Published in Notion HQ

Welcome to Notion, Skiff!

By Akshay Kothari

Co-founder, Notion

3 min read

Today we’re pleased to announce that Skiff is joining Notion. This week I sat down with Skiff’s co-founders, Andrew Milich and Jason Ginsberg, to talk about their early days and our companies' shared work ethic, product vision, and real estate history.

Andrew: I started working on Skiff after a trip I made to Russia as a graduate student. I was frustrated with the limited tools I had at my disposal while I was traveling, but also inspired by the challenges of working with people in different languages and time zones, and with varying security constraints. When I started Skiff, Jason was the first person I reached out to. We met six or seven years ago while planning a Stanford hackathon. He has an incredible skill set and he’s the hardest-working person I've ever met.

Jason: When I got the call from Andrew I was working on the Apple Vision Pro. That was a formative experience — it made me realize our digital devices aren't just machines anymore; they are, in a deep and meaningful way, an extension of who we are, how we live our lives and experience the world.

Andrew: We became official on April Fool’s Day, 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic. What a time to launch. But we were always pretty clear about our goal: give people more control over and knowledge about the way they work.

Jason: Diving into this project during those first days of remote work made clear how fundamentally important it is to be able to communicate clearly. Communication isn't just a simple back and forth — it's how we build products, come up with ideas, create great things in the world.

Akshay: Skiff started showing up on our radar at Notion right from the beginning. I actually tried to reach out in 2020 when you were building your Docs product. We never connected then, but I kept tabs on your progress. Then a few months ago, Ivan and I were talking, and Skiff came up again. I downloaded all the products y’all had built, and was really impressed by the attention to detail. And as I was checking out your website, I realized that you’re actually based in the original Notion office!

Andrew: Yeah, we moved there in 2021. It’s this big industrial space on Capp Street in the Mission — kind of a garage-meets-studio vibe.

Akshay: Then you go upstairs and there’s a three-bedroom apartment. In the old days we used two of them as conference rooms and Ivan kept a bed in the third one.

Andrew: There are still lots of old Notion pictures and furniture hanging around. We’re bringing them over here.

Akshay: When Ivan and I met with you two, it was clear right away how much our mission and values are the same — we share a view of the world we want to build. We came back to the office after that first meeting and were like, these guys remind us of how we were 10 years ago.

Andrew: Likewise, I started using Notion while building Skiff four years ago and we’ve used it ever since. Our missions are definitely aligned. Both companies are based around the idea that people are underserved by most of the tools we use, and that building a connected workspace that empowers people to do better work is not just possible, but essential.

Jason: I think we also have a shared emphasis on quality. Notion is a product where when you use it, you get a sense of the people who made it. There's a level of thoughtfulness that inspired us when we were working on Skiff, and we’re thrilled to join a company that will push us to do even better. How can you design and create new productivity tools that embrace today’s technology and manage the complexity and noise of the modern world?

Andrew: That’s what we’re here to figure out.

Akshay: We’re excited to have you. Let’s get started.

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