By providing great service and great software, we want to make the web a better place.
We build features based on customer requests and input and give customers a lot of ways to customize their knowledge bases to their needs.
KnowledgeOwl runs on its own profits, with no outside investment or interests. The only people we answer to are our customers (and the IRS).
We’re passionate about documentation and knowledge management
& Chief Executive Owl
Broomfield, CO, United States
Chief Technical Owl
Broomfield, CO, United States
Upper Left Corner, KnowledgeOwl
Chief Product Owl
& Resident Cheesemonger
Midcoast Maine, United States
Stuck in the Net, United States
& Seeker of Sounds
Pennsylvania, United States
Chief Operations Owl
Austin, TX, United States
Lead Support Owl
& Breakfast Hoot-dini
Asheville, NC, United States
Building better knowledge bases since 2011
KnowledgeOwl begins as a lean startup as part of SurveyGizmo, now Alchemer, a software company in Boulder, Colorado. The vision is to build HelpGizmo, a full help desk solution with ticketing. One of our founders, Marybeth, is a support manager at the time and part of the original HelpGizmo startup team.
While the startup program ends, the idea lives on.
As a surprise 20% project, the support development team revives HelpGizmo. They repurpose it as an internal knowledge base tool for the support team.
The stage is set for a product, and a company, built by customer support professionals.
The first customer, and the first source of feedback, is the docs team. They start using it for their customer-facing product documentation.
Marybeth takes over the product as the product manager, and hires Pete as the lead developer. Marybeth had originally hired Pete as part of her support team and he had worked his way onto the core development team. Their new vision is to bring HelpGizmo to market as stand-alone knowledge base software.
HelpGizmo gets it first paying customer in April. As they sign up, new customers help steer product development in the right direction.
Marybeth and Pete buy the company from SurveyGizmo and rebrand as KnowledgeOwl. Already profitable, the company chooses to remain bootstrapped and grow a sustainable business.
Business is growing, and both revenue and active customers triple. We start hosting and sponsoring Write the Docs Boulder/Denver meetups.
After making it to the Final Four as HelpGizmo in 2015, KnowledgeOwl beats out 63 other companies in the Capterra Reviews Madness Competition to become one of the top-reviewed products (and win a sweet trophy too!).
KnowledgeOwl makes its first official hire, a former customer and evangelist, Stephen! Stephen has recently moved from Australia to Scotland.
KnowledgeOwl also begins working with Catherine, a freelance writer from the UK, to help with the blog and social media.
Customer count continues to increase and revenue doubles.
As KnowledgeOwl continues to grow, we are able to do fun new things:
We hire our first full-time support professional, Lakshmi from Estonia, to help lighten the load.
We begin sponsoring Write the Docs conferences, too!
Customer count and revenue continue to climb.
Marybeth, Pete, and Stephen start the year off with a bang with a mini-company trip to Disney World. Catherine and Marybeth meet up in May for Write the Docs Portland. The entire team of five meets in London and train hops through Europe for Write the Docs Prague.
We hire Kate, another former customer and evangelist, who just completed hiking the Appalachian Trail. She takes over from Lakshmi.
We're now GDPR compliant and Privacy Shield certified. We start offering an Enterprise plan and paid professional services.
We also branch out a bit and start sponsoring Jacob Moses’ The Not-Boring Tech Writer podcast. We love the title as well as Jacob’s excellent focus on issues that matter to a lot of our users.
We release a total rewrite of our search functionality, built on Elasticsearch.
Customer count mildly increases; enterprise and paid professional services increase revenues.
Again, we start the year off with a bang with a partial-company retreat to Disney World (Marybeth, Pete, Kate, and Stephen), where we meet Jerrard, who we hire later in the year to help with support and professional services.
We hire our first additional developer in March. Spicer is from Portland, Oregon, adding another time zone to our owl parliament’s reach.
Catherine, Kate, and Marybeth meet Spicer in person at Write the Docs Portland.
The Write the Docs community keeps on giving; Marybeth hires our first information security owl from a local Write the Docs meetup. (They prefer privacy, as security owls are wont to do, so you can call them OwlSec for short!)
With the 2019 hiring, our parliament is up to 8 owls. And we officially reorganize and retitle a little, with Kate taking over the support knowledge base, release notes, and a more formalized QA process and Stephen officially becoming the head of professional services.
This year sees exciting changes on the product side as well, including the release of three major new features:
Oh 2020, what a year you were. We like to keep things positive, so let’s begin with the best part: we have our company retreat in Steamboat Springs with nearly the entire parliament present!
The year has seen some adjustments in some of our owls' roles, and some new faces added to the parliament:
It’s a year of important milestones for us as a company, too:
We consider ways that we can use KnowledgeOwl for Good, beyond the B Corp certification. This includes:
On the product side, the additional hiring has allowed us to focus on a number of great features, including:
This year, we double down on structural and infrastructure changes. This includes some staffing changes, saying goodbye to a few owls and adding some new faces, including:
We launch our fully rebranded public website in March. (You're looking at it now!)
We also make significant progress on a series of infrastructure improvement projects, including:
On the product side, we focus on enhancing a lot of existing features or making the user interface more intuitive:
Editor & editing workflow
We start the year off on an owl-mazing note by hiring a new Lead Support Owl, Anne.
Much of the first six months of the year is dedicated to finishing the last of our infrastructure upgrades, which we joyfully complete right around the Summer Solstice. (What better way to spend the longest day in the northern hemisphere?)
During this time, we make several notable improvements to our Support documentation, including:
In October, we release the full redesign of our blog, to bring it fully in-line with the rest of last year's redesign. We also launch our new Wisdom Wednesday drop-in educational series and start our YouTube channel.
At the end of the year, we start looking for new Lead Customer Success Owls and new Senior Developer Owls; stay tuned to 2023 to see how that search pans out!
On the feature side, we released a number of feature enhancements, including:
Editor & editing workflow
General look & feel
Contextual help widgets
Integrations & webhooks
We also release two highly-requested features from our 2021 Annual Customer Survey:
As often happens, we start off the year welcoming new owls to the Parliament! This year, we decided to give our Support Owls some proactive counterparts and add to our developer talent pool. Please help us welcome:
We start the year off on a good note by quickly getting the Customize Text tool released into beta testing.
We pride ourselves on helpful solutions and quick support turnaround
Need any help or just want to get in touch? Drop us a line