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Monday.com | Seamless Work Experiences | Eran Zinman

Eran Zinman

Co-founder & Co-CEO

In an article by Jared Newman in Fast Company, he writes exceptionally about the company. While other software companies are trying to offer the One True App for project management, Monday.com is moving in the opposite direction.

Monday has just launched a new form-building app called Workforms and a collaborative whiteboard app called Canvas. While they each can integrate with Monday’s flagship project management software, they’re both standalone products with their own pricing, development teams, and roadmaps.

The approach stands in contrast to rivals such as Airtable and Asana, which have focused on building monolithic project management tools with an expanding array of capabilities. It’s also an answer, of sorts, to modern document editors such as Notion and Coda, which have gradually fashioned themselves into all-in-one tools for project management.

Eran Zinman, Monday.com’s co-CEO, says that, by offering different tools for different jobs, the company can make each product better while attracting customers who otherwise might not have considered the company’s software.

“The fact that each one is independent will allow us to go deep into each one of them . . . and also capture new audiences,” he says.

Targeted Audience

Monday.com started with forms and whiteboards because both are gaining traction among businesses and make sense as standalone products. Zinman notes that people often search online for new ways to create forms and whiteboards, so it’s an opportunity to draw in users who aren’t yet looking for full-blown project management tools.

After all, Monday.com proper doesn’t always offer instant gratification. While its array of interactive charts, graphs, and dashboards can be powerful, the software involves an extensive onboarding process, and figuring out the best way to use it can take time. The new apps are a way to start with something simpler.

“Now that we have these unique, independent tools, it just helps with the onboarding,” Zinman says. “You know exactly what you’re aiming for.”

Zinman also notes that offering the two apps outside of the Monday.com platform has some technological benefits. In Canvas, for instance, the team was able to focus on supporting up to 100 collaborators at a smooth 60 frames per second. Not being tied to Monday’s core service made that easier.

“I think it wouldn’t be possible if we built it within the platform, because we have all those constraints of using our existing technology,” he says.

Right now, both of the new apps are fairly basic. Workforms, for instance, offers just four templates, versus the hundreds provided by competitor Typeform. Canvas provides only a bare-bones set of tools for drawing lines, boxes, and shapes; some alternatives, such as Miro, offer ready-made templates and a wider range of drawing tools, while Figma’s Figjam whiteboards support charts and code blocks.

But Roy Mann, Monday.com’s other co-CEO, says the company is committed to improving the products over time, and he stresses that each team has complete autonomy. The new products are “like startups within Monday,” he says. “They have everything they need to run separately, move fast, and make improvements.”

Even if they’re independent in some ways, both products will still lean on integration with the core Monday.com platform—what the company calls its “Work OS”—to stand out.

In Workforms, for instance, users can view form responses in a table that’s powered by Monday itself, and they can pull the chart directly into Monday for further collaboration. Users can also tie charts into Monday’s automation tools–for instance, to send notifications when someone fills out a new form entry. While Monday is fine with people using Workforms and Canvas on their own, Zinman believes they’ll eventually gravitate toward the broader platform.

“People are often very specific about what they need initially, and over time they want more aspects, which they’ll discover through the ability move between different things that we offer,” Zinman says

The resulting strategy looks somewhat like that of Google and Microsoft, but in reverse. Those tech giants spent years building up successful suites of productivity tools, and are now trying to make them feel less siloed from one another. Monday, meanwhile, is starting with a monolithic project management tool and branching into new apps. (In a nod to the app grid that appears on Google’s websites, Workforce and Canvas even have an icon in the top-right corner for switching between the company’s products.)

While some of Monday’s competitors are still focused on one app that does everything, Zinman argues that this won’t last. In addition to citing Microsoft and Google as examples, he points to Atlassian—which acquired Trello in 2017 to complement its Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket products—as an example of how companies will eventually want to branch out.

“I think it’s more of a phase,” he says of companies offering just one app. “Over time, I think more players that will be able to grow significantly will build a more complete ecosystem.”

Successfully Shifting To 100% Remote Work

In an article by Kaleigh Moore of Fast Company, she talks about Monday.com’s shift to remote. Many companies have had to shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure their teams stay safe and healthy—but it’s a massive undertaking.

In the case of software company monday.com, this was certainly the case. Before the pandemic, only 10% of the company’s 550 total team members worked remotely on a full-time basis.

But with the arrival of the coronavirus crisis, suddenly, 100% of the company was forced to begin working remotely. The process happened nearly overnight.

On top of this, they also managed to recruit an additional 150 new employees (a 27% increase in staff) over the past three months while the team adjusted amid the new work-from-home arrangement.

How did the team manage to do so? I spoke with a few members from the company to find out.

Going 100% remote so quickly required intense work from the company’s operations team. They worked to ensure all employees had updated and accurate information at their fingertips, adjusted their business plan to maintain continuity, and made certain each team member had exactly what they needed to effectively work from home.

To this last point, the ops team focused on providing the right technology (like extra chargers, headphones, and videoconferencing software), and in some cases, even basic necessities like desks to those who needed them and mobile hotspots for people with internet connectivity issues.

The company was also able to leverage its own software to empower successful remote work, which allows them to make Zoom calls, collaborate on virtual whiteboards, review and approve workflows, and view status updates for each employee all within their work operating system.

“We use Slack as our virtual watercooler for office chit-chat, which is embedded directly into the software,” said Yael Miller, monday.com’s content team lead. “Our leadership felt it was important to keep our daily rituals and routines, so we still hold our start and end-of-week all-hands meetings, and every team has kept up their regular meetings as well.”

If you ask the team at monday.com what their single best tip is for rapidly going remote-first, their biggest answer was, “deploy radical transparency.”

From giving employees and investors a larger view of company’s data and business goals, to keeping customers in the loop about what’s happening behind the scenes, companies who adopt this open approach can more smoothly build trust, respect, and rapport across every aspect of the organization.

Miller says this technique has paid off, so far. “We haven’t let COVID-19 disrupt anything that we had plans to execute. The business continues to grow and our customers continue to see success in using our platform for remote work.”

AI in Workplace

Inc. reporter Ben Sherry talks about AI in workplace software. Keeping your workplace running smoothly and efficiently is one of your primary duties as a founder, but the actual work of managing and following up on projects can be time-consuming. Some companies are hoping that by integrating A.I.-powered assistants into their software, they can simplify complicated operations and give novice users access to advanced tools originally designed for experts.

One such organization is workplace-operations software platform Monday.com, which is used by brands like Coca-Cola, Hulu, and Glossier to plan out and organize projects, develop customized workflows, and track employee workloads. Monday is planning to integrate an A.I. assistant into its platform via a free update, powered with four new tools. Here’s what they are and how they work:

Automated task generation: Users will be able to create detailed project plans by describing what tasks need to get done in natural language. In a demo video shown to Inc., a user requests the A.I. assistant to create a group of all tasks needed to design a website, from sketches to handoff. The A.I. then created new tasks, including early sketches, design review, final design, and usability testing.

Composing and rephrasing emails: As part of Monday’s sales CRM, the platform will introduce a tool that can be used to automatically write and rewrite emails. In the demo, the user tasks the A.I. assistant with crafting an email to introduce a new product and the A.I. quickly creates a message complete with relevant data and statistics.

Summarizing: Monday’s A.I. will also be able to analyze text documents and create brief summaries of key information. In the demo video, a user is shown summarizing their meeting notes into a few bullet points.

Formula building: The final tool, which Monday says will be released at a later time, allows users to create formulas through natural language prompts, without needing any lessons. In the demo, the user asks the A.I. assistant to help with creating a formula to calculate the total estimated hours for a group of subtasks to be completed.

Monday will also open up the platform for third-party developers to build A.I.-powered applications for more specific tasks. These applications can then be implemented by other users via the Monday.com marketplace.

Going APAC

Enterprise project management and team collaboration platform monday.com is digging deeper into the Asia-Pacific with the opening of its new regional headquarters in Sydney. Founded in Israel, monday.com opened its Sydney HQ two and a half years after it first launched in Australia in June 2020.

Monday.com recently marked a 76% year-over-year growth in the number of its employees in Australia, prompting the company to open its own space, said its vice president of Asia Pacific and Japan Dean Swan.

The company now has over 13,000 customers in Australia, including Canva, Tourism Australia, Officeworks and Kmart. The number of its customers in Australia and New Zealand grew 122% year-over-year. Monday.com’s global revenue increased 68% year-over-year, and in Australia alone it saw about a 50% growth in revenue year-over-year.

In terms of localizing monday.com for the Australian market, Swan said it is prioritizing sectors that are especially relevant in the country, including retail, marketing, project and portfolio management, FSI and manufacturing. It also has local channel partners like Work Perfect and Upstream.

In addition to Australia, monday.com is focused in New Zealand, Singapore and Japan for regional growth. It also has an office in Japan, where its customers include Eisai Co. and Sony Biz Networks Corporation.

The opening of monday.com’s APAC headquarters comes about a year after it opened its first European headquarters in London, with plans to increase its headcount there to as much as 150 over the next several years.

" I think it wouldn’t be possible if we built it within the platform, because we have all those constraints of using our existing technology "

Eran Zinman

Co-founder & Co-CEO

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