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An Interview with Zeb Evans, ClickUp Founder and CEO: ‘The Future of Workplace Productivity Tools is Less Apps That Can Do More’


“By anticipating customer needs and incorporating feedback directly into the product cycle, ClickUp sets a higher standard for productivity - inside and out.”

With a sharp increase in remote work around the world in the first half of 2020, collaboration and productivity tools have become more crucial than ever to drive successful businesses: 4.7 million people were already working remotely from home before the COVID-19 pandemic, and 88% of businesses have since made it mandatory or encouraged all employees to work remote during the pandemic. While many teams already use some type of workplace productivity platforms to help them increase productivity and efficiency, most productivity tools do not function across departments and force organizations to manage multiple unique platforms for each team - a problem that has only been magnified with employees no longer working in the same office. This means that the very productivity tools that were designed to make work more seamless have become incredibly time-consuming to manage, ultimately requiring a greater level of time investment, and rendering companies less efficient overall.

In light of this growing platform fatigue, we’re thrilled to present ClickUp — an all-in-one customizable workplace productivity platform that serves all departments across an organization.

ClickUp was incorporated in 2017 and headquartered in San Diego, CA, and is on a mission to make the world more productive.

Zeb Evans, ClickUp Founder and CEO, recently spoke with The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

1. Explain your services in brief.

ClickUp is the only work platform that replaces all productivity software in an organization with one single application for tasks, docs, chat, goals, and team management. ClickUp helps teams of 2 to 2,000 people, at companies including Google, Nike, Airbnb, Netflix and Uber, be more productive with less apps by replacing or integrating with all workplace apps on one seamless platform. To date, ClickUp has helped more than 100,000 teams and millions of users lead a more productive life and save at least one day every week.

2. The project management industry is a crowded place that has seen tremendous growth in recent years, what sets your platform apart?

Most project management tools serve a niche purpose or a niche audience, and rarely work well with other tools and integrations. ClickUp is unique in that it is a single platform that works seamlessly for all departments within an organization, meaning everyone in a company’s Engineering and Development departments is working on the same platform as Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, Accounting, more, enabling seamless collaboration, transparency and efficiency throughout an entire organization.

Additionally, ClickUp offers an unparalleled combination of features, from task management to doc creation, goal setting, chat, time management, dashboards and so much more, all customizable and fully integrated across a company’s entire Workspace. This means users can make ClickUp their own and work how they want to work, knowing they have the power to do it all without needing to jump back and forth between other tools. Plus, ClickUp has seamless integrations with more than 1,000 other tools so that users can easily transition to ClickUp without losing their historical work and data.

3. Describe the innovations you achieved in 2020 to advance your company’s mission.

Innovation at ClickUp is driven by customer feedback, which supports the company’s unparalleled fast product development, releases, and iterations, and in return drives the extremely viral nature of the platform. ClickUp has shipped over 300 new features in 2020 alone, with at least one new feature every single week. Most recently, ClickUp released its Remote Work OS product suite to help teams effortlessly manage work across the globe. The Remote Work OS product suite boosts productivity and efficiency among teams of all sizes and skills, with features including tools centered around AI, collaboration, visualization, and time optimization.

Other features released in 2020 include:

  • Sprints: Helps teams measure how well they scoped out work in their Dashboard and automatically move unfinished tasks to their next Sprint. Sprint statuses allow Dashboards to automatically pull in current information to Burnup, Burndown, and Velocity charts for fresh metrics every time a new Sprint starts.
  • Table View: This revolutionary view is lightning fast, visually simple, and makes it incredibly easy to navigate between fields, edit in bulk, and export data for spreadsheets within ClickUp.
  • Mind Maps: For planning and organizing projects, ideas, or to start building off of existing tasks or projects you’ve already created in ClickUp.
  • Automation: Set up combinations of Triggers and Actions to help automate repetitive actions -- saving time and allowing you to focus on things that matter.

The speed of our product development and iteration soars past nearly all of its competitors, some of whom have been around for over 10 years. Setting a high standard with weekly product iterations and improvement for users serves ClickUp’s vision and company purpose -- to replace all other workplace applications with one. The flexible and customizable features, as well as extensive list of more than 1000 integrations, saves people one day a week on managing mundane tasks while establishing trust and transparency among peers, executives and customers.

Moreover, ClickUp sets a high standard inside and out by anticipating customer needs and incorporating feedback directly into the product cycle. Users eagerly anticipate our weekly feature release, driving the large, viral following of the platform that has enabled us to organically faster than just about any other software companies.

4. Explain how your company’s innovations are leading your industry forward.

While workplace productivity tools are a crowded place, the convergence of these tools (as opposed to niche offerings popular a few years ago) is the primary trend in the market today. Put simply, the future of workplace productivity tools is less apps that can do more. ClickUp competes in over 30 different work management categories and is leading the pack and setting the standard through its weekly feature releases and fast product iterations based on customer feedback. Additionally, ClickUp is returning the power of work management and productivity software to the users. There is a stagnation among most competitive companies partly because users are locked into a particular way of working that is beholden to the platform. ClickUp flipped this model on its head by putting the customer first and allowing them to work how they work best while understanding that everyone’s work style and needs are unique. ClickUp removes the barriers in a users’ workspace so they can customize their workflow even without high levels of technical knowledge, which ultimately gives them back more freedom in their lives outside of work to focus on what matters most to them.

5. Do you have any new launches on the horizon?

We’ve been growing at a tremendous pace and recently closed a $35M Series-A funding round, which is helping us expand our internal team and our platform. We have a lot of exciting features on the horizon including a first-of-its-kind email integration and a better way for users to bridge tasks across entire companies.

The innovations and accomplishments have led to thousands of positive product reviews on G2, and have garnered multiple award-wins from the platform including best usability, best usability, easiest admin, most likely to recommend, and more. With our incredible user base, talented team and innovative ideas, the sky is the limit for ClickUp.

Zeb Evans: An Innovative Serial Entrepreneur

Zeb Evans, founder, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of ClickUp. He’s a serial entrepreneur having started several software companies with over $100 million in revenue.

“ClickUp competes in over 30 different work management categories and is leading the pack and setting the standard through its weekly feature releases and fast product iterations based on customer feedback.”