Ivan Zhao

Ivan Zhao

notion.so Joined over 7 years ago via an invitation from Chris T. Ivan has invited Toby Schachman

  • 1 story
  • 16 comments
  • 7 upvotes
  • Posted to Ask DN: Who's hiring? (February 2017), Feb 10, 2017

    Hey cofounder of Notion here (notion.so). You can think Notion as a Microsoft Office powered by Legos (and actually a programming language behind the scene). We are based in San Francisco.

    Here's a bit more about us:

    The story behind Notion

    Some more context in our Product Hunt launch post

    Email me directly if you are interested (ivan at makenotion.com). The product is growing fast. We desperately need people with good eyes who can build things

    ✌️

    1 point
  • Posted to AMA: Ivan Zhao, Co-founder/Designer of Notion, in reply to Max Lind , Aug 23, 2016

    Thanks for having me Maxwell.

    • The idea of Notion comes from history. In the early days of computing, we created interesting systems that celebrates the power of computing medium. Somehow since the early 80s, we have been building software tools that imitate paper. Notion wants to challenge that.

    • People usually start with one use-case, and then discover the power of combining multiple in one tool.

    • There's a large portion of people use Notion as personal Evernote replacement, which surprised us since it's not something we advertise on the marketing page. All welcome though ;-)

    • Indeed. Custom domain is on the upcoming roadmap https://www.notion.so/What-s-New-157765353f2c4705bd45474e5ba8b46c

    • Slack is one of our very top priorities. It has a monopoly on the internal communication/notification space. We don't want to reinvent the user habits there.

    0 points
  • Posted to AMA: Ivan Zhao, Co-founder/Designer of Notion, in reply to Giovanni Hobbins , Aug 23, 2016

    To be honest we don't have a methodology. It's largely just learning via making – listening to what people want, and fitting the things we want around it.

    The current Notion is actually 2+ years in the making. Last year this time the beta version fall apart (poor focus and implementation). We moved to Kyoto for a bit and built the whole thing from scratch.

    Re: Inkling & Habitat. I went to Inkling as my first job out of school. It taught me how to work with others, and bought me time to study the history of the domain – it's always good to make mistakes on other people's money ;-) (Inkling's founder is also Notion's first investor.)

    Re: FS. It has been invaluable especially for customer support (no more sending screenshots back and forth). It's a very powerful tool, we need to be really careful not to abuse it and invade the privacy of our users.

    0 points
  • Posted to AMA: Ivan Zhao, Co-founder/Designer of Notion, in reply to Aikomo Opemipo , Aug 23, 2016

    We are a small team (< 4). So we don't separate out product from visual design. Visual-wise is mostly me.

    1 point
  • Posted to AMA: Ivan Zhao, Co-founder/Designer of Notion, in reply to Suganth S , Aug 23, 2016
    1. Our guiding light has always being history. To be honest nothing is new in Notion. We copied everything from earlier systems.

    2. Oh big question. More bundling, more polishing.

    3. We love the website too. Digital visual design always feels a bit too segregated as a young discipline for me. There's a lot of good inspirations from the past (e.g. print ads from 60s-80s) or other disciplines (e.g. pre-modern American architecture, Japanese crafts). Too many places to steal.

    3 points
  • Posted to AMA: Ivan Zhao, Co-founder/Designer of Notion, in reply to Mattan Ingram , Aug 23, 2016
    1. Marketing is indeed interesting. We are less about forcing new workflows, but more about bundling the existing ones. It's a lot more understandable that way. And who doesn't likes all-in-one, as long as the "one" has good quality on its own.

    2. Notion is all I use. It has replaced iA Writer (drafting & thinking), Google Docs (collaboration), and Evernote (collecting). The entire team is running on Notion + Slack, nothing else. The separation of tools is largely a historical legacy from the rigid physical world. The computing medium is dynamic and elastic.

    1 point
  • Posted to AMA: Ivan Zhao, Co-founder/Designer of Notion, in reply to Kelsey Legault , Aug 23, 2016

    Yes. It might take sometime but a lot of people are asking for it.

    It's just a different way to arrange your tasks. It doesn't have to be a different tool ;-)

    1 point
  • Posted to AMA: Ivan Zhao, Co-founder/Designer of Notion, in reply to Sky Winston , Aug 23, 2016

    Hi Sky,

    • I don't have a definite answer on how to make Notion more Slack-like. Our stance is that quick, communication-heavy collaboration requires very different channels and habits from knowledge-building collaboration. Slack has built great pipes on the former, and Notion is good at the latter, so we want to leverage Slack as much as possible. The pie is large.

    • We'll definitely beef up tasks. Once you break free from paper metaphors, the possibility is amusedly endless. Right now calling Notion a unified workspace for "docs, wikis, and tasks" is a bit false advertising. We should replace "tasks" with "checklists".

    Thanks for all the feedback and patience. We'll get there :-)

    0 points
  • Posted to Site Design: Notion.so, in reply to Owen McFadzen , Jun 29, 2016

    Thank you for the post Owen.

    2 points
  • Posted to Site Design: Notion.so, Jun 29, 2016

    Ivan from Notion here.

    Want an early access to Notion for Mac? Message us in the app and and mention Designer News – we'll set you up : )

    7 points
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