Startup Spotlight #177: Tango
Tango’s free-to-use product is a Chrome Extension that automatically creates written, step-by-step how-to guides in real-time without the need for video recording.
Tango was founded in early 2020 to address the performance gap within teams - a gap that widened with the onset of the pandemic. Tango’s three co-founders raised Seed funding in Fall 2020, and have since grown the team to 20.
Tango first launched in September 2021, becoming a Product of the Year nominee on Product Hunt. With over 70,000 users and downloads across both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, early adoption of Tango continues to accelerate.
Along with Dan Giovacchini and Brian Shultz, Ken Babcock co-founded Tango while attending Harvard Business School in 2020. The trio dropped out of HBS, recognizing the unique opportunity to help organizations share tactical process knowledge during the pandemic. The massive workplace shift exacerbated the need for remote tooling, asynchronous communication, and documentation.
Prior to Tango and HBS, Ken spent most of his career at Uber, where his role within Uber’s launch organization focused on creating playbooks and repeatable tactics that enabled operations teams to scale. He is a proud Cornell alum and grew up outside of Buffalo, NY.
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Startup Spotlight: Tango
Problem: 90% of learning in the workplace happens on the job, yet L&D focuses on the other 10% - formal training. In the shift to remote and hybrid work, tapping a coworker on the shoulder to absorb process knowledge is from a bygone era.
Market: Companies spend $370B annually on workplace learning, which has failed to adapt to the dynamic nature of today’s work. There are few solutions that accelerate the learning curve of new SaaS applications and capture the iterative nature of best practices.
Solution: Tango’s Chrome Extension integrates with existing tools to automatically capture workflows in real-time. Tango transcribes actions, URLs, and screenshots and provides instantaneous step-by-step documentation that can be exported anywhere (without the performance art required for video recording).
Team: Today, Tango has 20 employees coming from amazing companies: Amazon, Cameo, Anchorage, Docker, Uber, Google, and Microsoft. Tango’s product-led growth strategy placed early emphasis on hiring strong engineering, product, and design.
Babcock: Early-stage team success is often dictated by an ability to hire well - both in terms of competency and alignment with core values. Knowing we were in the midst of the most competitive job market in years, we invested heavily in defining our core values and recruiting process.
Since then, we’ve hired A+ players at an incredible rate. In April of 2021, we had four of our current team of 20. The focus of our final round onsite continues to be “culture-add,” which we define as new team members expanding our perspective and questioning our assumptions.
Babcock: Tango’s product-led growth strategy lends our product to a multitude of horizontal use cases. The variety of customers, needs, and usage challenges our team’s focus. The key to building a beloved product is staying narrow and building for 1-2 core personas. We haven’t always adhered to this, but we’ve started incorporating the right checks and balances into our product development process.
Babcock: Knowledge Bias is very dangerous for early-stage founders, especially when you’re expected to (constantly) demonstrate conviction and founder-market fit. Knowledge Bias comes from assuming you know more about a topic than others, or others should know what you know. However, the key to building for an end-user is inviting their perspectives into product development. Be willing to admit what you don’t know, and maintain curiosity about your users’ wants and needs.
Three Cool Founders You Should Know About:
Babcock: Here are three founders you should check out next!
Adeel Mallick, Founder of Humming Homes: Humming Homes is building the modern operating platform for the next generation of homeowners - and we’ve started by reimagining the future of property management.
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