Syncing Success: A Deep Dive into Integrations with Whalesync's Matthew Busel
In the inaugural interview feature we chat with Matthew, a co-founder of Whalesync - a revolutionary no-code tool that empowers users to sync data across popular apps seamlessly. With a commitment to solving user problems through integrations, Whalesync offers a unique perspective on the importance of this digital strategy. In our conversation, Matthew shares his team's approach to building new integrations, their prioritization process, and the critical role of user feedback.
Welcome to our latest series where we delve into the world of integration strategies with some of the industry's most forward-thinking individuals and teams. Our aim is to highlight the growing significance of integrations in today's digital realm, examine their contribution to overall business objectives, and provide actionable insights for your integration endeavors.
To kick things off, we're excited to introduce Matthew, a co-founder of Whalesync - a no-code tool that enables two-way data sync across popular apps.
Throughout this interview, Matthew shares valuable insights about their integration strategy, the process of building new integrations, and how they support their customers in implementing and using these new integrations. So with that said, let’s get into it!
Hi Matthew! Tell us about yourself and Whalesync. How do integrations contribute to your overall business strategy and goals?
Hi, I’m Matthew and I’m one of the co-founders of Whalesync. We’re a no-code tool that lets you two-way sync data across apps like Airtable, Webflow, Notion, & Bubble. Our users use Whalesync to build programmatic SEO pages, internal tools, and no-code apps.
By nature of our product, integrations is one of the most important aspects of our business. The more tools we integrate with, the more functionality we offer, and ultimately the more problems we can solve for our users.
When it comes to integrating new services with Whalesync, how do you prioritize which integrations to build?
Enabling two-way sync use cases requires deep integrations that go beyond what most automation tools offer. For this reason, prioritization is really important for us because any integration we decide to build takes significant time & effort to reach our quality bar.
We have a number of different factors that impact prioritization including:
How many times it’s been requested by users/potential users
Whether the connector enables a use case that we’re strategically focused on
How much better of an experience we believe we can offer than existing solutions
In summary, we try to build the connectors that our users ask us for, that solve their biggest problems, and that align with our strategy.
How does your team approach building integrations?
Once we decide to build a new integration, there are typically three main people involved:
1 engineer who owns development
1 PM who owns product experience
1 engineering manager who oversees development
Since we’re a small team, it won’t be the full-time job of the PM or eng manager but it’s one of their top priorities to help build the integration.
Once we kick off development for a new integration, our goal is to build the MVP version as quickly as possible. Every integration can have a neverending list of features, so it’s important for us to cut it down to just the features that are necessary to solve our users’ problems.
Once we have a connector MVP, we’ll teamfood it for at least a week. Every member of the team will take time to test it and try to break it. Once we’ve fixed the identified bugs and run it through our test suite again, we’ll open up a private beta where we give access to a few early users who are open to sharing feedback.
That beta period can be as short as a week or last over a month depending on the size of the feedback we receive. Once we feel the experience is up to par, we’ll make it available to everyone.
When introducing a new integration, how do you inform and support your customers?
While we have some strategies here that have worked OK, this is definitely an area we’re hoping to improve in the near future. Right now, our main focus in launching a new connector is making sure that our users are aware that the new integration exists and have the necessary materials to educate themselves on how to use it.
In your opinion, what factors make an integration project successful?
How successful a new integration is comes down to a few factors for us:
How big of a problem can we solve for our users by building this integration?
How feature-rich or limited is the API we’re integrating with?
Did we spend the time and effort to not just get a v1 out the door, but to improve on it based on customer feedback?
If we’re solving a real problem, the API gives us what we need, and we dedicate enough time improving the integration based on user feedback, then we see success.
If you could share one piece of advice with other SaaS owners regarding integrations, what would that be?
Every API has its own idiosyncrasies. That’s something we’ve learned the hard way. Any time we picked an integration because we though it would be “easy”, it turned out it was hard in its own way. At the end of the day, we see this as a blessing as the reason people choose Whalesync is precisely because these APIs are hard and we solve those problems for our users.
Where can people find more information about Whalesync and your journey?
That concludes our chat with Matthew from Whalesync. Matthew's experiences provide an illuminating look into the world of integrations, showcasing the obstacles they've overcome, and the strategies they've implemented in prioritizing, building, and refining their integrations. This conversation underscores the significance of understanding your users' needs, valuing their feedback, and continually improving your product for success.
As we continue this series, we'll delve deeper into the experiences and strategies of innovators making significant strides in the realm of integrations. Each integration journey has its unique challenges, but as we've learned from Whalesync, these hurdles often present opportunities for crafting more efficient and user-centric solutions.
We extend our gratitude to Matthew for sharing his insights. To learn more about Whalesync's journey, check out their blog and Twitter.
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