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Why we started The Org

By Christian Wylonis
startup
Image credit: startup

My name is Christian and I’m the CEO & co-Founder of The Org. Andreas (my co-Founder) and I started working on The Org back in early 2017 but the idea actually started off as something very different. This is the story about why two guys from Denmark decided to launch an org chart start-up.

Throughout my professional career I had experienced the pain of trying to get in contact with people outside my company in an easy way. It is often difficult to find the most relevant people to contact and even harder to actually reach them. Email addresses are rarely shared publicly, LinkedIn is expensive and restrictive, and Facebook is not made to contact new people in a professional way. We wanted to build something that made it easier to contact people outside your current company.

We started hacking on a messaging app designed to contact new people called Knock. The problem with messaging apps is that they aren’t very useful if you’re the only person on the platform. We had a few different ideas to solve the cold start issue, but the reality is that creating a messaging app is really hard. We actually created and launched a prototype of the app, but the concept faded because we couldn’t get any traction. We couldn’t stop thinking about the problem though…

Six months later, I read an article on The Information called “The People Who Matter at Airbnb” where the primary infographic was an org chart of the top 70 people at Airbnb. According to some company insiders the article went viral with employees including the executive ranks. As an outsider, it provided a very interesting look into the inner workings of one of the most innovative start-ups in the world.

This article might seem unrelated to “Knock”, but it made me realize how powerful org charts are in creating transparency to companies. Not only can you see everyone who works in the company, but you get a better understanding of their responsibilities and their decision-making abilities. Org charts solve the original problem of helping people find the most relevant person to contact.

What if we could create the Airbnb org chart not just for the 70 “most important people” (whatever that means) but for EVERYONE at Airbnb? What if we could do it for every company in the world? We started The Org to answer that question. A good place to start is with our own org chart:

Our mission is to make companies more open and transparent. We’re just getting started so please help us out by signing up and adding your company org chart. Thank you for your support!