The Gumloop Handbook

The Gumloop Handbook

Here's a breakdown of why we're building Gumloop, how we want to run it and where we want it to go.

Why does Gumloop Exist

We want anyone to be able to automate their work with AI. We started Gumloop in April of 2023 and have been working on the same mission since day 1.

Origin Story

Gumloop was previously called AgentHub and version 1 was a simple UI wrapper around an autonomous agent framework called AutoGPT. At the time, to use the framework you needed to be somewhat technical because you had to clone the code and set it up locally. We built a UI and hosted the framework in the cloud so that all of those non-technical people could get to play with agents as well.

Agents felt like the first time non-technical people could really tinker with AI and apply it to their own use cases.

The only issue with agents was that they involved AI in every step of the process. This resulted in major issues with reliability and cost efficiency.

We would see the sort of tasks people were begging the agents to accomplish and realized that agents were often overkill. For most of the tasks we realized that AI was only needed at key decision points.

We started building our automation framework as a way to give non-technical people the ability to automate their work but in a more cost effective, steerable and reliable way. It grew organically, feature by feature, into what it is today.

What is Gumloop today

Gumloop is a platform for automating complex work with AI and a simple drag and drop interface. We let you build really powerful workflow automations that use AI throughout without needing to hire and engineering team or be an engineer yourself.

What do we want to achieve

Let anyone automate with AI

We want to give people this same feeling of excitement that they had when they discovered agents. That feeling of things finally being possible with a fundamentally new tool.

Everyone we speak working in a company has a laundry list of work they could automate away with AI. We hope to be the tool they're grateful to have discovered and let them solve their own problems without needing to loop in their engineering team.

We want to let truly anyone automate work regardless of technical background. Understanding the problem you're automating should be the only requirement for automating it in the future, 0 expertise required. At the moment, there is a bit of a learning curve to the platform but we're working on that. (See "where we're going"). The platform is currently suited for 'semi technical people and above' but soon it'll be the go-to for absolutely everyone.

Get Our Users Promoted

Every existing business has massive inefficiencies company wide. We notice Gumloop starts to spread internally within a company when a "champion" starts automating work and showing their colleagues.

This champion always has the same 3 characteristics:

  1. They understand the problem(s)
  2. They know what AI can do
  3. They know Gumloop exists

If you're reading this post you probably have #3 locked down (or you're very lost). 1 and 2 tend to come naturally to that person because they spend time around the problem as a result of their job and they're excited by AI enough to frequently use ChatGPT or Claude.

This person will often become the "AI person" internally and will make their leadership team shed a tear of joy because they're finally "leveraging AI" like the CEO asked but in a legitimately useful way.

We want to be their secret weapon that makes their division 10x more efficient and gets them or their team promoted.


Where We're Going

We want gumloop to be such an outstanding product that marketing is only an afterthought. Word of mouth from thrilled users should be our main growth engine. To get there, we have some core improvements to make to the platform that we we're building towards

Reducing the learning curve

The learning curve of the product is too steep.

Our power users absolutely love the product. Many are spending upwards of 5 hours a day building on gumloop. The main problem is that the majority of people who hear about us never get to see what our power users see. They often drop off before they get that 'aha' moment and start building automating every aspect of their work.

If we can make that first 20 minutes on the platform less confusing and handhold users towards their first useful automation run, we'll have solved 80% of our problems.

This is fundamentally a UX problem that will take tons of iterations, creativity and native AI features. We're working on several solutions to this right now but eagerly hiring a founding engineer to help accelerate. See the job posting here.

Adding integrations

Every new integration we has a massive impact on the number of possible automations that can be built due to sheer possible node combinations. Users consistently request new features and integrations and we consistently build them. We will continue doing so until you can literally automate anything.

Improving UX

There are tons of ways we can improve the overall user experience. Things like creating complex nested automations, collaborating across teams and new node discoverability could be so much better for our existing user base.

There are also fundamental backend improvements we can do to make everything faster, even more scalable and powerful. For example, we recently added parallel step execution which made large automations up to 32x faster. We have several more core platform improvements we plan on implementing like this.

If you would like to join the team to help us move build towards this even faster, please email us at careers@agenthub.dev.


How We Make Users Happy

One key differentiator between us and competitors is how much effort we put into caring for our users.

Support:

Gumloop can be used in an infinite number of ways. That's great but it also means our users can get stuck, confused or frustrated in an infinite number of ways.

Having absolutely top tier support plays a key part in ensuring our early users have a great experience. We take great pride in it as well.

We're quick to answer emails, we're active in our discord community answering questions and each of our pro tier users has a dedicated slack channel for 1:1 support. Being able to go back and forth with people actively using our product helps us understand their pain points and ensures they never get permanently stuck.

Same day shipping:

We used to say we were like Amazon because we had "same day shipping". When a customer would a new integration or feature we'd try to get it out by that night's release.

Obviously this velocity got a bit harder to maintain as our user base grew but we still try to build customer feature requests as quickly as we possibly can.

Users seeing features they requests in the product within days helps prove we're truly building for them. They can participate in steering product direction by just asking.

Listening to feedback and iterating constantly:

Every time a user complains about anything at all, we write it down and try to act on it somehow. The first version of our automation builder was a truly unusable hunk of garbage. Gumloop has only become what it is today because of thousands of small iterations that were driven by direct user feedback.

Sometimes this is super straight forward when people message us saying "here's some feedback". Most of the time it comes in unexpected ways. Every discord question, unexpected error or confused clicks during a demo call is feedback in it's own right.

We try to keep our iteration cycles extremely short so tweaks to the product can be felt continuously. Most of the time we're shipping updates nightly to address the days feedback!


Who We Want To Work With

At the moment we're a team of 2. We hope to be a team of 4 by the end of 2024 but want to make sure the right people join the team. We've put quite a lot of thought into what kind of person we're looking for!

Relentlessly Resourceful

This is by far the most important quality we're looking for. This is also commonly referred to as the most important quality in a founder which is not a coincidence.

Being able to just make it happen. Digging deeper into the problem when you get stuck is what we're looking for.

We don't have a plan b, or an engineering manager to turn to when we get stuck as founders. Obviously we collaborate and will be extremely supportive but having that same end-of-the-line approach to hard problems is a must.

Optimistic by Default

Building a startup takes a lot of optimism. There are legions of people pointing out every reason why something won't work. Those people are boring. If we'd have listened to them, we'd have given up in the first month.

We want someone who's looking for the reasons things will work and leaning into them. Alternatively, if something isn't working we want to find a new approach that does rather than getting discouraged.

Excited to Build

When working as part of a tight-knit team, people's attitude matters a ton. The mood in the room is an average of those who fill it.

We want to work with someone who's as excited to build for our users as we are. Building as a team truly is fun and we hope everyone we hire will add to that atmosphere, maintaining or bringing the room's average.

Founding DM

This screenshot above was from when we started gumloop. There's a specific feeling you get when you meet someone who's excited about the same things you are. You leave the conversation with more energy than you entered it with. We're excited to build great product for our users. We hope whoever we hire is as well.

Reliable

Lastly, we want someone we can rely on. Knowing that great work is being done without needing to check in is our dream.

Please reach out

If you think you fit these criteria and want to join the team please email us at careers@agenthub.dev

PS: One way to really set yourself apart is to actually try the product thoroughly. 99% of people who apply have clearly never tried to use gumloop. If you do, you'll have a massive advantage.


What It's Like to Work at Gumloop

Here's what'd it'd be like to work on the team and our policies.

Day to day

30 minute standup

We like to sync very regularly about priorities because moving quickly causes them to shift often. We have a 30 minute meeting each morning in which we discuss priorities for the day, almost like a mini sprint planning.

We try to keep all other meetings to an absolute minimum. If you need to talk to someone we hope you can ping them on the side to set something up or just walk up to them in person to chat.

Focused Work

A very large majority of everyone's day is dedicated to focused work. That doesn't always mean working in a silo, it can be collaborative because in our view focused work is any time you're 100% focused on making the product better.

Sometimes we'll have a 2 hour whiteboard session working through design challenges. Sometimes we're fixing bugs or building completely new features. It all counts. As long as most of the day is spent doing this we're succeeding.

Papercut Friday

Throughout the week we find many small issues with the product that aren't worth fixing immediately . We call these "papercuts". They're not anything urgent but they can add up and really ruin a users experience on the platform. On Friday we take the entire day to tackle those. This helps avoid easily fixable issues falling to the 'low priority' section of the backlog to gather dust.

Merging staging into production on Friday should feel like a breath of fresh air if we did this right.

Backlog Grooming

We currently don't have any predefined sprints. We like to build as quickly as possible, iterate often and ship updates on a daily basis. New things pop up every day so planning more than a week into the future would feel silly with the current pace.

We have an ever changing backlog of tasks separated by priority and size. Urgent are the tasks we're focusing on today, High are those we want to tackle this week, medium in the next two weeks etc.

As mentioned above, standup is normally when we decide what today's focus is, upgrading things from high to urgent. Everyone is responsible for adding tasks to the backlog and categorizing them to help define direction.

Policies

Minimum Time Off

We don't have a hard limit on time off but we do have a minimum you must take. Companies often say they have 'unlimited time off' but you'll always feel guilty taking it. At Gumloop, you must take at least 12 days off a year.

Auto Approved Time Off

We trust you to take the time off you need when you need it without abusing the system. If we don't have that level of trust then we've failed at our job of hiring.

You'll never need to ask us to approve time off. It's yours to take.

Off Sites

We've never had one of these because at the time of writing this we're a team of 2. We will have regular company wide off sites.
It'll be important to spend time doing fun, non-work related things as a team once we grow.