Blog Product Updates

Why We’re Hitting Pause on Importing

Kristen Craft | December 13, 2018

For many teams, Tettra acts not just as a knowledge base, but also as a hub for information that’s written down elsewhere. We want to make it easy to share, reference, and leverage knowledge that you’ve already documented. It’s why we continue to invest in integrations with commonly used tools like Google Docs, GitHub, and Slack. Our importing function used to act as a solution for bringing content into Tettra from elsewhere. But recently, we decided to hit “pause” on this feature and suggest that teams copy and paste.

Why We Decided to Pause Importing

One of our company values is “Reduce scope before quality.” We’re bullish on creating the best possible experience. Rather than ship a broad but faulty feature, we’d prefer to keep the scope narrow (and then keep making incremental progress as often as possible.) This is driven by the value we place on trust; we know that customers trust us with their most important knowledge, so we want to foster that trust by only shipping well-built features.  

Historically, we’ve used a third-party service to handle importing. Like many small companies, we’re choosy about where to focus. Though we like to build our own features, we also recognize the value of outsourcing some capabilities to others. In thinking about how to facilitate importing, our “make vs buy” discussions led us to buy this capability, rather than build it ourselves (at least to start.)

However, recent bugs in this third-party product have made our importing tool almost unusable. Some customers were left hanging with a cryptic error message or a never-ending pinwheel. Despite many attempts to resolve the bugs with our vendor, we’ve been unable to gain clarity about their future reliability. Ultimately, hitting pause on importing seemed like the best way of optimizing the customer experience.

What to Do with Content that Belongs in Tettra

For now, we’re encouraging our customers to copy and paste content into their Tettra pages. We’ve been hard at work to make the copy-paste workflow as robust as possible. Recent changes now facilitate copying in tables, images, and other rich page elements. Plus, in most cases, copying in content maintains the formatting from your original document.

We’re evaluating options, including pushing for resolution with our third-party partner, as well as the possibility of building this capability in-house. All product decisions come with tradeoffs, so if we go the “build route”, we’ll need to determine what else to put on hold. On average, we see about 150 file imports per month, so this certainly impacts a lot of our customers. But we don’t want to prioritize this at the expense of another feature that impacts thousands of customers per month, for example.

We’d Love Your Input

As always, we’d love any feedback from our terrific customers. If this impacts your workflows in a dramatic way, we’d appreciate getting insight into your processes. If copying and pasting slows down your team, we’d love to hear your perspective. Conversely, if copying and pasting is sufficient for your team, that’s also helpful to know. Given that another Tettra company value is “talk to customers”, we want to hear the good, bad, and the in-between!