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In episode #36, we talk with Nimrod Priell, Founder and CEO at Cord, bringing collaboration into the products your team works in. They are passionately removing friction from teamwork and making collaboration inside the organizations easier.

Expanding Collaboration in SaaS Tools

Nimrod Priell, the founder and CEO of Cord, is on a mission to revolutionize the way teams collaborate within the ever-growing ecosystem of SaaS applications. With his background as an engineer and product manager at Facebook, Nimrod has witnessed firsthand the explosion of SaaS tools used by companies, leading to a fragmented communication landscape.

The average company now uses over 100 SaaS tools, and in tech companies, this number can exceed 300. As teams work across these various platforms, the need for seamless collaboration has become increasingly critical. Nimrod recognized that traditional methods of communication, such as email and Slack, often lead to a loss of context and a disjointed workflow.

Cord’s solution is to bring collaboration directly into the products where work happens. By embedding a high-quality, in-product commenting system, Cord aims to centralize discussions and actions, ensuring that all relevant information and context are preserved within the tools teams use daily. This not only improves efficiency but also enhances transparency and accountability.

Nimrod emphasizes the importance of “dogfooding” their own product, using Cord extensively within the company to stress-test the SDK and ensure a seamless user experience. This approach has allowed Cord to identify and address pain points early on, building trust in the platform and ensuring it meets the needs of both developers and end-users.


VC Funding

Nimrod’s decision to seek VC investment was driven by his desire to accelerate Cord’s growth and innovation in the competitive collaborative software market. While he has a deep respect for bootstrapping, Nimrod recognized that his personal circumstances, including having a family, made the slower pace of bootstrapped growth less suitable for him.

The VC funding has allowed Cord to build a strong engineering team and invest heavily in product development. However, Nimrod emphasizes the importance of maintaining discipline and not overspending, even with the influx of capital. He has witnessed the pitfalls of companies that hired aggressively and had to conduct mass layoffs when the market conditions changed.

Cord’s approach has been to hire thoughtfully, validating growth checkpoints along the way, and maintaining a lean and focused mindset. Nimrod believes this disciplined approach will serve the company well in the long run, even in the face of market fluctuations.


Building the Ultimate Experience for Different Buyer Personas

Cord’s target audience includes both developers and end-users, and Nimrod has emphasized the importance of catering to the needs of both groups. For developers, Cord has invested heavily in the developer experience, providing extensive documentation, open-source demos, and a command-line interface to ensure a seamless integration process.

On the end-user side, Cord has conducted extensive user research to understand the collaboration and commenting needs of their clients’ teams. This has allowed them to iterate on the product and ensure a high level of adoption and engagement within the organizations that implement Cord.

Nimrod stresses the importance of maintaining a deep understanding of both buyer personas, as the needs and expectations can vary significantly. By addressing the concerns of both developers and end-users, Cord aims to become the go-to solution for in-product collaboration across a wide range of SaaS tools.


Team-Led Growth in B2B SaaS

Nimrod has identified a growing trend in the B2B SaaS space, which he refers to as “team-led growth.” This phenomenon is exemplified by the success of platforms like Figma, where the adoption and spread of the tool within organizations is driven by teams rather than traditional top-down sales approaches.

In the case of Figma, the ease of use and the ability to seamlessly collaborate within the tool led to its widespread adoption, with designers inviting developers, product managers, and other stakeholders to participate in the design process. This team-driven growth has been a key factor in Figma’s success, as it has fostered cross-functional involvement and increased retention.

Nimrod sees this trend as a significant opportunity for Cord, as the company’s in-product collaboration features can enable similar team-led growth within the organizations that implement the platform. By making it easy for teams to communicate and take action directly within the tools they use, Cord aims to drive increased engagement, seat expansion, and long-term retention.


Lessons From Success and Failure

Nimrod openly shares both the successes and failures Cord has experienced on its journey. One of the biggest wins has been building a resilient, smart, and driven team. Nimrod believes this combination of attributes has been crucial in navigating the challenges of a fast-growing startup.

On the failure side, Nimrod acknowledges that some of the biggest challenges have been related to product decisions that, in hindsight, were not the right fit for their customers. For example, the initial vision of a sidebar-based collaboration system was ultimately not the best solution for many of Cord’s clients, leading to a significant rewrite of the product.

Nimrod’s key lesson has been to avoid getting caught up in the allure of overly-complex processes and documentation, which he sees as a common trap for startups. Instead, he advocates for a more open and adaptable approach, where the team can quickly pivot and focus on what truly matters, without being burdened by unnecessary bureaucracy.


Head of Growth,