The End of Terrible Integrations

October 6, 2021

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You would have loved to work with David. He was the kind of product manager that pored over every pixel, every interaction of the product. "Whatever we do, we've always gotta think about the user first."

Everyone that worked with him loved his attention to detail and passion for advocating on behalf of the user.

Until one day, under immense customer pressure, David was tasked to figure out how to implement some 25 odd integrations their customers were pining for. That's when David met with Clyde, his hyper-rational engineering counterpart.

David laid out what he wanted to do: "We'll look at each integration, and we'll design them out. See how they fit in our app, in our user flow."

"Don't be ridiculous, Dave." Clyde snaped, always in a hurry. "We don't have time to implement 10 integrations, let alone 25! We'll do what most companies do; we'll throw these over to Zapier."

"Throw these over?"

"OK, we'll hand them over. When a user comes to us asking for an integration, we'll ask them to solve it themselves using Zapier or some other platform. It's the user's problem now."

"But we're here to solve our user's problems, right? Why can't we use our own UI, do it inside our app?"

"Dave, Dave… for 25 different integrations? We don't have that kind of engineering bandwidth."

"But… we'll be sending users in a different app, with a different identity, a different login. That's very jarring."

"Be that as it may, but if the users want it bad enough, they'll have to figure it out. Like I said, it's their problem. We're not integration experts."

"And what about the actual integration? We need to define what the UI shows and how the UX works-"

"I'm going to stop you right there, Dave. You can't. It's not your app. It's someone else's platform. Look, I get what you're saying. But it's a small price to pay to solve our customer's integration problem. We can't have a great experience for everything. At least this solves our problem in a few months."

Solve? This is a bandaid over a water leak on a damn. Thought David.

David knew that Clyde was right about the budget. That day, David swallowed hard and died a little. He just agreed to something that was everything he stood against but didn't have the resources to craft those beautiful experiences he relished and lived for.


I feel for David.

I really do.

If you're a product manager, you would not only wince reading his ordeal, but you would intuitively agree that he is right. And turns out you wouldn't be wrong.

Integrations that are in-app with a better experience outperform offsite integration platforms 30-to-1. Not a typo. The problem? It's too expensive to build these integrations.

You don't put your best people on them. Your star engineer doesn't wake up every day thinking, "golly, I can't wait to work on the 15th integration today".

Even if you're doing integrations inside your app, these are probably outsourced to consultants with the bare-minimum attachment to your app. Very likely, there's no one from product involved, and the consultant is their own product and engineer. And trying to QA an integration between two or more systems is no walk in the park either.

But make no mistake, the cost of not getting an integration up and running is very high. It's not being able to onboard a user because they couldn't import their data at signup. It's losing a customer because you couldn't integrate with the popular tools they are using. Building a sales tool, but you can't sync contacts? A scheduling tool that can't hook into your calendar? Forget it. Your app's DOA.

Without integrations that are easy to understand and set up, you're locked out of your user's world.  

We wanted to solve this false choice between expensive and bad. That's why we built Integry.


The end of terrible integrations

Integry is founded on the following premises:

  1. To create a successful product, you need a great software experience. A great experience ensures your users are successful in whatever task they have to do in your app
  2. Integrations are no exception. In fact, setting up an integration is one of the most technical tasks a user may need to perform.
  3. Product teams should be able to deliver these great "Integration Experiences" (or IX as we like to call them) without having to sacrifice an arm, a leg, or their sanity.

The only way we will be successful at Integry is by making your user's integration experience as good if not better than your app's own UX.

With Integry, you can build high-quality integration experiences, keep your identity, enable users to modify integrations to suit their needs, save on time and pay for usage.

This isn't just an incremental step in the right direction; it's a giant leap for product teams.

This wasn't easy. We had to work on this problem for several years, starting in 2017 with now a team of 33 full-time members.

We wanted to make sure we solved integrations "full-stack." This means: giving you the ability to create and preview your end-user integration experiences, a powerful workflow editor, a powerful API connector builder, giving you a branded marketplace, a low-code editor for your users to build their own integrations, the ability to "drop to code" if you need to, an analytics "deep dive" engine that allows you to debug any one of the bullion API calls, and 100s of prebuilt connectors.

There are enough point solutions out there that solve just 5% or 10% of the problem. With Integry, you get a turnkey, "let's get this done" solution.

We wanted to make great IX accessible to everyone, and a great way to break barriers down is to make pricing dead simple. We don't have pricing plans. We don't have complicated feature comparisons. We just charge you for your usage as defined as a run: whenever an integration is executed, not by API call. There are no monthly commits. There's a large free tier.

To bring great IX to everyone, we've partnered with the best investors in this space. Brett at Bonfire led our seed round and brought more than 11 years at Salesforce, the birthplace of SaaS. He brings a depth of experience and understanding about the importance of integrations that we've seen very few people get. Our round was also joined by the Operator Collective with Mallun and Leyla; Andrea from Basecamp and Namek from Silicon Badia. Leyla was EVP at Salesforce, where she famously built and scaled the AppExchange, one of the greatest integration platforms of our time. Her belief is that "Integry gives you your own AppExchange out-of-the-box." We also had phenomenal angels participate: Dan Scheinman, board member and first check in Zoom; as well as engineering and product leaders from Google, Microsoft, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and Cisco. We've gathered the best minds that understand this problem to help us craft the best solutions for you.

We're excited to have you join us and help us build a platform that raises the bar on Integration Experience and makes your users more successful. We're launching on Product Hunt today, and we're opening access to everyone. Please join us!