little bit of everything, and we were fortunate in that case, we're The main stakeholders we had, at Uber to start were really committed to running that process internally as well. So they did a bunch of individual meetings to get people set up and familiar with the process. We enabled them with like kind of the basic walkthrough of like, if you're going to explain to somebody what this tool is, in a short, a short session as possible, here are the main points you're going to hit, which does depend on the product that they're trying to pitch like for them, it was all that the solution was about taking, you know, a giant list of features and timelines, and then segmenting it for each individual team that was responsible. And then having those teams have ability to flag dependencies to each other, because that was the thing that didn't work before. And like dozens of spreadsheets that no one could notify each other except for sitting in a giant meeting where people flash up their spreadsheet and then have to like look at the read and somehow recognize that they're the ones that are on the hook for something. Yeah. And so so they knew in what they developed, they knew what the main thing is that to communicate. It's like, this is your space. This is your section in the document. here's, here's the table. Here's what these columns mean. And then here's the place where you flag dependency like they're educating on the tool. And the flip side, they're also saying like, by the way, Kota is is a flexible solution that you can kind of shape to your own devices, like whatever your team needs, you can build it into the same space as what we've built for you in advance. And actually, that was like, one insight was, there's a certain amount you want to build in advance for the users, you're onboarding, but then you want to also invite, invite them to contribute. Because if you don't do that second thing, then you're basically locked into the developer user relationship again, which is the thing that no code and all these different tools are trying to disentangle. Whereas if you give them the insight into the thing that they can go and shift and shape Maybe even give them a few examples. Like we rolled out a feature called drag and drop templates partially to do this, which is some people may want to use the full thing some people may just want to like drag a component and then see how it works. And so just make it feel like something they can mess with something they can adjust without impacting everybody else. That was super, super helpful. And then beyond that, that we've we've run I mean, the last couple of years we've run a bunch of different programs with them meetups on sites. We've done trainings for individual teams, knowing knowing which teams are going to be naturally inclined to use a product like this and and take ownership of the of the implementation, engaging those folks early but then also finding folks who have connections to the things that have already been built in the organization. This dock when it gets rolled out was like excessive to hundreds of people. And so a subset of those hundreds, also sakoda and we're like, oh, this is interesting. Like, maybe I should try my own version of this. And so helping those people along as well. So a bunch of different tactics. But


Ben Tossell  13:14

yeah, I think, yeah, it's funny we see similar things in that are like make but obviously isn't necessarily a product, there's a membership aspect with access to education. But that's the thing is, the end goal is pretty much the same, which is, we'll show you a taste of stuff. So that then you, you know, oh, I can use this for this other thing, or I can, like build this other thing. And obviously, with our b2b side of were trying to help figure out what are the things you want to accomplish? And what are the right tools? And how do you stick these together and do it on a training basis? So it's, yes, very aligned with similar things that you're thinking? I wonder if I mean, yeah, I mean, we Talk about no code. Sort of, because we have to do it because it's what the thing has been called. But like, I could sense a bit of hesitation on your side to like address that code is a no code thing, which I completely agree with air table, I would say is the exact same way. I would even say web flow is, I'd say most of these tools are that are that way inclined in thinking. It's not like a no code tool. It's just like, I'm here to help you do that you've got a job to be done. And we're just a tool that does that. And yeah, you don't have to write code to do it. And yeah, but there's just no better way at the moment. For some people who feel like, their only way previously was to have an engineer involved to like, recognize it. That is the thing that they're trying to do. So yeah, I mean, that's, that's what we still have to mention. But I understand that when you were talking then I can see that You're saying, well, we were just trying to get these teams to build these internal tools to help them manage these projects. And previously, you wouldn't think of, like, anything different, but it's just yeah, some people would then mention the no codes. But it's funny how it's all interlinked, but it is just the same thing as Okay, this is the solution we're trying to get to. And yeah, you have to code anything to do this. This middle bit.


Evan  15:26

Yeah, it's, it is interesting that like, I feel like part of it is just the space or the terminology has a little bit of baggage of it's been around for a while. But I think the like main, the main challenges that can sometimes feel narrowing, because one of our observations on the world is that, you know, there are, you know, hundreds, x more makers out there than developers and and the difference is, is that you know, over time, the development Population won't be the ones that speak the language of programming languages. There'll be people who kind of know loosely how to write some Excel formulas. Or maybe there are people who just know how to structure data or to do lists a really specific way. Basically, people who have an perspective or unique opinion on how a process should be run and are able to kind of build some sort of solution to that thing. Whereas like, no code, historically has felt like a, you're still looking towards what the solution is like, at the end of the day, you're hitting, like, create this app, and this app suddenly appears and now it's like a fully fledged thing. It just didn't require code to do it. And in that, in that world, it's still feel somewhat like there's a divide between a developer and somebody who's sitting in a company who's struggling with something because the The end result is building a product and launching a product. Whereas, you know the example I gave with Uber and it's an example we've seen with, like a small business, one of our early customers as a company called Hudson bacon CO, and they are like, it was two folks who were doing a granola building a granola company, but also trying to figure out how to manage the expansion of their operation like hope it was kind of the lead there. And Michelle was somebody who was helping her with the operation side. And they were rapidly expanding the different stores like being featured in Whole Foods. They were rapidly expanding their production schedules, they were hiring kind of workers to help manage that. And their basic problem was was how do we how do we build tools, but also like have to buy Salesforce by NetSuite by all these things and then be on the hook for managing it function while also Like building this business to the ground up and and tying it to like some of the things that are very specific to the way they operate, which like hope had a very specific way. She likes managing her goals for each quarter and each year, things that are motivating to her as opposed to like, she's not like reporting to some senior leadership team or board where she's got to like, format it in a very specific way. It's all about like, how she thinks and how she can incorporate that or tools. And so they ended up basically building all of their kind of everything from inventory management to like timesheet management inside of the production house, like all of that stuff is being built out in Kota. And the whole thing is, they didn't have an end solution fully, like developed. They weren't saying we're gonna build an app for inventory management, they were just like, okay, let's build the inventory management thing. Okay, we have that. Alright, here's my goal. Like, here's a section that has all my goals for this year. Okay, maybe I can tie those things together so I can measure progress together. My goals. Alright, now that I have that, what can I do? Well, now I can take that and synthesize it into what my forecast is for sales like so now I can actually see what Whole Foods is going to need for me in the next XYZ periods. Oh, now I can actually identify opportunities for which granola flavors are actually being sold the most in certain locations and make sure to optimize for that. And so it's like, it kind of never ends, like the development is meant to be evolution over time. And so the idea that, like, previously no codes about building without code, but you're building a solution that you launch is, right now. It's like, how do I solve a problem? And how do I let that solution kind of mature over time and become, you know, it's always the best version of that solution. It's never like I build it and then there's so much stuff I don't use and there's some stuff I do use and then eventually I upgrade it and that kind of thing.


Ben Tossell  19:56

Same is traditional products like everything is digital Like, new features, new things, new use cases, or whatever it is, and I think with probably that use case, as with a bunch of others, is that people are thinking what was the first thing I really want to get off my plate or like automate or save a bunch of my time because I'm just spending hours like on calls or in spreadsheets or trying to do this thing. This task is like a mind numbing thing. I've there must be a better way. And then you see that and see Oh, wait a second. I've got this. I can save like, another hour a day doing this other thing and then looping that in and then that becomes an even bigger, like automation and for allowing you to do the more creative stuff, which I think the no code tools are, like a huge a huge thing in in helping empower people to do that. What, what else do you see in this space? I don't call it a no code space. Big enough space. That's like All that you've seen that has made a real impact on on people using these tools and and doing things at work.


Evan  21:09

Yeah, I mean it's been interesting to see kind of the places where, where these start getting adopted and and then seeing how it expands. Like I think there's one side that is like somewhat obvious, like actually the usage of Zapier, I mean, we've been partners to them for a while, and just actually released a doc build out with Wade, their


Ben Tossell  21:39

CEO,


Evan  21:40

co founder and he basically was using us for it's basically a staff meeting template for remote teams are super cool, but but having worked with them for a while, and actually before I was even at Kota, having used the product. It kind of has some of the aspirations and no code where you can say like, okay, you You can remove inefficiencies in a process by connecting tools together more effectively. But the reality is you would see that those that solution being adopted in very specific, very specific teams or very specific user personas like it would would get involved in some way because even authenticating and managing integration between solutions still requires some of that oversight. You see ops teams using it because they're trying to synthesize a bunch of data sources together. I didn't see it as I, I saw it less regularly in like the ground floor of like teams trying to, to build products to solve for their, for their immediate needs. Like I I ran a team of 12 consultants in Austin, when I was at box and there were a few situations where it was like, Hey, we need to like we need to combine a bunch of reporting from internal systems. With some of the goals, we've set another system with the results of like individual interactions with customers and synthesize that into like a centralized dashboard kind of stuff. And Zapier works somewhat well for that, but but I was still I still found myself in spreadsheets more often because it was like, it just felt very natural. And I could quickly iterate on those things. But I've seen I've seen now Zapier, start expanding into other markets where other people like now feel much more comfortable because the language is somewhat unknown quantity before it felt like integrating tools. That's like a big thing. But now that people are feeling much more comfortable and dexterous, around digital tools, they're kind of like, Oh, this thing actually connects like a forum to a spreadsheet into another thing into another thing and I can I can use it really simply. I think with Kota like there's this is like, I mean, this is the classic like Crossing the Chasm stuff like we've seen a bunch of early adopters, some of whom were obvious, like, ops people and folks with a bit of technical skill but, but now, like product managers were one of the first groups that really started taking advantage of it. And many of them are, you know, able to kind of speak the language of different technology, but they're also people who design process and design tools as their main job. And so like they, they were kind of gravitating towards these places where you can drive efficiency into a process and things like that. But then the next the next phase of that is like, what their, what their counterparts are, what their teams end up doing. Like I think people when we really see this successful is when we see people tying even their personal productivity systems into the overarching team. And that started happening more and more, were like, you know, we We all have our to do list, philosophy, methodology, whatever. And I think some people have an aspiration of like, oh, how do I tie my actual work process to my individual list, but those have always felt so much so starkly divided in my mind at least. Like I'm not gonna, I'm not going to showcase all of my teams. Like, I'm not going to integrate all of my JIRA data and all of my GitHub, prs and stuff into one place. But now we're starting to see more people invest in that because they recognize that if it's all in the same spot, and I can actually create these really efficient systems. That's that I think is where it's starting to get really interesting is where the obvious early adopters were are translating to these other teams that are kind of building systems from the ground up to solve for their personal cases as much as their teams.


Ben Tossell  25:51

Yeah, for sure. And I think the more people keep on saying it's a bunch of services probably going to sound repetitive but it's slike you don't know what you don't know. And then when you start learning these things or learning these we do these things, you start thinking, Oh, I can actually link this thing. Oh, I can do yeah, like you said my personal stuff and, and you can build systems and everything's always about optimizing in some some shape or form whether it's work or, or personal. Do you think there's what


Evan  26:23

I was just gonna say like when it starts feeling like it's when it when it crosses from being like, I could do this but like, Why? To the like, I think people's thinking starts changing a bit with these tools. I got the personal side, I've been building a lot more in that realms, like do things that help unblock media today, and I recently did a YouTube video about my to do list system. And it's really like it's a really straightforward system.


Ben Tossell  26:54

Up until


Evan  26:56

I wouldn't say even up until recently, I haven't considered reconsidered. doing anything with, with like, I'd still like pen and paper for a long time. But I realized like just taking a step back and thinking a little bit, taking a harder look at my personal productivity and how I managed my day I recognize like pretty obvious problems that I just wasn't solving. I was just kind of punting them because I didn't feel like there's an easy way to solve them. But like the obvious ones to me were one I always commit to way too many things during the day and then at the end of the day, I feel like crap because I'm like looking at this giant list of things. I have three checkboxes and I have 20 other things that just I'm like rip up the page and go the next day. And I would like calendar block my calendar every single day but I would do this manually and it wouldn't tie to the thing I have on the piece of paper necessarily so like how could I possibly get all the work done? And so I just built this little thing which is like a to do list but included, you know, estimated amount of time included. Did a way for me to flag one of the other problems was like managing energy, like I would just put a bunch of like grindy tasks in a row and just like try to go through all of them and at the end of the node, you know, I would just abandon ship at some point it'll because I can't keep my energy was so low flagging at the at the middle point. So I had like a little thing to say like which things are going to build my energy versus lower my energy,


Ben Tossell  28:26

and then a simple way of like,


Evan  28:28

putting them into my calendar automatically. And that's like, dramatically changed the way that I think about my daily list like I now think about how much time I actually have and I only slot thing is to that amount of time and everything else is just kind of backlogged. And that's helped me kind of just think very differently about my days and feel a lot more productive and, and that wouldn't have been something I would have addressed because now my brain is rewired to start thinking about like, Okay, what are other places Where I'm, I am actually struggling with something, but I haven't acknowledged it because I've just accepted it. And I think that's like one of the really cool things that no code and these types of technologies are letting people do is they're now thinking a little bit more concretely about what they can solve and don't feel hindered by technology or some lack of knowledge about, you know, the industry.


Ben Tossell  29:23

Yeah, exactly. It's like a way of unlocking things and say, Well, how can I unlock the fact that I don't like this situation or something's happening far too often that I'm just like, I hate this. This is terrible. And I think I've done it a bunch of times over the years of a re trying a different like calendar system. I've said, I've tried to time block stuff. I've tried just doing calls on a Tuesday afternoon, and then like, no others, and then obviously, things change in life. But so I don't think I've got that system, no matter how How much no code stuff I know and how much stuff I automate, and how once we try and teach this stuff, I'm actually quite inefficient with my personal thing I think and I think it may be because of transitioning to like, from being just like a maker when I wake up and think I'll make a tutorial about coda today or other thing today to like, Okay, we've got like a team of six, they allow me for certain things is like seven processes we need in place, we need to have like, operational things. And yeah, for us, and for me, especially is trying to figure out the systems and it seems like a lot of trial and error and looking at other people's things and thinking Oh, how can I like that system? How do I adopt that and just like, put down to mine will that work for me? and tweaking it but yeah, like learning all these things, these tools helps you think that way and think okay, well, I know that Evans got a really good To do listing of watches YouTube video and like, try and test some of those things out. And in today's world, if people are listening from the future, this is when we're in the time of this global pandemic, which is just going crazy. And everyone's talking about working from home and is 300 million guides to work from work remotely. And all these people are talking about how to, like, do this thing. I mean, for me, I've been working remotely for four or five years. So I mean, I'm self isolated, as as it's not much different for me day to day, but it's, it's like, it's interesting to see how many people this is a huge shift for them, or even if it's not a huge shift. It's like it's a big enough shift for people that they need now new systems they need new things, a new tools ways to deal with working from home and, and connecting with people and having that time to structure their day and things. So have you seen anything? Especially Yeah, the last week sprung up with or people are building encoder to help themselves or even, there's a lot of like humanitarianism going on where everyone's helping everyone else and trying to build things there. So if you What have you seen? Interesting there?


Evan  32:24

Yeah, it's definitely been a very strange couple of weeks. I mean, we, as a company, we will move to remote at the end of last week and actually are CEO co founder shear had actually was building basically trying to synthesize a bunch of different sources of information to decide like, Okay, what do we actually think the impact of this is going to be? is a separate note, it feels like it's really hard to make decisions around dramatic decisions like moving the company 100% remote, we've been we've managed multiple offices and had a remote team since we started but we've not been fully remote in that way. And so we made the call to do it. And then shortly thereafter, San Francisco put in place the shelter in place. So I've been in homes last few days were like their expectation is you're not, you're not really going outside except to manage your sanity and exercise. So so it's definitely a very strange time. I think like,


Ben Tossell  33:30

I think the impact


Evan  33:32

there's a positive side of it. And a negative side of the negative side of it is is this is a pretty dramatic shift for a lot of companies. And the amount of work it takes to be a remote employee and to set up remote systems is a is a big undertaking. It is. You know, it's not just about how do you like make sure you use zoom effectively zoom is obviously like a great tool for that. But it's how do you set up the culture such that it supports supports the usage of those tools. Like even the simple thing of like muting and unmuting during zoom calls and how you telegraph you want to say something and all kinds of stuff. Like that's not a natural thing for people who are used to synchronous communication.


Ben Tossell  34:14

No. And it's like, this is one of those. It's almost the worst time for everyone to try and see the benefit of remote work where you just like, okay, quick, everyone get home and then just put on zoom and enable to do job from home. Whereas Yeah, remote work has developed over the years slowly but surely, I think it was on purpose. Because Yeah, people are figuring out how to do it effectively. There's not just like you said, you go home and that's that. It's more of a like, if you ever have a Twitter conversation with someone you don't know if they're like completely having a massive go at you or whether they're joking or whether


Evan  34:55

or not no visual cues or anything


Ben Tossell  34:59

stupid to like, slightly, I'm struggling at the moment, were thinking, Okay, I'll speak to so like one person on my team every day on the phone while zoom and then someone else on the team, like does something and I'm like, Yeah, but that's what we're like that's for the site we have now. But this is what we're building in like three months time, but how? How would they know if I haven't told him?


35:23

Like, yeah,


Ben Tossell  35:24

but over communicate so much. And I had this product where you wake up and you'd be like, I don't know, anything that happened. Like no one said anything. How weird this whole slack generation have, you got to try and do that. So we're trying to put in a bunch of a bunch of processes too. But yeah, I mean,


Evan  35:44

the the positive side of this, which I've seen, there's a I forget what who the who quoted this, but like that this will accelerate the progress towards remote as as a as a default for many companies, but as a really strongly support Did norm by, you know, five to 10 years. And that means like, it's not just supporting flexible work environments for people who need it. But it's also about developing systems that scale in that environment. And then, frankly, scale with digital tools like slack and others where, you know, we're working with us, like the number of times where I'm like slacking with somebody who's literally sitting next to me. And I'm like, Alright, what's happening right now? Like, those systems just don't like this is a forcing function for those systems to feel really robust and to match kind of company culture needs. I mean, your original question around like what we've seen being built, I mean, we've, like I said, we've been remote for a long time. And so a lot of the tools that we've used internally have kind of been ones that have been saving graces for us as we've made the full transition. I'd say like it really started. It means the most obvious impacts how we are meeting culture works. We've always had A few systems and inside it I mean we run the entire company on coda but we've we've had these systems of inclusive meeting structure where thing everything from how you synthesize and capture topics from the broader team so that everyone has an opportunity to flag things they want to talk about two ways that they can upvote or downvote those topics so that we only focus on talking about the most important thing in the time allotted to how we capture team sentiment. We have this like little sentiment drag and drop template that lets you quickly flag it with a with an emoji slash icon kind of slider like how you're feeling accompany my team we do coffee cups, so we know how, how on it we are on Monday morning. And, and taking those things to even another level of like, Can we infuse other fun or compelling ways for the team to understand like each other better and each individual's like current mental state like we have One of the guys on the team Justin, who was running our team kickoff this week, added this column that we have this pack for Spotify, where you can integrate song information. And he just added this column. So our, our sentiment table and and so people just dropped in the song they were currently listening to, which is just it's like, we spent basically 15 minutes, chatting about like, why they were listening to that, like how it was helping them through this time, like it, like it just like felt much more human than just like, what's the status? What's the stand up? Like? Those are the like first things people do is like, how are we going to manage the stand up meeting, but the reality is you like you want to make it a more human interaction. So we've we've had those types of tools for a while. And then we've seen the community start developing a bunch of those, like iterations of those both existing customers who are now adapting and then they're trying to figure out how to take their existing docks and create those systems, those meetings and structures. But also new customers who are showing up who are basically trying to figure out how to connect their teams more effectively. But I do I've been personally much more heartened by the, just the outpouring of support in the community. And there and basically creating tools for community for the community, you engage with each other. Internally, we had a guy Joe, who, when his school was led out, and he was basically, you know, his, his daughter was home and he was managing across the entire school system, like how do we better connect and offer resources and support to folks in school and created this system by like matching people's needs with people's skills and abilities. And then we saw, like the next day, this this woman, Alex, Alexandra Samuel, who is a Wall Street Journal, reporter technologist, she also has been using code for a while and basically built this She lives in Vancouver built this tool to connect people who are, you know, I need someone I need help getting groceries, and somebody who's like, Well, I have a car and connecting those people together, and has since been kind of adopted by a bunch of different people in Vancouver. She's been working with nonprofits and a few others to kind of kind of get the word out and also help strategize around ways to connect people who are in need with with people who have skills and who aren't sick and who are able to kind of to jump in. So that That, to me has been incredibly heartwarming. And I imagine we'll see a lot more of those social good kind of tools being built because, frankly, people people just need to feel more connected than ever. And also we need to figure out how to support the services that are, frankly, we're all nervous about the overwhelming nature of the pandemic and so Yeah, that that has been been great to see.


Ben Tossell  41:04

Yes, it's crazy to see how much a certain invite, like a certain situation will push people to do extraordinary things. And it's nice to know that actually, there's still like delightful, extraordinary things that people do. And uses even using these tools, I've seen a bunch of things on a bunch of different sites using different like, no code, things that you can spin up so quickly, which I think is is such a great advocate for this space right now. And that you can build these like small tools to match people without needing to be a technical, technically minded person. Yeah, this conversations been awesome. I've really enjoyed it. And if there's anything else you wanted to talk about right now we can we can do that. Then locally, with whatever you're working on right now and close it up. Yeah. I mean, we've


Evan  42:01

Yeah, as I mentioned, a lot of our focus over the last few weeks has been kind of responding to the needs of the community right now. I'd say like one of the things we're we're definitely offering as much support as people are, are needing at this point. So we've we're setting up a few channels through which people can request our help building solutions to some of the problems they may have. And I'd say a lot of the publishing features we recently launched, which has been have been helpful ways of people getting the word out and being able to create these kind of micro sites basically have either helpful information or tools that people can use to, to unblock either their productivity as a team, but also their ability to serve their community more effectively. And so we're, if folks email us at help@coda.io we're we're super open to helping people build during this time, And yeah, well, we'll be posting more information shortly to on, on how we're kind of building capabilities into the product to make it a lot more effective for folks who are who are trying to navigate the change. But yeah, that that those are the main main things that we're spending focus on right now.


Ben Tossell  43:18

Awesome. Well, I really appreciate your time. And you're looking forward to the maker pad and coda relationship carry on and putting out some stuff with you guys. Yeah, looking forward to it. Thanks so much.


43:30

Yeah, super excited for it.


Ben Tossell  43:31

Thanks for having me. Thanks so much for listening. You can find us online at maker pad.co or on Twitter at make that we'd love to hear if you enjoyed this episode, and what we do next



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