Website design is more of an art than a science. Through countless iterations, web designers strive to create the perfect landing page. A good landing page can be the difference between attracting a new customer or user. However, it is difficult to provide feedback directly on the page being edited. Dani Grant and Mohd Irtefa created Jam to solve this overlooked problem. Jam allows users to edit their websites collaboratively. The San Francisco-based startup has raised $ 3.5 million in venture capital from Union Square Ventures, Version One Ventures, BoxGroup, Village Global and angel investors such as GitHub CTO Jason Warner, CEO of Cloudflare Matthew Prince, Gumroad CEO Sahil Lavingia, Former PagerDuty CTO Andrew Miklas, Former Kickstarter CPO Jamie Wilkinson, Former Robinhood Product Vice President Josh Elman, Cloudflare SVP Emerging Technology and Incubation Dane Knecht and Cloudflare Head of Innovation James Allworth.
Prince says, “I am a huge fan of the Jam team. Dani and Irtefa were both great members of the Cloudflare team. I got to know them both well. When they asked me to invest, it was obvious. One of the things that was surprisingly fun for me running the business was seeing the Cloudflare diaspora (which I think is a more apt term than “Mafia”) go out and start new businesses. I was honored by the number of them who reached out and allowed me to help them support them. And I’m really excited to see the business that Dani and Irtefa have built Jam into.
The main challenges surrounding website design reviews are coordination and collaboration. Coordination during a design review can be complex as different parties are involved with competing and conflicting interests. Beyond the design team itself, the sales, marketing, engineering, and executive leadership teams may all have input into the design process. These comments are traditionally collected through email and Word documents, which can be difficult to track in real time as changes are being made to the design of the website simultaneously. Collaboration is a separate issue. There is a lack of viable software or design review standards where teams and individuals can work together in one central location. Usually, collaboration involves sharing screenshots or specific design software files with others via email. These necessary steps involve a lot of friction regarding how quickly a design team can work to complete a project on time. As the massive market for design software grows, collaboration and coordination are themselves valuable issues to be addressed.
Warner says, “Investing in Jam was easy. They were building something that would have made my life easier and better in every place I have worked in the past. Jam was simple, intuitive, useful, stylish, and fun, while also solving a real problem. Simply put, I would love to have this product multiple times and know I will need it in the future.
The global market for knowledge workers is estimated at $ 126 billion according to Atlassian. Digging deeper, the soft knowledge labor market, which would include designers, sales and marketing teams, is worth $ 74 billion. While it is difficult to directly assess the size of the design collaboration software market, the ratings of several late-stage design product companies serve as a relevant benchmark. Canvas recently appreciated to a valuation of $ 40 billion after its last fundraising of $ 200 million. Figma has raised $ 200 million for a valuation of $ 10 billion. InVision is valued at $ 1.9 billion after raising a $ 115 million Series F. These three companies show that the design space is ripe for innovation. Additional value will be generated for designers with a collaboration tool designed for their specific needs.
Grant and Irtefa created Jam as a centralized review tool for design teams to collaborate and build websites efficiently. Jam works in the browser (and recently also as a Chrome extension). A Jam user first grabs their website to edit it collaboratively in the tool prompt. From there, the website appears in the browser. To enable Jam, a user types ‘jam.dev/’ before the normal website URL. By making this change, the website is now converted into a collaborative document, similar to Google Docs; multiple people can now edit this simultaneously. There is a track changes dialog box on the right side of the screen that records all changes made in the website turned collaborative document. Jam uses the Slack API to connect a team’s Slack channel to the collaborative document. Anyone can be tagged on specific changes and get notified instantly in the Slack channel. Team members can also respond to comments through Slack. Jam also has integrations with Figma, Loom, Linear, Jira, and other popular design, video, or productivity software to interface well with existing workflows and a design team’s external tools.
Jam is the hub that subsumes the functions of Google Docs and design annotation and editing software and connects other useful software applications for collaboration and coordination that work like spokes. Jam effectively becomes a centralized source of truth for various teams responsible for designing a particular web page. Coordination and collaboration are orchestrated and executed on a single medium. The startup recently released three new features to further consolidate its software as a centralized design review tool: Jam Wand, Jam Browser, Bug Jam, and Jam on Chrome.
Grant says, “Jam Wand is a no-code tool that allows users to make copy changes from their websites to source code. Jam Browser is a seamless workspace where teams can browse and annotate the web together, and Bug Jam captures debug logs and a screenshot with one click. Jam on Chrome gives designers the ability to leave developer comments right on any web page.
Grant, Irtefa, and the Jam team have varying backgrounds in iterating and releasing new features quickly. Grant graduated from NYU with a degree in human-machine interaction. She spent time as a product manager at Cloudflare and an analyst at Union Square Ventures before launching Jam. Irtefa obtained her bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Urbana-Champaign. He worked at RetailMeNot as a software engineer and as a product manager at Cloudflare, where he met Grant and then started Jam with her. The two brought together a distant team of seven from the United States, Poland, Bangladesh, Serbia and Turkey. These seven are setting the new standard in web design with Jam.