#CallForStartups Knowledge Management

  1. People have to actually write stuff down.
  2. What we should document is not necessarily obvious. Will an insight shared in a meeting be useful to other teams later? Maybe.
  3. There is a reverse causality dilemma: If I don’t perceive the system as useful, I won’t contribute to it. If I don’t contribute to the system, it will never be useful. This challenge is associated with high starting costs — organizations must commit large amounts of time and money to get started.
  1. Knowledge isn’t always available where I need it. For example, if I’m a salesperson selling my product to a manufacturer, it would be useful to understand the talking points that would improve the likelihood of a sale. When crafting an email to the prospective manufacturer, will I pause to search for talking points? Probably not.
  2. Words are messy. Keyword search is cluttered, and topical search works if the ideas have been appropriately tagged. In my sales example, if another salesperson has already determined the talking points, those points would need to be tagged in the KM system so that they’re easily discoverable. The manual task of indexing and organizing information translates to poor documentation. While some KM systems index automatically, there is still considerable noise in the search results.
  3. Even in situations where the information has been appropriately tagged, how do I determine which information I should prioritize? For example, if a developer wants to understand payment infrastructure APIs according to what has been implemented previously, how would she distinguish between varying approaches? What were the tradeoffs considered in the previous implementations, and whose approach is most relevant?
  • Seamless collection — knowledge capture happens automatically wherever it’s generated
  • Intelligent indexing — knowledge is automatically tagged such that it’s easily retrievable
  • Ambient discovery — information surfaces when it’s needed wherever I’m working
  • Obvious hierarchy — it’s clear which information is the most relevant

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Investor at Vertex Ventures.

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Chase Roberts

Chase Roberts

Investor at Vertex Ventures.

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