Four years ago, my co-founder Harry Zhang and I submitted our application to participate in Y Combinator's 2013 Summer Batch. The toughest question we had to answer was related to our mission. The exact question was "What is your company going to make?" Finding a way to concisely describe our vision turned out to be a really hard thing to do.
Today, Lob’s offering has evolved immensely because of the hard work every one of our team members have contributed. We’ve gone from printing our customer’s letters ourselves to building a print delivery network. We've expanded from just one offering to a growing suite of APIs. Harry and I have taken almost four years to articulate our larger vision of Lob's successful future state.
"Make the world programmable."
As developers and entrepreneurs, Harry and I were always looking for tools that would allow us to automate tedious workflows so that we could have more free time to tinker with new software & tools. This cycle of automating and building is what powers innovation today.
We’ve already seen success in various industries as a result of our APIs. One of the best things about being an API company is that we learn from our most inventive customers. Operational mail is just one example. The developers implementing our APIs, and the product managers, operators, and marketers building Lob-powered automation into their workflows, are allowing for a world where we can automate the core business processes that have been left offline.
Our mission is to build APIs for businesses to increase the connectivity between the offline and online worlds.
It’s our goal to build an API toolkit that allows organizations to innovate, move faster, and better differentiate themselves. With software transforming the way companies and people interact at an ever-accelerating rate, merging the offline and online worlds has become more important than ever. We believe that APIs are the next frontier for businesses; solutions that build systems which redefine business as usual. Our tools will abstract the complexities that many companies have spent decades solving and give businesses the ability to innovate faster while spending less.
The following components are critical pillars of our mission statement:
By crafting APIs that digitize the complex workflows that exist in the offline world, we have an opportunity to redefine how business gets done. If we are successful, the rate of innovation in the enterprise will drastically speed up. In fact, the next generation of enterprise applications will launch within five years rather than ten.
Our journey to make the world programmable is one of evolution, both for the company and the increasingly diverse Lobsters who make up Lob. This thriving team is growing into a community and gaining momentum as we roll toward our vision.
Look out for some exciting news about Lob in the coming weeks! If you are interested in joining us in our mission, we are hiring!
This post has been updated to reflect Lob’s evolving mission.