Oct. 5, 2021

745 - Ken Babcock (Tango) On Creating Product Documentation On-Demand

745 - Ken Babcock (Tango) On Creating Product Documentation On-Demand

Ken Babcock is a cofounder of Tango. With Tango, create process or product documentation on-demand.

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Ken Babcock is a cofounder of Tango. With Tango, create process or product documentation on-demand.



Mat Sherman: All right, how's it going, everyone. Welcome to another episode of forward thinking founders, we'll be talking to founders about their companies, their visions for the future, and how the two collide today. I'm very excited to be talking to you. Ken Babcock. Who's a co-founder of tango. Welcome to the show.

How's it going?

Ken Babcock: Thanks, Matt. going great

Mat Sherman: I'm excited

to have you here. And I'm looking forward to learning more about what you're working on at Tango, for those who haven't heard of your company yet, what is Tango? What are you working on?

Ken Babcock: Yeah, so very simply put, Tango's a Chrome extension that allows you to create step-by-step how to guides, of any process that you're doing in the browser, , complete with screenshots URLs description.

The primary value we provide is that you do your work in the flow of how you'd normally do. , and we automatically create documentation of what you just did. [00:02:00]

Mat Sherman: So walk me through a little bit about a, an average experience of someone wants to just hear about this.

On the internet they sign up. W can you walk us through a little bit of what they would experience going through like using the product and, like painting that picture for us.

Ken Babcock: Yeah, totally. Think about any process you do either on a daily, weekly basis.

A good example is using either Salesforce, Zendesk, greenhouse, any software that's internal to your company. And you have a way. That's using that, right? You figured out all the bells and whistles, you figured out your process, that might be the most efficient.

Tango is really there. When you have those processes, you're about to kick those off. You can say, Hey, you know what, let me show the rest of my team, how exactly I do this. You click the extension, it start capture, and then just go through your process. And basically what we do is every action that you take, whether that's.

Type drag drop, copy paste. You take a screenshot in that moment and that becomes one of the steps of your process when the documentation is created later. A lot of the [00:03:00] use cases that we've seen. Is ultimately very process-driven functions, companies that are trying to scale either, scale their business or, scale headcount.

Bringing out a bunch of new people, showing them how to do things that's been, that for us has been a nice sort of product market fit.

Mat Sherman: And tell me a little bit about kind of the origin story here. How, and why'd you decide to get started with this and, you tell me about the early days.

Ken Babcock: Yeah. Myself and my two co-founders Brian and Dan, we were all first year students at Harvard business school. And so we had started working on the very early phases of tango while we were there. And the first idea was really Brian's and it was twitched for work.

And so the idea of, can you watch people who are really good at their job? Do what they do, the the software version of, Hey, let me sit behind somebody at their desk, watch them do their work, ask questions. And that idea is where it started. But eventually what we realized was that it wasn't just video.

It wasn't just live streaming. It was really like. What were the steps that were taken in that [00:04:00] process. And so we looked at, video recording tools like Vimeo or loom. And we said, what's missing here. It's really that step-by-step. And so someone can digest it at their own pace, jump ahead if they need to.

And so we kept working on that and this was even before the pandemic, but when the pandemic hit in March, a lot of these prospective customers that we were talking to all of a sudden. These pain points that they were feeling around remote and hybrid work really accelerated our product development.

People are essentially like, if you can build this, we will use it. We're, onboarding people remotely for the first time, we're struggling with knowledge transfer. It's hard for me to know what people are doing on a day-to-day basis. Like I see the outcomes and the inputs, but I don't know the in-between.

And that for us was really like a call to action. So we ultimately dropped out of Harvard business school to pursue tango full-time because it was just, we felt like we were in a unique moment in time with with a product that would serve, an immediate need.

Mat Sherman: Kind of, as you work on this, what do you spend your [00:05:00] time on you? There's three of you, as you mentioned, I'm sure you all have like different skillsets released. You're working on different things. How do you know what to spend your time on? And like when you woke up today other than having this 20 minute podcast, like how do you know what to work on?

Ken Babcock: Yeah. What, we were really fortunate in that we've brought on a bunch of people who are way better at what they do than what we do. We're a team of 15 today. And a lot of this stuff from a build and execution standpoint is being handled by our, like top-notch engineering team, product manager, product designer biz ops lead.

But, I think for us, we just launched last week. I know I mentioned that to you earlier, but a lot of it now has been focused on how do we get the right feedback. And how do we make sure that the channels for feedback are allowing us to iterate better? So tying in that we have new usage, we have new users they're having certain types of experiences, what can we do from a qualitative standpoint and also like a data standpoint to understand what's working in the product and what isn't.

And myself, Dan Bryan. That's really what we're focused [00:06:00] on right now is making sure we have those inputs so that our awesome, what we call it. The build team can just go build a great product.

Mat Sherman: And outside of the day-to-day and kind of your team of, 15 or 18 with the with the co-founders what do you see as the big vision here?

Like in 5, 10, 15 years when that's seen as a hundred, 500, a million, not a million, but w what is, what does Tango look like then? And what's the big what's the, the big vision here. And what direction are you growing in everyday?

Ken Babcock: Yeah, it's a good question.

Cause you know, today it's we're really lowering the barrier to creating documentation within an organization. Something that has always been seen as a chore or a secondary priority is now just passively happening. And I think, once you have. People creating documentation and viewing it.

We, we have a roadmap that where we're going to be investing a lot in the viewer experience as well. But let's say you have an organization that is creating a bunch of tangos viewing a bunch of tangos, and it's becoming this dataset of how a team works. [00:07:00] And I think what's interesting.

There is really two pieces;

guidance. So the idea. You're a new employee, or maybe you're just an employee who's trying to get better at their work. We might actually surface relevant tangos to you based on the page that you're on, based on the steps that you've completed previously. And that can be really powerful meeting people in the moment where they're struggling or getting stuck.

Another piece that we talk a lot about. This category of workflow intelligence. I think we, we take a lot of inspiration from one of our lead investors, portfolio companies, gong IO they've done amazing work for sales teams. They talk a lot about revenue intelligence for us.

Workflow intelligence is this idea that, we're creating a data set of how people are working, what apps are they using? How much time are they spending? What is the best practice? How are people deviating from the best practice? Does the best practice deserve to be updated for these organizations that are scaling and changing and iterating constantly how work gets done is also changing.

And we want to be a partner to organizations that are trying to make sure that their teams stay [00:08:00] productive as they grow.

And in order

Mat Sherman: to make that happen and make the vision comes alive, like they'll need some help, right? It takes a village to make a startup work.

So my question for you is how can the forward thinking founders, community help? You hiring? Are you raising money? Are you looking, for users, customers, beta testers, how can we use.

Ken Babcock: Yeah. So I think the biggest thing is, tango is today free on the Chrome store .

We're going to introduce paid plans in November it won't be something where we, ratchet back a bunch of the functionality that you've experienced in the free plan, but it will be more, introducing new features come November. And we'd love for people to download the extension.

Give us feedback in feedback around like use cases what features do you wish we had that stuff is all super helpful. And then the second ask, we have six or seven open roles right now across a variety of almost new functions at tango. And these are really unique opportunities for people to come in and fill a role as the first person.

In that function, whether it's data engineering, [00:09:00] customer success visual design we're looking for those folks and we've built an amazing team so far. So I think it's a great group.

Mat Sherman: And then for my last question, if someone wants to learn more about you online, try you out, potentially work for you or work with you, how can they find you?

Do you have a website or a social media account, email address? How can someone get in touch of if they want

Ken Babcock: yeah. tango.us. That's the easiest way to to either get in touch or learn more about what we do

Mat Sherman: . All right. Thank you so much for coming onto the podcast. I really appreciate it.

Thanks Mat. Thanks for

Ken Babcock: having me.