Airtable’s growth story (In Depth by First Round)

Created on

September 14 2022

Created by Medha Basu. This summary was largely done for my own note-taking, sharing it just in case it adds more value to other people. Any errors are mine :)



Product-market fit & growth

  • Felt that they had product market fit when they were growing virally within companies, and went wall to wall
  • Also saw industries and functions where they were landing and expanding well and repeatedly
  • Snowballs happen in a lot of different s-curves:
    • Started seeing expansion happen organically when people left their jobs and brought tool with them to new company
    • Growth really kicks in when you build more use cases and can really expand within companies
  • If someone built something in airtable (like a product roadmap tracker, or a marketing calendar), and they shared that with their team to do useful work — can get a ton of customer insights from these + has viral adoption
  • Target “golden datasets” -> things that companies really need to run and do their jobs
  • Help enterprises get these golden datasets and letting their teams build on top of them in a safe way
  • Product was very collaborative by nature

Pricing and charging

  • Pricing reflects positioning. They priced against Salesforce/servicenow instead of Dropbox or Evernote. This was anticipatory for what the product will do and how people will use it.
  • Pricing transparency early on is very good for the customer, even if you don’t intend to charge them. Good pricing ensures that they don’t think you’ll sell your data etc and makes them more likely to trust the product


  • Built network graphs to understand the virality of the product and got an intuitive understanding of how it was spreading.
  • Series A driven more by customer love and metrics than revenue

GTM for horizontal products

  • Most companies start with a niche and then expand. Airtable had the opposite approach and got narrow over time as they found different use cases, and eventually identified specific departments in a company where they would land and then expand across the company there.
  • Created hundreds of templates around the use cases really helped with product engagement
  • Becoming a common data platform for the enterprise, for companies that use air table to build mission critical processes

Navigating enterprise vs self-serve

  • Keep the product as simple to use as possible. Let people that are not in IT departments still build products and deploy them to their teams. Continue to empower end users, but do build tools for IT to do governance and access controls
  • Separate the surface area of the product into personas. If you’re the end user, you shouldn’t have to check out random access things
  • Thinking of Airtable as the “connected apps platform”. Vision is to empower line of business employees to build tools and not deal with a 100 different siloed applications for each department, none of which connect together.