Investing in Polywork

“I am large, I contain multitudes” – Walt Whitman, “Song Of Myself,” Leaves of Grass

Think about how you might answer the evergreen interview question: Tell me about yourself. Do you simply share a list of job titles? Probably not.

What about the kind of information you seek when hunting down an expert, candidate, or potential partner on a platform like LinkedIn? It would certainly help to know proactively the types of projects each person has led, or all the relevant extras they take on across their professional and personal lives, such as hosting a podcast, mentoring, or volunteering.

Current professional networking platforms don’t cut it. Your moniker might read “Software Engineer” or “Product Manager” or “Designer” and perhaps the school you went to, but these titles alone don’t come close to capturing what we actually do in our professional lives or the types of work we find motivating.

We all wear multiple hats: You may be a software engineer, but also an open source contributor and a Youtuber. Or perhaps a Clubhouse host! You can work at a design agency by day and manage your own company at night. Add to that being a passionate mentor, community moderator, champion athlete, or hobbyist musician. With communication tools and access to the internet at our fingertips, the ways in which we “work” are near endless. This new world of work has been further accelerated by the pandemic as people explore and embrace new career opportunities they didn’t have access to before.

We first heard of Polywork earlier this year and soon after started seeing prominent online personalities use it to tell their story. When you hear buzz from online communities spanning tech, fashion, music, and more, you pay attention. And it quickly became clear why Polywork was capturing all these imaginations. Not only was Poywork a gorgeous product (just check out polywork.com), but the team was truly building a network designed to reflect the multifaceted nature of what we do as people.

Polywork focuses on letting people tell their own stories and all they’re capable of, so we can meet new people, supercharge our teams, and unlock creativity. From capturing details like who you collaborated with on various projects to career highlights, to a system of community-created badges reflecting both personal and professional traits, Polywork is building a new professional network, from the ground up, that reflects how we work in 2021. As a bonus, Polywork profiles can also be hosted on any custom domain (here’s mine) instead of Polywork as a simple way to represent your online identity.

When I first met Polywork founder and CEO Peter Johnston, it was immediately clear where the depth in Polywork’s thinking comes from. Peter has spent the better part of a decade focusing on how people work and marries this with a strong product/design sense. At the center of it all is Peter’s vision for capturing how people work and helping people fully express the range of their experiences and ambitions.

Today, I’m thrilled to announce that a16z is investing in Polywork and that I’ll be joining their board. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the Polywork team on community, product, and more—and see where the new world of work takes us. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can skip the waitlist using code a16z.

See you on Polywork!

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this post was first published on Andreessen Horowitz

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