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Published at Sun Aug 13 2023 in
Rows HQ

2023 W32 - Strategic Platforms

blog - data blocks, puzzle

Every week I post about one thing that happened at Rows. We're building in public!


Rows is growing, and we want to fuel more growth.

That means upgrading the product and marketing it; but for us it also means working with other platforms. It is quite cliché to say "work with partners", but you can trust me there's a lot of value in that.

Conversations are usually triggered from all sides — 3rd-parties, users and us.

  1. Big platforms reach out to us with their App Store plans. A few of these contacts are data-driven, which means they happen when their business teams notice volume growing from Rows interactions, and act on it.

  2. We (Rows) reach out to Platforms because a particular 3rd-party product or feature plays into our strategy. Frequently we know which platforms already work well for Rows because we see it in the data. Example: Embeds in Notion!

  3. Smaller players ask us to do Integrations with them;

  4. Users send us feature requests for certain Integrations.

  5. There's also long term value in being connected, and key players reach out bc of that. (I briefly talked about the common phenomenon of latent M&A interest months ago).

blog post - messageI get one or two of these messages a month on X (formerly Twitter). Such an honor.

In my experience, the best conversations happen when you get senior people who can speak the language of your product.

This past week I had a conversation with the key "Platform Apps" director of a super-large software player, and it was magic. This guy is a veteran of the software industry, and is quite resourceful — previously we asked him to help us on the topic of collaboration, and he did change our thinking on it.

This time around, we were doing an exchange based on Instant Rows⚡️.

  • This upgrade allows visitors on to use our spreadsheet, without needing an account whatsoever.

  • Not only has this been successful (~2x conversion) but it is unlocking new use cases.

  • Which use cases? Well, if you don't need an account to start using Rows, then with a bit of effort we can let users and platforms embed a full spreadsheet *Editor* into other products.

  • It really is a lesson for us here: more than "big platform concepts", you need valuable features that are embeddable in other platforms: Sharing, workflows, forms, importing, exporting and data are classic examples.

We went through their platform plans, our plans, and now we're off to building again.