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Products we love: Tettra

Brian McDonaldBrian McDonald

Tettra is a team communication tool for documenting processes, projects, and knowledge.

Tettra is a startup based in Boston and founded by Nelson Joyce and Andy Cook. The product is a wiki for Slack teams, a centralized place for all your companies shared documents.

The importance of a team wiki is not always easy to impart. At 8bytes we failed to use Tettra the first time we subscribed but have recently jumped back on-board and we love the product. In fact, we loved the product the first time around too, we just didn't know what to use it for. We made the mistake many small companies make, we decided we didn't need a wiki right now, shared knowledge between team members will work fine.

In reality however that's not the case, without defining policies and processes things will slip through the cracks and that can cause a lot of hurt in the long run. Sure you can use Google Drive to store all your documents but the important part is getting the information back, not storing it. Tettra allows us to get that information right into our teams Slack. Ambiguity can be dangerous within a business, Tettra allows us to avoid that ambiguity with a product thats a joy to use rather than pain like a lot of other B2B software.

I got a chance to speak with Nelson Joyce, co-founder at Tettra about their journey and the product.

Hey Nelson, so in your own words what is Tettra?

Tettra is a communication tool for teams for documenting processes, projects, and knowledge. While most work tools like chat, project management, and email are quick and transactional, Tettra is built for sharing things that require a deeper and more well thought out write up. Making information available to your team allows them to make better decisions since they have more context.

What led you and Andy to start Tettra?

Before we started Tettra, my cofounder Andy and I worked on a "secret product" inside of a large public company (HubSpot). It was just the two of us working on this project for 14 months and we built up a ton of knowledge that was trapped in our heads.

Once our product started to get some traction, our bosses decided that they wanted to add 7 people to our team overnight. Since we had been so secretive with our project, it was extremely painful trying to communicate all this built up knowledge to our new team members. Anticipating having to do the same thing with new teammates, we looked for a simple knowledge base tool for storing all that knowledge. We didn't find one that we liked, so we decided to leave HubSpot and build our own instead.

Often times B2B software focuses on the business case and neglects the people who will actually use it. I suspect a lot of effort has gone into making Tettra fun to use?

B2B software has historically been a pain to use because the people buying the software weren’t the same people who had to use it day-to-day. There’s a new wave of B2B companies designing software for the people actually using the software.

We consider ourselves part of this new wave and believe it matches the way people expect to use and buy software.

Whether you're a B2B or B2C company, it's still people who use the software at the end of the day. We've all been conditioned to expect great product experiences and have a lot less tolerance for anything less than that.

What would you say to small companies right now who are not using a wiki, why should they use one?

If you have any plans to grow (even if it's not 7 people all at once), documenting who you are as a company, what you do, and how you achieve results will save you a ton of time in the future.

We work with a lot of startups here at 8bytes, what words of advice would you give to new founders?

This is my first experience as a founder so I'm learning a lot every day. My one piece of advice would be to pick great cofounders who you really trust. When you start a company, you'll go through long periods of time where you'll get little to no positive feedback or encouragement. Having great cofounders to help you get through those tough times and keep you sane is critical.

How can people get setup and try Tettra for themselves?

You can sign up for a free 15-day trial of Tettra at Tettra.co. Also, If you mention this article we'll give you an extended trial as well. 😉

You can find Nelson on Twitter @nelsonjoyce and also Tettra @teamtettra.

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