The history of Novu! Learn more about how we started and where we are now 🙂
- Novu on the Whiteboard
- January - The notification infra still does not exist
- April - Research the market insights
- May - Building initial MVP
- August - Persona focus
- September - OSS Proof-of-concept
- October - Vision blog post
- February - Seed Funding
- May - Alpha Cloud and self-hosted management platform
Novu on the Whiteboard
After building Novu internally in our previous businesses after a long workday at recCenter our previous venture Tomer and Dima ideated the concept of providing a notification infrastructure that can be consumed as a service and not developed internally as we did multiple times. Template, management, trigger, and a lot of the concepts ideated back then.
After that ideation night, Novu was left as a whiteboard idea and we continued to work on the company we had in hand.
January - The notification infra still does not exist
We let the idea sit on the back shelf, and after three years, and 4 previously built systems we still couldn’t find the solution that, at least in our minds, should have existed already. This was the point where we started researching the notification infrastructure space, trying to find what big and small-to-medium tech companies are doing. We did find out that some new players started to operate and try to provide a solution for some of the pain points we experienced. It looked like the market is starting to form around the notification infrastructure space.
April - Research the market insights
After talking with dozens of companies from startups to Fortune 500, it became clear there is a product to be built, the problem was common, with many names, and being solved a bit differently in many companies. Talking to small companies we kept hearing, that this is a very unique problem, only we are facing, while bigger companies were looking up to the giants, aiming for this level of communication with their customers, and very advanced capabilities.
May - Building initial MVP
After doing a lot of market studies and interviews we began building the very first version of Novu (Still Notifire at this point 🙂). We discussed the idea with a couple of design partners and started to implement the very core features of the product.
August - Persona focus
After speaking with countless potential customers, mainly speaking with product managers, it was clear that the teams responsible for building these solutions internally are the engineering teams. When we initiated a call with the product person, we were being handed over to the engineers, this was quite hard. Since the engineering teams are problem solvers and prefer solving the problem themself and are not really keen to being passed over a solution they don’t understand or want.
After a lot of those meetings, we understood that the engineering teams are the one's building and maintaining it. Instead of selling the product via a mediator, we should focus directly on the person feeling the pain: The engineering teams.
September - OSS Proof-of-concept
Before going fully with changing the focus of the user of the platform, we wanted to test if the engineering community relates to the problem domain. This is where we released the first Novu (Notifire at that time) library to GitHub to see if the engineering community is relating to this issue. After a couple of weeks we saw some nice traction but still weren’t sure if that’s enough.
October - Vision blog post
This was the point at which we decided to publish our vision blog post on dev.to, a blogging platform, to share with the dev community what is our vision and what we want to solve together.
The result was astonishing, Novu has been trending on GitHub for almost 3 consecutive weeks, featured on multiple newsletters, and got a lot of attention from blogging outlets and different social media channels.
It was clear that the pain is real for engineers. We had hundreds of conversation with engineers over Discord, GitHub, email and every imaginable channel. People told us about how they built such a system in the past and how hard it was, and basically confirmed to us everything we needed to further invest in building the first open-source notification infrastructure for engineering teams.
February - Seed Funding
Following the engineering community traction we had, Novu has secured our seed funding to further support our growth and build an amazing team of individuals to help us get there.
As part of hiring our first team members, we aimed for a couple of things that you can see in our
May - Alpha Cloud and self-hosted management platform
After the initial blog post release, people wanted a full platform to manage transactional communication. This includes things like Notification Feeds, In-app widgets, stateful API to manage the state of the sent notifications and generate more complex workflows for them. We finally released our new site and the platform starting to have conversations with users and iterating and refining the API’s we introduced based on those conversations.