The Notion community ballooned in March 2018 when David Pierce, then the personal technology columnist at The Wall Street Journal, wrote a glowing review of Notion 2.0. Notions innovation was letting users configure views of those databases in customizable ways, so different people could see the same information presented in different ways. Kothari was a heavy user of the site, visiting multiple times a day to weigh in on conversations, to see what other developers were up to and to recruit. Zhao: We believe more people should be able to modify the tools they use in their everyday lives and work. But, UX and pixel-perfect design take some longer time. 2023 InVisionApp Inc. Allrightsreserved. The colleague mentioned one of the people in the scene, a student at the University of Maryland, College Park, named Simon Last, was doing interesting work. Menu. He. You can view this kind of database as a Kanban board if that helps you visualize tasks better. 2) it breaks traditional productivity software into blocks text, lists, tasks, databases, images, etc. One of the biggest holes we fill is the information gap that emerges on teams that work across too many tools without visibility. It was a lot of fun, some of the happiest times, says Zhao. Then, Hey, lets go out for food. Then, we go eat, go back to work, and do it again. Neither man could speak or read Japanese, but Zhao is from China, and he could read the menus well enough for them to figure out beef or chicken. (About 70 percent of the writing, Japanese Kanji, was similar to the Chinese Hanzi he grew up reading.). A collaborative canvas to work on anything from anywhere. He talked to thousands of customers and grew to understand the use cases and depth of the productsetting him up, he says, to figure out how to build out the rest of Notion. Not necessarily capital. I van Petrovich Pavlov was born on September 14, 1849 at Ryazan, where his father, Peter Dmitrievich Pavlov, was a village priest. So thats one thing. Someone with little experience can quickly customize using modules like linked databases, task boards, customer queries, and wiki pages. The founders have time to dress properly, and even enjoy the occasional home-cooked meal. I wonder what does it take for every company, every team, every student to run on Notion? View Ivan Zhao's business profile as Co-Founder and CEO at Lookbooks. Zhao: Teams are increasingly tech-savvy, with things like shortcuts and working collaboratively becoming second nature. It was pretty much all hands on deck, Kothari says. In San Francisco, while Zhao still believed he was right about his grand vision, he realized he was wrong about his market. Today, they are transitioning as a business from a startup to a mature company, and transitioning as a product from a tool with a cult followingthe kind that people namedrop in Twitter profiles to show tech-design credto a tool used by the worlds largest companies. In the downstairs of a rented two-story house so small that only a traditional Shoji screen separated their bedrooms, Zhao says they spent 18 hours a day at their laptops, not bothering to dress, clean or cook. Today, having added a third co-founder in COO Akshay Kothari and grown from a cult following to more than 20 million users, Notion has a multi-billion-dollar valuation and is aiming to unseat Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace as the enterprise-level collaborative productivity software. By early last year, Notion had nearly one million users. Notion is emblematic of the kind of technology start-up that may be in a position to survive the shakeout in Silicon Valley. I reached out on a whim, he said. Its founders, Ivan Zhao and Simon Last, had built their app on a suboptimal tech stack, and it crashed constantly. I am Ivan Zhao, cofounder/designer of Notion a unified tool for docs, wikis, and tasks. In a moment of uncertainty, Mr. Kothari said, financing is a signal of stability, which is important for us.. Colleagues N/A. Eventually, this hunch would prove right. Inside Design: It sounds like each person needs to bring more than one skill set to the table. Id never had a guest come to the office and touch the tables, and appreciate the quality of the leather of the chairs. His parents sacrificed to send him to school in America, so Kothari says he did nothing but study when he got to Purdue University in Indiana. BIO. ACS Applied Bio Materials 2021, 4 (12 . At its most basic, Notion enables people to use just one interface to make, edit and customize documents; to manage projects; to create information-sharing wikis; and to design all kinds of charts and tables. Inside Design: To me, your view on talent mirrors your product mindset: that all these SaaS tools are going to eventually coalesce into one. Their bright, loft-style offices have sisal mat floor coverings, Michel Ducaroys famously curving Togo couches and Alvar Aaltos iconic, simple wooden Artek stools. The 32-year-old founder of Notion says, all while regularly dropping mentions of computing legends Alan Kay and Douglas Engelbart as his inspiration. We shook hands, [I had to show] I am not a crazy person.. Create press releases and blog posts and keep . Simon is a designer and engineer residing in SanFrancisco. After a year, he didnt get the H-1B visa hed need to stay working in America. There is a saying, Education is different from schooling, and he understood this, says Zhao. Theyre all kind of ugly, right? He made maybe five websites. Go to the edge of what is still acceptable to your peers and go to the far, far edge of that. Movies. More results. But if you were to tell me I should read more about architecture and fashion I may answer, Does it help my work? Bio. Zhao Zhao is an artist who works across media, incorporating objects, performance, video, and painting into his practice. A cookie set by YouTube to measure bandwidth that determines whether the user gets the new or old player interface. Just look at Slack. Ivan Zhao is Founder at Notion. And since everyone thinks and works differently, this means tools need to be very flexible. Zhaos vision of creating a community of people empowered to make computers help them be more creative and productive has remained constant. Dr Ivan SEAH Yu Jun . I still remember his pitch. You distill from something not in the circular place you are living but look in a plane outside of what you are working. Look at how the business history of the past couple of decades. Youre really left with a completely blank, fresh space designed to feel like a breath of fresh air and spacious opportunity to think deeply. In the future, Notion will be tackling this even more directly giving people even more capability to shape the tools they use for an increasingly wider variety of applications. Come on! The 32-year-old founder of Notion says, all while regularly dropping mentions of computing legends Alan Kay and Douglas Engelbart as his inspiration. About four months ago, CEO Ivan Zhao moved his 25-strong team from another Mission office to this new, "secret" location wedged among residences along a tree-lined street. Ivan Zhao is also currently the CEO of the company. They were running out of money. So Im saying, and Im seeing, and Im hoping that were in this pendulum swing from one product, Microsoft Office, to too many SaaS products. This is what Im going to do. Theres nothing else that has more leverage to use my skill set than to help people to use their computer beyond just a typewriter., They found a small group of really die-hard fans that carried the product with them. A brand-new code base is always happy. In 2015, Notion co-founders Simon Last and Ivan Zhao had removed from their lives anything that wasn't writing code and eating noodles. So the product side of Notion is four people or five people. Inside Design: Youve spoken about how designers should look sideways to other fields for inspiration. He also developed an appreciation for aesthetics as a student of traditional Chinese watercolor. Inside Design: I know you take pride in keeping small and nimble. He currently resides in Philadelphia. Yue Zhao Visit Yue Zhao's profile on the York Research Database to: See a full list of publications; Browse activities and projects; Explore connections, collaborators, related work and more; Profile Biography. ), but is out at school. Not only does this make all of your teams work easier to find, access, and dig into every day, it also increases transparency and the flow of information throughout teams. Financing is a signal of stability, which is important for us, said Akshay Kothari, Notions head of operations. The ambition of Zhao and his team at Notion can't be contained in any single decade. A lot of our functionality has been designed in service to that. Mr. Kothari said Notion could have easily raised more than $50 million, but that amount gives the company at least 10 years of financing to operate. A328 David P Rall Building. Frey: How does Notion help teams brainstorm and innovate better? Sean Blanda is the Editorial Director for InVision. Ivan Zhao Bellevue, WA. He wrote, Increased capability in this respect is taken to mean a mixture of the following: more rapid comprehension, better comprehension, the possibility of gaining a useful degree of comprehension in a situation that previously was too complex, speedier solutions, better solutions.. Ivan Zhao - Systems Engineer and Support Lead - Recreational Services | LinkedIn Ivan Zhao Good person with cybersecurity personality for life Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand 303 followers 300. When you talk to Ivan Zhao, hell make one thing abundantly clear: product designers should stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us. Things looked pretty bad from the outside, too, says Kothari, who had been one of Notions angel investors. And if thats the goal, were still really early with that. She grew up in her hometown as an ordinary kid without any serious expectations of making a career in the show business. The two believed Notion was worth this effort because they were trying to make it into something that would revolutionize peoples relationships with computers and software. This is not surprising if you consider how these tools evolved. Competition to tell a compelling story to big companies is fierce. Inside Design: Youve hired four product designers. And thats one way. She feels strongly about cocktails and NPR. Kothari was born and raised in Ahmedabad, a city of 8 million in Indias western Gujarat state. Most people, he reasoned, wake up and want to use their computers to browse the internet, to write or to solve a work problem. Biography of Ivan Pavlov, Father of Classical Conditioning. Today, Zhao estimates Notion can consistently replace about a dozen pieces of software like project-management or list-making tools. Notionist: Your source for tips and education for this powerful productivity tool, Notion Made Simple: A must learning investment for success with this tool, How Valentin Perez amplifies his creativity with Notion, Notion boosts user productivity 20-30%, survey shows, 10 ways you can use Notion to be wickedly creative, Ivan Zhao reflects on the thinking behind Notion. Chlo Zhao has become the second woman in the history of the Oscars to be named best director at this year's Academy Awards in Los Angeles. But really, there havent been many big changes to our essential work software in decades. Collaborate in real time on a digital whiteboard. When you look there you can only see a little bit in front of you. I am Ivan Zhao, cofounder/designer of Notion - a unified tool for docs, wikis, and tasks. Then from there, the tool that people used to think and work is Microsoft Office and it was one monolithic tool, maybe with a suite of different programs. I almost never had that feeling before, Zhao remembers. I love understanding decision making frameworks, both from a technical perspective (such as algorithmic decision making) and from a . In 2013, Zhao and Last raised about $2 million from angel investorsa mix of friends, family and friends of friends. Those early ideas are really pure. It quickly caught on among techies and early adopters at companies like Samsung and Hearst. The company is hiring for about 75 more positions. Theres a short history of this (and how it influenced Notion) here. The key to healthy culture and productivity is over-communication and true understanding of what everyone is working on and why its important. 100% of the Fortune 100 collaborate with InVision. Related Markets 2. Its like, everybody can be a designer. Follow their code on GitHub. Already today, some Notion-adjacent businesses are making more than $1 million a year by designing clever templates. When the medium is so new, people have entire green fields in front of them, and there is less thinking about business. We can reproduce that. His major research interest focuses on autoimmune renal diseases, prevention and treatment of CKD. For the next six months, the company stopped building new features and instead focused on strengthening its infrastructure and migrating to multiple databases. Over the years, Kothari rose through the ranks at LinkedIn, becoming vice president of product and moving to Indias tech center, Bengaluru, to help run LinkedIn India as it expanded. Its like 90% perfect. Can we give that to non-programmers? Well, very few people.. Ivan Zhao NZ Country HR Leader @ Honeywell, Professional Coach, helping people and organisations grow through driving continuous learning. Take a step back, and see how you can fundamentally solve it. Nobody wakes up wanting to make software. May be in a position to survive the shakeout in Silicon Valley hands on deck, Kothari.. 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