Introducing Fellow: A manager’s co-pilot

Today, we’re incredibly proud and excited to introduce a product that we’ve been working on to solve a problem that’s been a pain point for my co-founders and I for the last decade. We’re calling it Fellow and it’s a manager’s co-pilot — a toolkit for managers and their teams to power their 1-on-1s, team meetings, feedback, goals/priorities and a whole lot more.

Finally, an app designed for managers and their teams

Before creating Fellow, we were the co-founders of Fluidware, a company we had bootstrapped to just under 100 in staff, before it was acquired by SurveyMonkey in 2014. At SurveyMonkey, we joined a talented team that grew to over 800 people which gave us an intimate view of the inner-workings of a larger organization.

We started that journey as individual contributors and then became managers — and eventually, managers of managers. Like many entrepreneurs, we benefited and learned from software for every aspect of our business, from sales to marketing, to customer-success. However, as our number of direct-reports grew, we always wondered:

“Why isn’t there a great tool for managers of people?”

Driven by the mission to make work better for every employee and team lead, we decided to study the traits and commonalities of the world’s most successful managers.

We interviewed industry leaders, learned from the best coaches and read a wide variety of books to determine the traits and practices that make someone a great manager. In the end, we built our learnings into Fellow, an app that aims to help managers become exceptional leaders— and is now accessible to everyone.

Shopify: Our founding customer

The beta testing period began with 200 employees at Shopify, who helped us test Fellow and gave us the valuable feedback we needed to build a truly compelling product. Now, more than 2,500 Shopify employees use Fellow to manage their relationships at work whether through 1:1 interactions, team meetings and more.

It’s been great to hear Shopify — one of the best places to work in Canada — describe Fellow as the tool that facilitates better work interactions, team meetings, and 1-on-1s. It’s been a great journey and we’re incredibly proud to have built a product that garnered great feedback:

Our list of founding customers includes great companies like Shopify, North Inc., Vidyard, Verticalscope, and Invest Ottawa. They represent a new generation of leaders who use the Fellow app to empower employees and drive team-centric engagement and performance.

Today, we’re excited to launch Fellow to the public — making leadership insights, feedback, recognition, and positive interactions accessible for anyone.

We built Fellow with these design principles in mind

Simplicity first:

It was essential for us to build a tool for everyone. One that even non-tech-savvy users could be enamoured with. An app that required no training and focused on a pleasant minimalistic experience. No bloat. Just the essentials.

Built for the end-user:

We wanted to create a tool that end-users actually want to use because it helps them make work better. This is why we built Fellow thinking about the tools and features that managers and employees would benefit from the most. Fellow incorporates planning meetings, giving feedback and setting goals into your current workflow, so you don’t have to change the way you work- instead, make your work better.

A non-prescriptive experience:

Fellow encourages best practices from great leaders but doesn’t interfere with your own style. You can choose which tools to use from the toolbox, write your own templates, and modify the Fellow experience as you’d like. Lengthy forms, semi-annual reviews, and tedious ways of providing feedback are a thing of the past. Now, you can use Fellow to enhance your leadership reach by making recognition, meeting planning, and goal setting a daily activity.

Would you like to join the community of leaders that are using Fellow to empower their teams? Sign up to get your invitation.