We’re proud to be among the top rated knowledge base software on G2 Crowd

High Performer Fall 2021

Great customer service is our North Star

Customer-driven

We build features based on customer requests and input and give customers a lot of ways to customize their knowledge bases to their needs.

&

Customer-funded

KnowledgeOwl runs on its own profits, with no outside investment or interests. The only people we answer to are our customers (and the IRS).

Meet the parliament

We’re passionate about documentation and knowledge management

Marybeth's Linus

Marybeth

Chief Executive Owl

Broomfield, CO, United States

Superpowers:

  • Being nice and kind
  • Giving great service
  • Solving problems
Pete's Linus

Pete

Chief Technical Owl

Broomfield, CO, United States

Superpowers:

  • Fastest developer in the West
  • King of karaoke
  • Foreseer of problems
Catherine's Linus

Catherine

Community Builder, Chief Illustrator
& Resident Personality Typologist

Manchester, United Kingdom

Superpowers:

  • Twitter Goddess
  • Growing communities and people
  • Chief Illustrator
Kate's Linus

Kate

Product & Customer Champion,
Resident Cheesemonger

Midcoast Maine, United States

Superpowers:

  • Scoping and defining features
  • Testing fixes and enhancements
  • Polymath of productivity
OwlSec's Linus

OwlSec

Information Security
Parliament

Stuck in the Net, United States

Superpowers:

  • Vanquisher of vulnerabilites
  • Great Wall of Security
  • Wrangler of scanners
Sorin's Linus

Sorin

Support Engineer
& Seeker of Sounds

Beiuș, Romania

Superpowers:

  • Music maker & father of 2
  • True-blue coffee snob
  • Earl of enthusiasm
Zachary's Linus

Zachary

Engineer
& Epistemologist

White Mountains, NH, United States

Superpowers:

  • Philosophy
  • Debugging
  • Telekinesis
David's Linus

David

Software Developer

Pennsylvania, United States

Superpowers:

  • Punstoppable puns
  • Blazing bugfixes
  • My wife
Will's Linus

Will

Chief Operations Owl

Austin, TX, United States

Superpowers:

  • Candid to a fault
  • Servant leadership
  • Supplier of wet blankets

Our history

Building better knowledge bases since 2011

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.

2012

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.

2013

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.

2014

HelpGizmo gets it first paying customer in April. As they sign up, new customers help steer product development in the right direction.

2015

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.

2016

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.

2017

As KnowledgeOwl continues to grow, we are able to do fun new things:

  • Marybeth and Pete take a real vacation to Mexico. You know the saying about owl work and no play...
  • We have our first company retreat in Iceland and Edinburgh, and our team of four (Marybeth, Pete, Stephen, and Catherine) gets to meet in real life for the first time during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where Stephen is performing.
  • Catherine represents KnowledgeOwl at Write the Docs in the Czech Republic.

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.

2018

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.

2019

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:

  • Subscriptions: daily or weekly email notifications that your readers can opt into to receive information on new and updated articles in the categories they care about
  • Version Notes: a freeform notes field available for article versions, allowing editors and reviewers to leave notes on what’s changed or what still needs to be done
  • The Widget 2.0 beta release: a total rewrite and updating of our embeddable contextual help widget, with a tabbed layout and full navigation support

2020

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:

  • We hire Sorin, a full time support engineer from Romania.
  • Catherine starts our guest blogging program with help from Deborah, Swapnil, and Nick.
  • Jerrard becomes Master of Coin and takes on ownership of our billing processes. If you've had an invoice or payment issue, you've probably talked to him!
  • We hire David from Pennsylvania to help increase our development velocity.
  • Deborah officially comes on board to help with our blog, social media, and (coming soon) updated API docs!
  • We hire Zach, a full time support developer in New Hampshire.
  • We start working with CloudButton to better streamline and scale our AWS infrastructure.

It’s a year of important milestones for us as a company, too:

  • We start our B Corp journey in the midst of the pandemic.
  • KnowledgeOwl turns 5! To celebrate, we conduct our first annual customer survey and are amazed by the responses.
  • We also officially become a multi-media company by buying The Not-Boring Tech Writer podcast from Jacob Moses.

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:

  • Major updates to the cookies we use and how we set them, to abide by Chrome’s new tighter cookie enforcement
  • An integration with Let’s Encrypt to provide free, auto-renewing SSL certificates to all of our customers
  • Ongoing improvements to Widget 2.0, which gets ever-closer to its permanent stable release (too many to reasonably link to release notes on--just trust us!)
  • Creating a Recently Viewed Articles widget for use on your homepage/righthand column
  • Adding KnowledgeOwl release notes and blog posts to the app dashboard, so you can keep a better eye on what we’re up to
  • Tag Library updates (hidden tags; merging/creating tags in the library) and the creation of the File Label Library

2021

This year seems to be the year of structural/infrastructural changes. This includes:

  • Hiring Will as a fractional COO
  • Completing the first of several major infrastructure improvement projects, successfully transitioning our development and production stack to Docker

On the product side, we've been focusing on enhancing some existing features, including:

Hall of Fame

We pride ourselves on helpful solutions and quick support turnaround

Elgl 2018 Award Winner

ELGL Choice Award for Top 50 Local Government Vendor

August 2016

Capterra Reviews Madness

Capterra Reviews Madness Champion

April 2016

2015 Capterra Reviews Madness

Capterra Reviews Madness Final Four

April 2015

Read Customers’ Testimonials

We’d love to hear from you

Need any help or just want to get in touch? Drop us a line