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It’s time for a People OS

Ann Bordetsky


If you’re starting a company today, you have incredible off-the-shelf tools for just about everything you need to build. We’ve productized the building blocks of software applications with endless APIs, SDKs and developer services. We’ve productized the building blocks of commerce with payments, shipping, marketing APIs. We’ve even productized “work” into productivity and workflow management tools (e.g. Slack, Asana, Airtable, etc).

The list could go on and on. You need something? There’s an API for that.

And yet for the foundational element of quickly building, scaling and optimizing a company — People Operations — there’s barely any great products out there. It blows my mind!

Whether you call it People Ops or Human Resources, there’s a VAST infrastructure required to set up your employees for success (onboarding, payroll, benefits, perks, compliance, equity, parental leaves, performance management, etc). Start-ups and high-growth companies need to do this quickly, efficiently and with minimal headcount. Usability is important too. Employee experience is a competitive advantage in tech, so these products need to delight (or at minimum not frustrate) your people.

Why isn’t there a People OS for technology companies?

Every company should have a People Operating System, a one-stop-shop platform that lets you manage your employee data, payroll, benefits, leave, compliance, equity, compensation, performance, etc. This platform should allow me to select and plug-in the services I want to use, and delight employees with simplicity and ease of use.

And you know what? If we spent less people hours and precious resources on these basics that can easily be automated, maybe we’d have a LOT more time to focus on things that really matter, like Diversity & Inclusion, Learning & Development and Impact!

As an Operator, I’d love to have a People OS product for my organization instead of point solutions that don’t go together.

Who wants to build this? (Ahem, $10B+ idea right there)