🌌 Into the Miroverse - the community-driven story of billion dollars!

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Shalini Nair Tekwani

You never know where inspiration will come from. Not even those who were inspired could have predicted the impact of an idea they had that came out of frustration while working in a company. That was the start for Andrey Khusid. Andrey and Oleg Shardin were running a design firm when they noticed a persistent problem amongst remote clients while trying to communicate ideas. The resulting frustration helped shape the future of (originally called) RealtimeBoard, and now known as Miro, back in 2011.

A virtual whiteboard on steroids” - that’s what Forbes called Miro (then RealtimeBoard).

Miro was barely even a blip in the radar of the design community a couple of years ago as of 2018, but now it is dominating the conversation. Why has it gone from obscurity to being one of the top tools for brainstorming and ideation? And what exactly propels Miro’s success?

In 2018, Miro was totally under the radar. Source

By 2020, Miro had seen a 472% growth in just a year! Today, Miro weaves a dream success story - with 25 M+ users, and topping the charts for being the most preferred tool for digital white-boarding! Miro was named to The Forbes Cloud 100 for the second consecutive year, being the #36th ranked top private cloud company in the world.

UX Tools Survey Report 2021

Just a few days ago, Miro raised $400 million in a Series C financing round backed by ICONIQ GrowthAccelAtlassianDragoneerGICSalesforce Ventures and TCV propelling its valuation to $17.5 billion!! It has raised a total of $476M+ so far!

It is a product that is MADE FOR THE MOMENT! At a time when employees and teams were forced to collaborate from home, Miro offers the entire whiteboard - brainstorming experience for teams while staying at home. Miro is an Uber-like concept for virtual off-site teams building digital features. It’s an app that’s supposed to help distributed workers collaborate, brainstorm and ideate together.

The pandemic forced teams to collaborate remotely. Remote collaboration is a huge part of today's workforce. With the rise of remote and distributed teams, workers are no longer confined to a desk and coworkers are no longer in the same office building or even time zone. For many companies and employees, this has been great for company culture, employee happiness, and employee engagement. But for others, it’s been quite a challenge to maintain productivity and stay engaged without the everyday interactions that typically happen in an office setting.

Miro’s success was propelled thanks to this shift. While it’s often not possible to be in the same room as your team every single day, Miro makes sure productivity isn't an issue. Miro co-founder and CEO Andrey Khusid said the company planned the platform idea from its earliest days.

“The concept from day one was building something for real-time collaboration and the platform thing is very important because we expect that people will build on top of our product” - Andrey.

In this keynote video, Andrey talks to us about the journey behind shaping Miro 👇 Checkout 1:20 - “And one thing that has defined us over the last 10 years is the idea that if you have a blank canvas, you can solve any problem.”

Seven things are accounted for Miro’s product-led growth success :

  • Customer centricity
  • UX
  • Freemium model
  • Viral loops
  • Simplicity and fast time to value
  • Users engagement
  • Templates

Helping distributed teams collaborate better - Customer success through a community-led approach

Key highlights about Miro

The story doesn’t end here. They didn’t just hit a sweet spot with PLG success and leave it there - they wanted to ensure that their users are even more successful with Miro! 🙂 Miro has two online communities - one focussed on developers to help with APIs and SDKs and the other focussed on customer success. They host these on Insided (now acquired by Gainsight). Besides these, they also maintain a Github repository to address issues faced by developers specifically.

Colleen Curtis, Alexis Luscutoff, Marina Perminova and the entire community team have brought together a well-knit, large family of Miro users - to network, collaborate, engage and grow together! Here are some key things they do to succeed as a community - your daily Vitamin - Community! 👇

Personalised Onboarding Flow

Onboarding is the first touchpoint in a member’s community journey - making it vital to ace it. Many communities tend to ignore/skip this step. But here’s how Miro’s onboarding motivates you to take the next step - introducing yourself!

On signing up for the community, you will get a welcome email that promptly mentions how you can get started with the community. The clear CTA makes you explore the community instantly.

Welcome email once you signup.

The email is pretty simple with clear, uncluttered CTAs - each step taking you to the community!

In the introductions section (also hyperlinked in the email for quicker action) you will see many product users dropping in their warm introductions. This acts as a great icebreaker between members, giving them a chance to learn and grow together.

If you go to the community homepage, the first thing you’ll come across is the Community Welcome Guide. As the name suggests you’ll have everything you need to know about the community here.

Miro’s Community Homepage

Introductions First!

The welcome section of the community forum has multiple sections promoting users to take action and post their first message - which is a self-introduction. And hey, you’ll find some exceptional introduction messages there! 👇

Sample of an introduction message posted by a user.

In the introductions section, you will see many product users dropping in their warm introductions. This acts as a great icebreaker between members, giving them a chance to learn and grow together.

Each member can fill out details in their profile. Others can follow them or even send a message to them to connect further. Here’s how the member profile looks like.👇 Also note: through the member profile creation flow they’re taking a survey of the most loved product feature by the users.

Detailed Member Profile Creation

Peer Support: Ask the Community

Designed towards customer success, this question enables peer-to-peer query resolution! Got a question? Drop it in the Ask the Community section. Within a few minutes, you’ll get someone from the community helping you out with your query. If not, a Miro community volunteer will jump in to answer your question.

Also what’s worthwhile noticing is every section of the community forum has a detailed guide/explainer telling you about the next steps/FAQ!

Way to build a loving community! 😊

Ask the community section on the forum - with a detailed usage note.

Community Badges and Leaderboard

Every time a member interacts in the community they get certain points based on their action. On being an active member you can collect multiple badges. Some of the popular ones include - an inspiring, people person, problem solver, Miroverse creator.

The leaderboard ranks the top 1000 community members based on how much they interact. There are also levels like beginner, contributor, active contributor, which changes when member activity increases.

The Miro Community Leaderboard

Building a feature roadmap by crowdsourcing wish-list

The best product-market fit happens, when you build a product meant to solve existing challenges faced by users. The best way to find this out - is to ask your existing users, what features would they like to see in future that can help them be more productive by using your product!

Miro does this on their community in the wishlist section! 👇

Miro’s wishlist section - crowdsourcing product features

Miro Academy - Teaching you to be better at using Miro

A multitude of workshops will be hosted by Miro.

Miro hosts free expert live sessions every week to help members get a better understanding of the product. Members can join alone or bring their team along. Ask questions, learn best practices, train your team at scale - the sessions make sure you are comfortable with every aspect of Miro.

Miro customer education managers and facilitators run help members understand how they can adopt Miro to their use cases. These sessions are free and live. What’s best is that you can choose your suitable timing for these sessions. They run the same sessions on different days and times. This helps their global audience to fix up a preferable slot, no matter which time zone they are in.

They also have a good collection of courses that will help members become efficient with their daily tasks. Take a look at some of the courses 👇

Courses designed by Miro for users

Miroverse - Proven workflows and frameworks: by the community, for the community!

Miroverse showcases exceptional designs and frameworks exhibited by the community members used for their workspaces. The templates are easy to replicate and build over making it super-easy to adapt to the product and get started with it!

Miroverse - showcasing some of the best templates of 2021!

To conclude, the community efforts are massive and inspirational to learn from! Kudos to Colleen and her entire super force behind this success!

The latest challenge for organisations of all sizes is to think about how to build a remote-first office of the future. This makes it vital for business leaders to set up a framework that makes remote working efficient and collaborative for all employees! Miro definitely is here to stay and solve this challenge, in a big way! 🙌

Miro Love Board 😍

Dropbox used Miro to plan their “Dropbox on Dropbox” initiative.


To Conclude:

  • Andrey Khusid and Oleg Shardin were running a design and they noticed a persistent problem amongst remote clients while trying to communicate ideas. The resulting frustration helped shape the future of (originally called) RealtimeBoard, and now known as Miro, back in 2011.
  • Today, Miro weaves a dream success story - with 25 M+ users, and topping the charts for being the most preferred tool for digital white-boarding! Miro was named to The Forbes Cloud 100 for the second consecutive year, being the #36th ranked top private cloud company in the world!
  • Helping distributed teams collaborate better - Customer success through a community-led approach
  • Personalised Onboarding Flow
  • Prompting to post self-introductions first
  • Peer Support: Ask the Community
  • Gamification - Community Badges and Leaderboard
  • Building a feature roadmap by crowdsourcing wish-list
  • Miro Academy - Teaching you to be better at using Miro
  • Miroverse - Proven workflows and frameworks: by the community, for the community!

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