Quip: Collaboration at Full Speed

Kevin Gibbs, Founder "It’s time to rethink teamwork”—that’s what Kevin Gibbs and Bret Taylor, two super nerds had in mind when founding Quip in 2013. A mobile cloud document product designed to “feel like an open-air office—lively, open and engaging,” Quip is great for launching initiatives, building spreadsheets, and working closely with teammates. “Put it all together, and you’ve got a tool where the right decisions happen faster,” states Kevin Gibbs, Founder, Quip.

Drowning in emails, interrupted by meetings, yet enterprises get nothing done. It is here that Quip steps in; helping reduce emails and time wasted in integrating systems, making communication efficient, thereby, getting work done thrice-fold. Quip’s phones are the most fundamental level communication devices. “All of Quip’s power users use our mobile apps. We’re not just about a document, we’re about communication,” mentions Gibbs. The firm aims at helping other companies go through digital transformation, do things that could never be done before by listening to their customers, people in the front lines, engineers, designers, and project managers.

Features and Functions:

A common pattern observed by the firm is whether a company is choosing a cloud platform or a platform to host all one’s company’s collaboration, putting some of the important data for one’s company in there. One size fits all is not an acceptable answer in such situations. Hence, Quip has a consultative relationship with companies to help serve them better, one of the reasons Quip has succeeded so much within the Fortune 100.

Going from innovation for innovation’s sake to innovation that has an impact, Quip takes pride in being mobile as a lot of companies talk about being one but it takes a lot to become one. Quip works great for mobile—whether a tablet or phone—ensuring that all work is at one’s finger tips, relentlessly attacking the problem of speed and helping companies move faster.

From documents to spreadsheets for teams, chat in context to folders for teams, departments, and projects, Quip combines team work and communication in one central hub which is accessible from every device. A general-purpose collaboration tool, Quip’s document is a canvas for real-time communication and collaboration wherein workflow can be reinvented. Also, complicated static grids can be done away with Quip’s spreadsheets that ensure a modern, social, and contextual interface. The chat function, built into documents and spreadsheets, makes discussions, revisions and final decisions easier.

Quip is a mobile cloud document product designed to feel like an open-air office – lively, open and engaging

The firm’s cloud-based spreadsheets and documents are always updated and edited, giving teams’ access and visibility of their jobs. Quip brings a company’s Salesforce data to life by helping them make better decisions and ensuring all work better together.

In addition, Quip’s Live Apps, can embed organization charts from Altify, progress summaries from TaskRay, and diagrams from LucidChart right in Quip—where they stay up to date with live data. The Live Apps platform is an incredible innovation that gives real value. With Live Apps in Quip, teams use fewer tools and get more work done together within a short span of time.

All mission-critical apps are brought in one place, keeping teams updated with dates, and discussions required to keep work moving forward. The Live Apps gives teams ‘a single source of truth,’ wherein tools can be used to create alignment, prioritize backlogs, and track progress. Besides, Quip’s extensible API can be used by companies to build their own Live Apps, making things easier for teams. “We are not just about the tool which you use, but nearly every part of the product can be extended or exchanged to work with the data and tools that you work with,” asserts Kevin Gibbs. The firm ensures they communicate with every individual, customer, and end-user, figuring out how they could be best served.

While emails have certainly grown over the years and are known to be a great means for businesses to communicate, (around 188 billion emails are sent every day) the present time is seeing a growth in texts and how it has replaced emails. A teenager or a young adult is said to send an average of 100 texts per day, which is a great number. The question arises as to why teenagers or young adults prefer sending texts instead of emails when both are forms of written communication? The answer lies in the size and time taken by both to reach a person. While emails take up more time to send and access, a text, on the other hand, is short and reaches instantly when there’s a buzz in one’s pocket. ‘Texting feels fast to people, it feels like speed,’ hence, this is what was kept in mind while the founders designed Quip, ensuring they create experiences where they could reach people quickly.

For instance when people open a spreadsheet on Quip and something doesn’t seem right, users can click on the cell that opens up to the dialogue box. Questions can be asked, which will immediately buzz in the concerned person’s pocket for an answer. When the person taps on it, they will be able to see the question, reacting much more quickly, than one would do through an email.
Roadblocks Encountered:

A lot of customers are concerned about tool overload, as they try to reinvent themselves by adopting numerous tools due to the different areas of work. Often companies find themselves in a loop because they haven’t found a way to collaborate. Quip stands out here, as it tries to solve this problem by stitching all of the data together inside the Quip document. Whether it is bringing data and information from any source, third-party products, or custom-designed tools to track a company’s business process, Quip’s ‘one central hub’ solution helps with the tool overload problem. Businesses can run meetings and conversation in a single document, and everyone will be on the same page, eradicating the need to log into different systems every time.

"We’re not just about a document, we’re about communication"

Concerns about mobile security are another major issue of companies. IT leaders have to ensure they adopt mobile technologies, adopting serve security in the right way. There are numerous challenges—retaining or securing data, GDPR, privacy issues, managing data— within companies. But with competition growing, there’s a need to keep people productive, at the same time ensuring data is protected against a breach or a leak. “At Quip we take care of your data, assisting companies in adopting more recent technologies, such as SCIM, that put IT departments back in the driver’s seat—how to track that individual access,” says Gibbs. Quip has also experimented with connecting their systems to the logging systems of companies, so that companies that are larger get real, unfiltered information about their employees.

Clientele Interaction:

Having tried numerous collaboration tools before, The Warranty Group, a global team faced challenges in handling businesses in 35 countries as projects stagnated because action items got lost and accountability was muddled. They used Quip to free up bandwidth and make decisions faster. Quip made it easy to find and agree on important information, most importantly, helped build consensus and increase speed, as The Warranty Group selected, configured, and deployed Salesforce products.

The Path Ahead:

With an aim to bring back communication to connect with people, the firm is particularly looking to focus on visual communication as people will respond and engage faster. Besides, its design goal is ensuring that a Quip document feels like a ‘piece of paper shared between people in one room,’ the more people respond, the more collaboration happens. “Everything built at Quip is designed for speed, and the real truth is that without trust, you can’t build the kind of company that Salesforce is,” concludes Gibbs.


San Francisco, CA

Kevin Gibbs, Founder

Combines teamwork and communication by launching initiatives, and building spreadsheets that are accessible from every device, ensuring less time is spent on meetings and emails