The Zeda Story
From organising hundreds of documents to multi-tasking with stakeholder management, Prashant Mahajan shares his journey of building Zeda.io, the all in one software for product managers.
Is it just me, or does anyone else feel voices in your head whenever you come across some problems? Like when you really need to get on this, solve for this. It might not be very pressing at that point in time, so after some time, we turn into an ignorant head and be like, yeah I’ll think about it later. But here I am, finally with a solution for an interesting problem.
Before I talk about that in detail, here’s a bit of backstory.
Unlike a lot of other product managers in the industry, I was lucky enough to start my career as a product manager from the start. Since then, I have been a part of many exciting projects at different companies like Paytm, Airtel, Tokopedia, Branch, and others.
To be honest, it’s been quite an enthralling journey. And the COVID-19 breakout started changing the lives of people upside down. There started the uncertainty, which in fact still remains, made me unemployed and move back to India.
What is Zeda.io solving?
Like how people say, everything happens for a reason, the whole scenario offered me an opportunity to work with products teams of the Fortune 500 companies. That is when a lot of people reached out to me asking for product management tools, and processes.
I didn’t have a definite answer then. So, I spoke to more than 500 product managers from different companies from startups all the way up to Facebook and Google. I have worked with the product teams across geographies and at different levels. But, trust me, no one was feeling the best when it comes to managing products. They faced many problems like
- There isn’t a single tool you can use to define, collaborate and manage products in one place.
- At the strategic level, there needed a tool that helps you with stakeholder management, gives you visibility on what happens at the product level, manages the roadmap across the organization, which we don’t have.
- Similarly, at the execution level, you have to maintain the best practices, promote effective communication across teams, manage product information at multiple places, again we don’t have anything for that.
- Only the PRDs are shared across the organization, and the teams didn’t have much clarity on the bigger picture.
- A lot of information gets lost when a product manager had to leave and likewise, when a product manager joins a team, they don’t have an idea of what’s been up and where to start.
- You use one tool for road mapping, another for wireframing, another for communication and the list keeps going on and on. With so many tools and processes to take care of, everyone felt their productivity and efficiency were put in jeopardy.
Especially being a product manager, you have things all over the place, all the time. From hundreds of documents to google sheets and whatnot? Every time you need something, you need to halt and think for a minute to actually get on it.
On the other hand, all other stakeholders of the product had that one place to go. For example, HubSpot for marketing, Figma for Design, and GitHub for Development.
This made me think and talk to product managers across the globe. Then it occurred to me, yes, it is a real problem. After spending time researching and enough validation, my Co-Founder, Vaibhav and I, decided to start Zeda.io - The go-to tool for Product Management.
How Zeda.io can help businesses?
From immediate benefits from day 1 to making product management smarter in the future, Zeda.io can help businesses in multiple ways.
To start with, product managers usually spend their time juggling a number of different things every day. When there are a hundred small things to take care of, you tend to miss out on the bigger picture. With Zeda.io, you can have everything in one place from PRDs to feature requests to wireframes, and you don’t have to break your head with a ton of operational stuff, thereby increasing productivity and efficiency.
Most of the time, product management is all about collaboration and communication. If you get that right, you don’t have to worry about a lot of things. Though it may sound breezy, what typically happens is, a roadmap ppt is given to the sales team, a wireframe is given to the Design team, a Jira ticket is given to the Development team, and FAQs to the support team. No one is able to see the complete picture of what they are building.
But with Zeda.io, everything is maintained in one central place and helps everyone stay on the same page. Now everyone has a clear idea of what we are building, why we are building, and whom we are building for.
From collecting feedbacks to prioritization to writing PRDs, and building the roadmap, you get everything a product manager needs inside Zeda.io. Even for other stakeholders, tools like Notion, Slack, and Jira can be integrated with Zeda.io However, in both cases, you end up doing things in one place.
You don’t have to share multiple links and documents with your stakeholders. When you share a link, you are sharing the background of the requests, who asked for it, how it aligns with the company OKRs, user flow, the persona, and the roadmap. All of this with control on who can see what.
All the above things can be directly translated into time saving and security.
Last and most importantly, cost-effectiveness. Instead of paying for ten different tools, you pay for one tool that does everything.
What the community is saying about Zeda.io?
So far, we have almost 3000 people signed up for early access, and quite a few people already using it. We are getting some great responses and support from them. We also get some quality feedback which we're working on them. Not only that, but we have a lot of people interested in talking about the problem, the product, which is good.
Though we get feature requests from people who have already started using the product all the time, we don’t want to solve for all of them. Because we aim to make product management simpler and not complex.
Do you know why? As a product manager, you get your hands on so many tools, and yet you generally don’t use most of them. With so many specialized tools already available in the market, Our goal is not to be the best in all of them. But to be the 20% of the tools you use to take care of your 80% of the things.
We want to be that 20% of the tools you go for and find it useful and comfortable to use.
The Road ahead for Zeda.io
The mission of Zeda.io is to make product management simpler and smarter. We have already made the product management simpler by centralizing everything in one place and making that talk to the entire company. Yes, we have a lot of internal things to take care of such as optimizing the UX, making it live to more people, But the road ahead for Zeda.io is to make the product management smarter.
If you ask how, Product Managers have to do a lot of redundant, repetitive, and operational work. For example, most of the apps available today request a phone number to log in. A PM at Swiggy has to write the same PRD as the PM at Swiggy. What if you go to the Zeda.io community, search for a log-in PRD, get the best one, copy and edit. This way you can spend time on things that matter the most. Imagine finding the best templates, ideas from people all over the world.
Similarly, just like how Gmail suggests words to finish your sentences, with the help of Machine learning, we want to assist, analyze, and optimize product management. Consider you are writing a user flow, how about it suggests the best-rated template from the community, or say you make a change to the roadmap and the model gives you insights on the timelines.
This way, with the power of community and machine learning, we want to assist product managers to make better and faster products.