September 1, 2023

Why Nemo?

Ben Echols
CEO & Co-Founder

The limiting factor in software development (and many other businesses) is not how fast you can add new features. It’s understanding what’s already there, and keeping everything coherent as it changes.

This isn’t an abstract problem. Lack of strategic context and dependency management frequently drive low employee sentiment, directly harming retention and hiring. Projects cancel each other out, new hires can’t ramp quickly, and huge amounts of time go into strategy, planning, and status meetings that don’t achieve their intended results. Ultimately companies provide and capture less value than they could.

We’ve spoken with many critical contributors at successful companies, and nearly everyone pegs their organization’s effectiveness at 5-20% of what it could be. There’s so much room to do better.

This problem is only getting worse. It’s never been easier to use cloud infrastructure, SaaS, and remote teams to build things quickly. It’s also never been harder to keep people informed about all the moving pieces. Remote work means even less shared context. AI makes all this even more intense: more things, developed more quickly, that fewer people understand.

Leaders spend lots of time on strategy docs, decks, and presentations in attempts to create alignment. Unfortunately, this large investment doesn’t pay off:

Only one-quarter of the managers surveyed could list three of the company’s five strategic priorities. Even worse, one-third of the leaders charged with implementing the company’s strategy could not list even one. (source)

Even though missing context and relationships are the bottleneck for nearly every organization, we haven’t had the tools to effectively represent this problem, much less address it directly. Instead, organizations are struggling under the weight of too many point solutions - tool sprawl makes everything even harder to understand.

We’re building Nemo so organizations can express and communicate about this complexity.

If we get the model of a business or system out of someone’s head, it’s easier for the individual to reason about, and to communicate to others. When teams have context, organizations can actually unlock the bottoms-up innovation they talk about wanting, while preventing the massive inefficiencies that are the default today. When we make relationships and impacts explicit, programmatic reporting, alerts, and workflows can become far more relevant, as do LLMs.

Our approach combines several key elements:

  • a flexible concept mapping / graph interface that accommodates the ambiguity and interrelationships of ill-formed problems (rather than forcing users into a predefined, poorly-suited schema)
  • live syncing of data from outside systems (rather than forcing users to abandon existing tools and workflows)
  • multiple views of the data that users can edit and move between at the speed of conversation (rather than duplicating separate static presentations, documents, diagrams, tables, etc)

Engineering, product, and sales leaders are already using Nemo to make their organizations more effective.

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