As we publish our review of Quip in this weeks SaaScribe, we put some questions to Molly Graham, Quips COO.
Molly is part of the Ex Facebook, Ex Google Alumni that forms the Quip leadership team. Whilst at Facebook, Molly helped develop and lead Facebooks long term Mobile Strategy. In her role as COO for Quip, Molly heads up Sales, Partnerships and Business Development. Here’s what Molly had to say to SaaScribe’s questions:
Are Office Applications and word processing the last/latest bastion for disruption?
We started Quip because we were dismayed by the state of ‘enterprise’ software. The software we use outside of work — like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Twitter — is simple, elegant, and convenient, and, most importantly, integrated with our phones, so we can communicate whether or not we are near a computer.
The software we are forced to use at work is just the opposite.
Most of the software we use at work — whether to submit an expense report or share a document — is tethered to the PC on our desk, a relic of an era when the state of the art was a Nokia flip phone. The user interfaces are frequently barely functional and almost completely devoid of emotion. More often than not, it feels as if you are interacting with a database rather than the other human beings on your team.
Quip, along with a number of other promising young startups, is trying to reverse this trend, and we’re making progress. People’s expectations for software have fundamentally changed in the age of devices like the iPhone. If the software you use at work doesn’t work well, you’ll just download a different app from the App Store and use something else. For the first time, a great product matters a lot more than a great sales team. In this age of mobile apps, enterprise software will be driven by the experiences of the great products we all love as much as they will be driven by IT requirements.
Are you taking on Office 365 & Google for Work?
Our vision for Quip is to reimagine the productivity suite around communication. Our products are not just for creation, but for collaboration, enabling you to interact with your team whether you’re at your desk or on your phone at the airport. With Quip, you work with people, not files.
Quip has adopted a mobile first, tablet first strategy (also supporting desktop). Would you advise any new SaaS startup to take any other approach?
Since the iPhone was introduced in 2007, phones and tablets have transformed the way we interact with technology and each other. To call this shift disruptive is understating its impact on our industry and the world. We will look back in 10 years, and every piece of software we use will have changed dramatically.
The next generation of great companies will be defined by embracing mobile. That doesn’t mean just making existing products work on touchscreen devices — it means embracing what makes these devices truly different. They’re always connected to the internet. They can notify you when things change. They’re social. Within the course of a day, you use a smartphone, a tablet, and a PC, often within minutes of each other, and the experience should be seamless.
Is making an application fun and work (more) fun a deliberate product strategy?
When we started Quip, our goal was to create products for work that you actually enjoy using every day. We think it’s a shame that the apps we use at work are old, poorly designed, and bear the legacy of thirty years of feature creep and clutter. We think your time at work should be composed of the same delightful, beautiful experiences you’ve come to expect from modern mobile apps.
by Alex Theuma @alextheuma