Introducing Prequel

February 12, 2021
Introducing Prequel

The Who, What, and Why

We’re Charles and Conor and we’re building Prequel. More on us at the end of this post. For now, let’s dive into why we’re building this company.

What we believe

Data is Changing

Before we get much farther, we should mention that when we refer to “data” we’re referring to the data that a company generates in all parts of their business, across SaaS platforms (like CRMs and billing tools), Google Sheets, production databases — you name it. The way companies handle this data is undergoing a big shift, with a lot of changes happening all at once.

The data and analytics stack is earning its place as its own Stack, mostly separate from the engineering stack. And rightfully so. Infrastructure is getting more advanced, and data is no longer an afterthought but a core part of many businesses. New categories of data tools are emerging every year, making the stack ever more powerful.

As the data stack grows and the ecosystem matures, new best practices are emerging. There is a shift towards an engineering development paradigm. Data teams want version control, configurability, and modularity — all things the modern engineering stack does really well, but that really aren’t standard in data today.

And as sophistication increases, so does complexity.

Startup Tools are Awesome

Some (if not all) of our favorite software tools are built by and with startups in mind. Startup focused software has quick time to value, emphasizes functionality over feature bloat, and prioritizes a delightful experience from the start. Call it PLG or whatever else you like: the reality is that for startup tooling, the buyer is often also the user, and those products need to be built with the most discerning customers in mind.

There are startup tools for so many parts of the business. Stripe for payments, Ramp and Brex for finance, Webflow for landing pages, Pulley for cap tables, and the list goes on. Ask any founder what their go-to tools are, and you’ll hear about so many great pieces of software for every part of the business. Except data.

Startups Need a Better Data Platform

The shift in data is exciting, but there’s also a lot to understand and even more to set up. Existing tools are working for growth stage companies and beyond, but they’re not yet accessible to startup teams who need insights now, not months from now.

Startups need a better way to get started with data. They need a way to take advantage of the modern data stack, its best practices and all its promises, without the months of vendor research, configuration, and setup. That’s where we come in.

What we’re building

We’re building the platform we wish we had every time we launched a product — an entire modern data stack that works out of the box. We want a product that takes all of the best practices and puts them into one, delightful experience — a product that just works.

Prequel is the modern data stack for startups.

Who we are

We met in grad school and quickly started thinking and building together. Our previous experiences were nudging us towards data — Conor’s work in product meant spending a lot of time as a consumer of data in many shapes and forms. And Charles’ time in engineering included setting up analytics and data stacks for several new products. Across our experiences, we got that feeling — “There Must Be A Better Way”.

We entered YC with a different data tool (we’ll talk about it some other time) and started meeting with hundreds of data analysts/directors/engineers/people. Those conversations, and reflecting on our own experiences, made us realize the product we needed to build was staring at us during every conversation we’d had with a frustrated founder trying to tackle “data”. Six months ago, after a short meeting with our YC partners, we made the pivot to the Prequel we’re building today.

What’s next

A lot! We’re shipping updates every week, and there’s a lot of exciting product improvements and new features to come. We’ve been working with a stellar cohort of early users and we’re always looking for more feedback. If you’re interested or if you want to learn more, we’d love to chat. Sign up on our website, or drop us a note, and we’ll be in touch.

Oh, and we’re hiring too. If you want to come build Prequel with us, please say hello.

For us, and for many of our customers, this is just the beginning of the story. We’re Prequel.

Let's set up your data stack_

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