Home
Upstream
76

⚡ Upstream || 📥 An email client designed for team collaboration

Delivering efficiency for teams, while letting individuals regain focus.

📝 TL;DR

Upstream is a modern email client designed for team collaboration. Teams use it to have conversations that are easy to track, rich in context, and transparent with the rest of their company.

Sign up for the waitlist at www.upstream.do !

📖 Our Story

I’ve had the chance to work at successful fast-growing companies, like Asana and Algolia, and I’ve experienced first-hand the communication problems that arise when you need to coordinate with lots of people while moving at 100mph.

All organizations are very nimble in the early days, yet most of them lose their efficiency as they scale. Communication becomes harder, and teamwork breaks down. Companies continue to rely on Slack for anything and everything and start experiencing major inefficiencies:

  • The ball keeps getting dropped: important messages get missed. Key action items are buried in the never-ending flow of chit-chat.
  • Decisions and their context get lost in the ether: where did we discuss this again? Who was involved? What decision did we make and why?
  • Team members waste their time reading irrelevant discussions rather than getting stuff done, Slack making it impossible to distinguish signal from noise.
  • We’re constantly interrupted: chat’s expectation of immediacy has made it nearly impossible to find uninterrupted deep work time.

And while it’s a huge productivity loss for the organization, employees report experiencing deep anxiety and feeling completely overwhelmed by the use of Slack.

💡 A different tool for async conversations

When I was at Asana, we did things differently: we had a specific tool for all of our async conversations (I’m sure you’ve guessed: we used asana for that!). It made it so that our decisions were easily traceable, our important conversations had the right amount of context and the right folks involved, action items never got lost, and the volume of Slack notifications was totally reasonable.

It was so good! I could easily focus and get in flow, and always felt on the same page with the teams around me. We were firing on all cylinders! It was pure bliss.

It left such a strong impression on me that ever since I left Asana, I haven’t stopped thinking about how to bring that experience to other teams out there. And when I started seriously researching this, it became clear that, except for a handful of exceptional companies (think Stripe, Gitlab, Alan to name a few), 99% of them don’t even know they could work this way.

I’ve since met @Jonathan Tiret, and here we are with Upstream: an easy way for teams to make, track and share decisions, directly within their emails.

💻 Solution: elevating your emails

Upstream is an email client that lets teams have conversations that are easy to track, rich in context, and transparent with the rest of their company.

We don’t need to fully replace Slack. Chat is great for social chit-chat. Or when you need an answer right away. But more than 80% of our messages don’t require an immediate response. Upstream is a better place to handle these messages async:

  • Conversations have context on who needs to do what by when (assignees, due dates, statuses, summaries, etc.)
  • Team members can stay on top of incoming messages in a nice and tidy inbox
  • Conversations are made visible to the team, yet people stay opted out of notifications by default

Because let’s be honest: you don’t need one more inbox. We're building Upstream to simply work with your existing email address: manage everything in one place, create alignment with your team, and regain time for productive work.

🤝 Who we are

I (@Louis Lecat) was one of the early product people at @Asana, where I honed my craft in building engaging collaboration software. I went on to lead the entire product team at @Algolia as their Head of Product through series B and C, assembling a team of 20+ talented Designers, PMs, and Researchers, while growing ARR 2.5x to $100M+.

@Jonathan Tiret has extensive experience as a hands-on engineer and a tech leader in SaaS. He was the VP of Engineering at @Doctrine before it got acquired, and is the creator of @Dino Gaïa, one of the most popular online consumer games in France in the 2000s.

We’re on a mission to make the other 99% of companies out there more efficient and productive and we’re obsessed about it!

  • Sign up for the waitlist
  • Book a call with us if these problems truly resonate with you. We’re looking for design partners to onboard onto the alpha version of the product, and help us shape its future.