Hub (Hackathon Winner)

Designer / Apr 2020

As companies reach over 100 employees, it’s difficult for teams to stay connected. It’s hard to learn about new hires, find people with similar interests, and overall cultivate community (especially remotely).

Hub is the place for employees to learn about their coworkers and strengthen personal connections.

We were inspired by Stripe Home which was built once Stripe reached 150 employees.

As part of the hack:now hackathon hosted by Cal Hacks in April 2020, YoungOmar, Kevin, and I built Hub. We won prizes from Unusual Ventures and Village Global. You can view our hackathon submission here.

Go to Hub Website


Overview

Problem

  1. Fostering good team culture is crucial to company building but it's difficult especially when employees are distributed.

  2. Slack is channel-specific and discovery is not core to the product.

  3. Slack profiles are limited and doesn't allow for personalization.

Inspiration

  1. Stripe Home: Discover coworkers, search teams and tools, announcements, recent hires, and calendars.

  2. Y Combinator BookFace: internal social network for YC alums across batches.

  3. Donut: a Slack bot that connects teammates for coffee chats.

  4. Internal tooling built by companies as they scale (ex. Uber, Adobe)

Why now?

Companies like FB, Square, Twitter, Coinbase, and Shopify announced that they'll transition into a remote/hybrid model. This will bring additional challenges to building company culture.

Product

Vision

  • Seamless day-to-day tool to find employees, connect with coworkers, and find company tools. It serves as the "Hub" for all company things.
  • V1: internal social network to connect employees with an emphasis on personalized profiles and discovering coworkers.

What we built

  • Built concept in 36 hours for a hackathon.
  • Posted on Twitter & received interest from VCs and startups.
  • V1 features personalized profiles, posts, searching, and thank you's with a Slack integration.
  • Calls with people operations teams from Adobe, Figma, Ridgeline, and DE Shaw.

Challenges

  • Larger companies have security audit and compliance requirements.
  • It's missing the "aha" moment.
  • Need to think about the bottoms-up or top-down strategy for GTM.
  • It's difficult to measure and justify the ROI → difficult sales motion.

Other Ideas

As the team discussed more with potential teams, we thought about stripping down the features and making it just a simple profile directory that lives on top of Slack. Below is a concept that I posted onto Twitter.

This was also validated by Slack's acquisition of Rimeto in July 2020.

Another idea was to integrate Hub with Chrome or Safari and make it the default tab for Hub users. Hub would seamlessly embed into employees' workflows and they could easily find relevant information about the company quickly.


As our team started full-time jobs at Facebook, we decided to stop working on Hub. It's an area that we're passionate about and think believe there's room for new products. Maybe we will revisit one day. It was a great experience connecting with interested users on Twitter and people-ops teams at companies of all sizes.


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