🎯 How Loom created a corporate social network

The employee-led flywheel

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3 quick callouts on today’s edition:

  1. Atlassian recently acquired Loom. This breakdown was drafted before the acquisition. Timing is a funny thing.

  2. I’m actually an Atlassian employee. These are my own views, not my employer’s.

  3. I had no idea the acquisition was coming. These things are normally kept pretty quiet internally.

With that out of the way - let’s get into it!

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How Loom created a corporate social network

Chess Move

The what: A TLDR explanation of the strategy

The most common use cases for screen recording software in 2016:

  1. Recording yourself gaming to create YouTube montages

  2. Demoing a feature of your SaaS tool for your update blog

  3. Creating a tutorial on ‘How to get Adobe Photoshop for free’

  1. Recording yourself explaining an idea/question/update to send to a colleague so you can both avoid a meeting.

An irrelevant use case, or an overlooked b2b SaaS opportunity?

💡 Strategy Playbook: Give businesses a tool that is highly shareable, and tangibly saves employees time

Here’s how Loom turned a simple idea into a viral b2b social network:


The how: The strategic playbook boiled down to 3x key takeaways

1: Build something everyone needs

There aren’t many software categories that 100% of employees in an organisation need a paid license for:

Word processing, task management, instant messaging, and a couple of others.

Historically, screen recording SaaS tools were pitched to specific personas like marketers and designers for publishing demos.

A 1,000 employee company might buy 5 licenses.

Loom promised businesses a new way for all employees to communicate, and save time by doing so.

“Video messaging” saves everyone a meeting, can be watched at 2x speed, and lets recipients jump around to focus on relevant topics.

The same 1,000 employee company can’t wait to buy 1,000 licenses.

2: Make it remarkably frictionless

Imagine you’re an employee wanting to share a screen recording to a colleague.

The old way:

  • Download a screen recorder

  • Install the screen recorder locally

  • Guess the correct video dimensions

  • Accidentally record without any audio

  • Wait 10 minutes for the mp4 file to render

  • Figure out how to add webcam and voiceover

  • Write an email to explain the recording’s context

  • Attach the file (before realising it’s too large for email)

  • Colleague downloads the file, watches on VLC, and emails a reply

The new way:

  • Loom extension

  • One-click to record

  • Video renders instantly

  • One-click copy a share link

  • Colleague replies within Loom

Loom took every single step in the workflow and made it frictionless.

They made sending screen recordings to a colleague so easy, the videos became communication tools themselves.

3: Leverage local network effects

When users send a Loom to those not signed up yet, the receiver can still view the Loom and send a reply.

In other words, even non-users experience fast time-to-value.

The modal at the end of a Loom (a) reinforces the value by referencing the time saved, and (b) prompts the receiver to sign up.

Because Looms are inherently shareable within an organisation, employees become net promoters of the tool just by using it.

Similar to the “invite a friend” mechanic that built many of today’s tech giants, employees without a license end up signing up for one organically.

Even with only a handful of initial signups, over time, companies end up becoming a company that uses Loom.

Rabbit Hole

The where: 3x high-signal resources to learn more

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