The Miro Story - What a Hero of a Story!
Scribble and Sow with Miro #InkToInnovate
The world changed a lot because of Covid-19. One big change was that many people started working from home. Suddenly, it became normal to work in comfy clothes, and our homes turned into offices. Instead of big meetings in boardrooms, we started having virtual meetings on Zoom. Working remotely, which used to seem lazy, became a usual and even preferred way of working.
Lets go back to the recent brain storming session you had with your team in a boardroom. You are chalking out an idea in your mind, what are the first few simple and straight essentials that come to your mind?
A pen✒️, paper📄, your brainpower storming with ideas🧠, and a team 👥 to share ideas with? Every cool idea starts with a simple doodle. Being creative, thinking visually, and working together are things that are strongly wired in our brains. You then want to present it in a way that looks neat. Now, thats the problem.!
Miro, the tool we're talking about, was born from this idea – the need to collaborate even when we're not in the same place. It's like a helper for working together, and it understands how we think and create.
“Everything I do is designed to try and make Miro a spherical company” - Andrey Khusid, CEO, Miro
Miro is a digital whiteboard for team collaboration. It helps you work together on projects, offering features like notes, designs, and video calls. With handy templates, it's great for brainstorming. `People use Miro for various tasks, like project planning, customer stories, or workshop strategies. It connects with tools like Google Drive, Slack, and works well in video meetings. What makes Miro stand out is its template library, providing instant activities and structures to make your meetings and sessions more organized and fun.
(Image courtesy: miro.com)
White-boarding on a 14” screen!
Founded in 2011 by Andrey Khusid (CEO) and Oleg Shardin (former COO, now on the board), Miro, originally RealtimeBoard, emerged from the founders' design agency, Vitamin Group, established in 2005. Faced with the challenge of remote idea sharing, they created RealtimeBoard as a digital whiteboard in 2011. Recognizing its potential, Khusid and Shardin left Vitamin Group in 2012 to focus on developing RealtimeBoard full-time. The tool expanded beyond internal use, prompting a rebrand to Miro and evolving into a major visualization platform.
Shardin stepped down as COO in 2012, remaining on the board, while Khusid continued as CEO. Miro's leadership includes key figures like Hollie Castro, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Varun Parmar, and Justin Coulombe. In 2015, a B2B product release marked a turning point, achieving Product-Market Fit, leading to rapid growth. By 2018, Miro reached $5 million in ARR and secured a $25 million Series A funding. In 2019, armed with insights from a go-to-market team, Miro rebranded, drawing inspiration from artist Joan Miró for a playful and vibrant identity. Joan Miro’s artwork are abstract visualizations of what was in his mind. This move reflected a pivotal moment, aligning Miro's identity with its commitment to innovation and collaboration.
Andrey Khusid started doing business when he was young, inspired by his dad's small printing shop. Watching his dad run the business made him really interested in starting his own. Andrey's entrepreneurial spirit began to blossom at a young age. By the time he was seven or eight, an opportunity arose at his school where newspapers could be resold at the tram station. The idea sparked a passionate sales pitch in his mind, sometimes keeping him awake at night. As he progressed through school, he and a classmate identified a market niche—producing videos of graduation ceremonies. Seizing this opportunity, they established a small business around it.
Andrey’s learnings from his early ventures in his own words - “The money wasn’t much, but it showed me how to take an idea💡, understand the market opportunity, and convert it into something real.”
Andrey believes that using a whiteboard can bring people together and help them be creative as a team.
So, he created Miro with the mission—To empower teams to create the next big thing.
“I’ve always believed that the whiteboard is where the true magic in a business happens. The whiteboard is where individuals become a team, where ideas become a reality, and where anything is possible.”- Andrey Khusid
All about Templates!📑
In a world where remote collaboration has become the norm, Miro emerges as a guide for creative minds, offering a dynamic canvas for storytelling and project planning. With its intuitive interface and powerful features, Miro's free plan provides a gateway to limitless possibilities. And, yes, you heard me right! Miro’s template library is a treasure trove of over 300 ready-to-use templates.
Templates for every tale
From mindmapping to sticky-note arrangements, Miro offers an array of templates to kickstart creative endeavors. Authors can craft intricate plotlines using templates like "Product Roadmap" or explore alternatives like the "Lotus Diagram" for a sticky-note immersive experience.
(Image courtesy: miro.com)
You can even plot stories with Miro
Imagine a space where authors and content creators can seamlessly craft their storylines, share with collaborators, and access from any device. Miro transforms this imagination into reality. Inspired by the need to replace traditional whiteboards with virtual equivalents, Miro's template library becomes a storyteller's haven.
(Image courtesy: miro.com)
How easy or hard is creating these stories on Miro?
Miro is as simple as a few clicks. Start by clicking a button to create a new board. Choose a shared board if you want others to see it. You can choose templates, customize titles and upload preview images to make it special. A powerful design system, that’s what it is.
So, where can you store these multiple templates?
Creating something is one challenge and storing it is another. With Miro, this is also solved. It works on the internet, so you can reach it from anywhere. No need to install any additional software on your computer. It's like having your story ideas in the clouds. And don't worry, if you want to keep a copy for yourself, you can save your work as a PDF or a picture.
I love working in teams, does Miro support that?
Miro's brilliance extends beyond plotting. The live view feature enables direct editing of documents and lets you and your peers edit the same board at the same time. This is the best part, you can see changes happening right away. With integration capabilities with Google Drive and Dropbox, you can also easily link documents and images to your boards.
Miro's free plan has some limits. You can't keep editing old boards unless you make room by deleting some. And while it's a bit tricky at times, practicing helps.
So, even with some limitations, Miro is loved by lots of people and big companies. So, it's likely here to stay.
Miro’s three pillars of success!🏆
Every company aims to stand out with its unique approach to success. What was Miro's distinctive formula that set it apart in the market? Lets see.
Miro is changing the game in collaborative whiteboards, reigning as the top SaaS player with 35 million users and servicing 99% of Fortune 100 companies.
From startup to SaaS giant, Miro's journey is grounded in superior product quality. However, excelling in content, brand, and community sets them apart in the saturated collaborative whiteboard niche.
#1 Amplifying product potential through organic content📈
Beyond a stellar product, Miro excels in strategic partnerships and content. With 100+ SaaS tool integrations, Miro stands out. Their content strategy, particularly user-friendly templates, significantly contribute, driving 29% of organic traffic value.
“You don’t build a product customers will love by accident. You have to plan for it and set goals around it, starting at the end and working backwards.”- Andrey Khusid
#2 Revitalizing through rebranding🔄
Miro's impactful rebrand, inspired by Spanish artist Joan Miró, signifies more than aesthetics. The shift from RealtimeBoard to Miro wasn't just cosmetic but a strategic move to enhance brand consistency, evoke emotion, and align with a changing work culture. More than just a nice addition to their marketing efforts, Miro's branding is essential for keeping them ahead of the competition. Just check out how they spread the word:
#3 Building a Global Community Hub🌐🤝
Miro prioritizes community building, evident in their thriving user forums and Miroverse—home to 1,000+ community-generated templates. With over 325 employees dedicated to community roles, Miro leverages user-generated content to strengthen brand loyalty and insights.
Behind Miro's Numbers!
Users and Customers
Miro, with 60 million users as of September 2023, serves 99% of Fortune 100 companies. Targeting enterprise teams in various sectors like product management, IT, marketing, and more, Miro boasts notable clients such as Best Buy, Deloitte, and Disney.
(Image courtesy: miro.com)
The productivity management software market, valued at $54.8 billion in 2022, is expected to grow at 14.0% CAGR, reaching $203.4 billion by 2032. North America contributed 36% of revenue in 2022, and the growth is fueled by increased adoption in Asia-Pacific and advancements in AI.
Design Thinking and Agile Methods
Miro plays a crucial role in design thinking and agile methodologies, embraced by 75% of organizations in 2017 and 71% of US companies in May 2021. Despite a shift from remote work, the popularity of these methodologies remains high, providing growth opportunities for Miro.
Operating on a freemium model, Miro offers four plans: free, starter ($10/month), business ($20/month), and enterprise (custom pricing). Plans provide varying features, including unlimited boards, advanced functionalities, and security features for business and enterprise users.
In a January 2022 Series C funding, Miro secured $400 million at a $17.5 billion valuation, reflecting a 58x multiple of its 2021 revenue. With cumulative funding over $476 million, Miro's valuation is high, akin to other collaboration companies. However, its sustained growth will determine if this valuation holds or if it becomes an acquisition target.
Miro’s next frontier!
As Miro's innovation journey continues, their aim is clear – progress and growth. None of us are about standing still; we're all about pushing our limits, and so are they. The latest stride in this direction is the introduction of Miro AI, a powerful addition to enhance collaboration and productivity.
Miro AI, launched in May 2023, is a smart tool powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to boost innovation in big companies. It helps teams on Miro by making tasks like brainstorming, creating ideas, and summarizing information faster and easier.
Key Features of Miro AI:
Workflow Boost: It makes teamwork smoother, especially for teams working on tasks like customer research, strategy workshops, and product design.
Top-notch Security: It takes privacy seriously, teaming up with Microsoft for secure AI use. Admin controls stay strong for easy tracking and management.
Data Care: Miro AI only uses input data for what's needed and doesn't store it afterward, ensuring privacy.
Speedy Product Development: For teams creating new products, Miro AI speeds up tasks like drawing technical diagrams, understanding code, and summarizing information.
Time Saver: Agile coaches save time by using Miro AI to organize and summarize notes from brainstorming.
Useful Features: It introduces 12 features, like creating ideas based on feelings and keywords, making images from text, and showing complex ideas with diagrams.
Client Support: This AI is handy for client-facing work, reducing knowledge gaps during work sessions and quickly understanding trends.
Innovation Hub: Miro AI is part of Miro's plan to always improve and help teams work better, showing their commitment to creative solutions and user-friendly tools.
Andrey's thoughts on PLG strategies and more!
As we wrap up our exploration of Miro's story, let's focus on Andrey’s perspective on business growth.
The growth stories I've been sharing week after week mostly revolve around product-led companies, where the product itself takes the lead in business growth. Therefore, I find it fitting to conclude this blog with insights from Andrey's interview.
Here are some excerpts that stood out to me, where he discusses Miro's inception, prioritizing customers, and implementing Product-Led Growth (PLG) strategies.
Check out the full interview here to gain a deeper understanding of Miro's journey and Andrey's valuable insights.
"PLG starts with the product and product distribution.”
”You need to focus on your user and customer and remove all the friction they could face in their journey to be purely product-led."
"The key in PLG is defining your customer interaction and building your product organization accordingly"
“Our success often comes from 'hand-raisers,' those ready to elevate product adoption within their companies.”
"We align the organizational leadership around two metrics: users and revenue."
In conclusion, Miro's story is about starting small, growing big, and always trying new things. They began with a simple idea in 2011 and now help millions of people work together using their digital whiteboard. From changing their name to Miro to adding smart tools like Miro AI, they keep improving. Miro's success comes from working well with others, being creative, and listening to users. As Andrey Khusid says, it's not just about going fast; it's about being smart. Miro's way of growing is like a big team, experimenting, and solving challenges together. So, take all the inspiration you need from this story and have a great week ahead! Ciao 👋🌈