How Fibery will transform product companies work and knowledge management processes

🦐 Now → Many tools

  • Notion as a company wiki/intranet and product management
  • Jira/Linear for software development
  • Slack as a chat
  • Asana for various projects in marketing and other non-IT teams
  • Intercom: chat + user guide
  • HubSpot as a CRM
  • Canny as a feedback portal
  • Miro as a diagram/whiteboard tool

Problems

  1. Knowledge lives in many tools (Notion, Miro, Canny, Slack, Jira)
  2. Discussions out of context
  3. Customers feedback handling process is poor
  4. Features prioritization process is ad-hoc and mostly based on gut feelings
  5. Connection between features specification and features as work items is weak

Problem 1: Knowledge lives in many tools (Notion, Miro, Canny, Slack, Jira)

Many tools…

Problem 2: Discussions are out of context

Real Slack discussion in Fibery team

Problem 3: Customers feedback handling process is poor

This feedback is primarily votes. While it gives you volume, it has no narrative and not so many real cases.

Problem 4: Features prioritization process is ad-hoc and mostly based on gut feelings

Typical backlog without any real prioritization model

Problem 5: Connection between features specification and features as work items is weak

😑 Why do companies tend to ignore these problems?

  1. External problems (market, sales, customer success) are more important and you can build a great business on top of relatively unoptimized internal processes.
  2. Internal process changes are hard and painful. Companies tend to avoid them.
  3. This is a status quo and solutions to these problems are hard or non-existent.

🤷‍♀️ Are these problems important enough?

🪢 Why do these problems exist?

  1. Unbundling and specialization of tools solved some specific problems but added coordination and information discoverability problems. For small companies it is bearable, for a larger company coordination problems become more important and hard to ignore.
  2. All efforts to bring information from these tools together did not get traction so far. Universal search bars, some ad-hoc integrations or integration platforms, and data lakes solve only some cases.
  3. Some problems are intrinsically hard (features prioritization, domain knowledge capturing).

🦄 Future → Bundling

  • ✔️ Notion as a company wiki/intranet and product management
  • ✔️ Jira/Linear for software development
  • ✔️ Slack as a chat
  • ✔️ Asana for various projects in marketing and other non-IT teams
  • ✔️❌ Intercom: ❌ chat + ✔️ user guide
  • ✔️ HubSpot as a CRM
  • ✔️ Canny as a feedback portal
  • ✔️ Miro as a diagram/whiteboard tool

Solutions

1. Knowledge lives in many tools (Notion, Miro, Canny, Slack, Jira) → replace many tools with a single one (Fibery)

Search in Fibery. When you store everything in a single place, it’s so much easier to find what you need.

2. Discussions are out of context → discuss always in context

FUTURE: Discussion linked to a Feature. Transform it to information and actions.

3. Customers Feedback handling process is poor → accumulate and connect all feedback in a single place

FUTURE: All feedback is connected to features. You can filter it by account status, MRR, segment.

4. Features prioritization process is ad-hoc → collect and use hard data to score features

FUTURE: Score of features based on real data: Account status, MRR, segment and feedback volume.

5. Connection between features spec and features as work items is weak → remove this false dichotomy and merge them

Feature is work and Feature is Spec in Fibery. Unity!

Why it is possible?

  1. It’s possible to create a product where you can replicate any domain. Essentially, it’s a database LEGO where you create tables, and relations on the fly, evolving them the way you need anytime. This is what we have already done at Fibery. Problem solved. We can replicate the static structures of the all tools above. [✔️ solved]
  2. 80% of UI in these tools is the same. You have tables, boards, timelines, and other views everywhere. Every single vendor reinvents the wheel over and over again creating custom UI representations of the domain data. Sometimes I wonder how wasteful is this, but you have to own your components to improve them based on your users’ feedback and new data. It’s possible to create a set of UI components that will fit almost all use cases good enough. This is what we have at Fibery partially. Some UI components we have are crappy, but, again, this task is doable. [✔️✗ almost solved]
  3. It is possible to create a workflow/rule engine that will close 80% of automation cases in all these tools. Again, many vendors solved this problem already for specific domains, but with some basic generalization, it can be solved for any custom domain. We have a partial solution and a path to the full solution at Fibery. [✔️✗ almost solved]
  4. It is possible to implement a general permission schema that will work for any domain. This problem is solved in many tools, but not for any custom domain. We don’t have the ready solution, but we have a conceptual model of how it should work and going to implement it this year. [✗✔️ not solved, have a concept]
  5. It’s possible to create a tool that mixes structured (database) and unstructured (text/diagrams) information in a good way. This is not a solved problem, but we have good attempts (Notion, Coda). As a side-effect of this belief, we think that it is possible to implement good enough document/text (Google Doc) and diagrams (Miro) solutions and mix them with the other areas of a product. [✗✔️ not solved, have a concept]
  6. Many other things are just replicated in all these tools: SSO, users management, billing, search, etc. You can just build them once. [✔️ solved]
  7. Based on our current state of development, it seems all these problems can be solved in about 10 years timeframe for a team of 20. Note that we spent 5 years on Fibery already and nailed the most problems as complete solutions or as prototypes/rough solutions. Fibery is already “good enough” to replace some tools and shine, but definitely not good enough to replace all of them yet (and that is our goal).
  8. Essentially, we created a no-code tool to help companies build all-in-one solutions. That was not expected, but it just appeared a path to the solution.

Who else is attacking these problems?

🐌 Why Fibery may fail?

  1. It is hard decision for a company to replace many existing tools with the new one. It takes serious effort and a company should understand the benefits clearly. We should learn how to explain the new future and show potential benefits.
  2. There are some unsolved technical and conceptual problems: Can we handle navigation complexity for so many use cases in a single tool? What about performance for 1000+ users? How to implement the remaining 20% unique things from specialized tools, keeping Fibery as a no-code tool?

😎 Why Fibery will succeed?

  1. Fibery core can handle complex custom domains. You can’t reflect your company structure in Notion or ClickUp in a good way, while in Fibery you can.
  2. We already solved many hard problems and have a full (well, 80%) vision of Fibery future.
  3. We are focusing on a specific niche: product companies, while Notion and ClickUp are building very horizontal solutions. Specific niche has its own use cases, and we think that Fibery will fit this niche much better than any generic tool.
  4. We have the knowledge, a cool team, and plenty of time and money.

🌶 Fibery End Game

A single tool that unites work and knowledge management processes, thus helping product companies invent things better and build things faster.

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Fibery founder https://fibery.io. I write about systems, software development and products.

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Michael Dubakov

Michael Dubakov

Fibery founder https://fibery.io. I write about systems, software development and products.

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