Supercharge your thinking with the co-founders of Beloga

Welcome to this edition of our Tools for Thought series, where we interview founders on a mission to help us think better and work smarter. Jerica Kuah and Wilson Ler are the co-founders of Beloga, a knowledge operating system for cross-team knowledge transfer. Beloga offers multi-source knowledge management to offer hyper-contextualized insights, streamline workflows, and make information retrieval easy.

In this interview, we talked about addressing the challenges of knowledge management and transfer, cultivating an environment conducive to innovation, and their vision of building a world where information is effortlessly accessible and where we can all work at the speed of thought. Enjoy the read!

Beloga – Featured Tool Image 1

Thanks for agreeing to this interview! First, can you tell us why you decided to tackle information overload and team productivity?

In today’s digital era, the sheer volume of information we encounter necessitates efficient knowledge transfer within and between teams to sustain productivity and drive innovation. The challenge of excessive time consumption during cross-team knowledge transfer emerges as a critical issue, as inefficiencies and unnecessary delays can impede progress and growth.

Consider a common scenario: a product manager needs specific insights from the engineering team. Each inquiry requires an engineer to halt their work to extract information, possibly already documented within the company’s resources. This situation is far from unique; it illustrates the broader issue of time spent on redundant inquiries, locating subject matter experts, navigating poorly maintained documentation, and untangling indirect communication.

These are not rare occurrences; they are part of the daily workflow, cumulatively resulting in significant opportunity costs. Consequently, projects advance more sluggishly, engineers forfeit precious development time, product managers allocate more time to information gathering than to innovation, and sales teams divert time from customer engagement to navigating internal communications.

This challenge is further compounded by the preference of different teams for various tools, resulting in information being stored across multiple locations. And the complexity of this challenge is magnified by the continuous growth of information. As information proliferates, the hurdles in knowledge transfer we face today are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Addressing these challenges requires strategic interventions for enhanced knowledge management and transfer. Implementing a culture of knowledge sharing, improving documentation practices, and leveraging technology to facilitate seamless information exchange are pivotal steps toward mitigating the time wasted in cross-team knowledge transfers. Such measures not only boost productivity but also cultivate an environment conducive to innovation.

And that’s what inspired you to create Beloga.

In the quest to reshape the landscape of knowledge management and productivity, the inception of Beloga was sparked by a blend of personal challenges and a profound vision for the future.

At its core, Beloga was born out of a necessity to bridge the gap in information accessibility and streamline the workflow across different roles within a team. Its co-founders, driven by their experiences and insights, embarked on a journey to create a platform that not only addresses these challenges but also fosters a culture of shared knowledge and innovation.

The origin story of Beloga is deeply rooted in the personal experiences of its co-founders. Wilson Ler, as an engineering manager and full-stack engineer at a search as a service startup, encountered firsthand the inefficiencies and frustrations that arise from disjointed knowledge management tools. He noted the significant time and productivity lost to context switching and the struggle to maintain a cohesive flow of information across various platforms preferred by different teams. This challenge was not unique to him but a widespread issue that affects productivity and collaboration in many organizations.

Moreover, Jerica brought her passion for productivity and personal development into the mix. Her journey from spreading joy through baking during Covid-19 to raising funds for a noble cause showcased her innate drive to make a difference. This spirit, combined with her obsession with living life efficiently and her experience in building productivity systems, laid the foundational principles that power Beloga.

Beloga’s vision is anchored in the belief that access to shared knowledge is the cornerstone of innovation and productivity. We aim to revolutionize the way individuals and teams research, collaborate, and innovate. The platform leverages cutting-edge technologies, including retrieval augmented generation (RAG) and semantic search, to offer a seamless and intuitive experience that cuts through the noise and brings relevant information to the forefront.

In essence, Beloga is not just a response to the challenges faced by its co-founders; it is a testament to their commitment to building a world where information is effortlessly accessible, empowering individuals and teams to achieve their fullest potential. Through Beloga, they envision a future where the speed of thought is matched by the speed of access to knowledge, inspiring a new era of productivity and innovation.

You use state-of-the-art Retrieval Augmented Generation technology. How does that work?

Retrieval augmented generation (RAG) is an up and coming technique that addresses the pitfalls of large language models, particularly in the realm of AI hallucinations. It uses a mix of both good information retrieval and generative AI to generate answers which are factually correct. It also has the plus point of surfacing references to sources that were used to generate the answer. That’s huge for AI explainability.

Beloga is built with RAG at its core, with the ability to pull information from multiple sources of information, be it from the web or internal, of different shapes and context sizes and transform them into something that our AI can understand before generating a response out of it.

This works really well for a world where search is democratized and information no longer exists from one singular source, i.e. integrations with multiple apps.

So it’s basically a hyper-personalized knowledge management system!

Yes, exactly! Beloga is not here to replace all of your existing tools, workflows, etc. We would like to be that first point of contact when you need to ask a quick question or craft content in a pinch instead of navigating through a plethora of tools you might have under your belt.

With integrations, our users are able to connect to their existing apps and company knowledge bases to draw information from them. With web search, our users are able to search quickly for information on the web and transform them into whatever they wish by prompt before saving them. With notes, our users are able to accumulate their research and information directly on Beloga before repurposing it again in the future through our AI.

With all of them combined, our users are able to make certain connections between two or more streams of information, such as from the internet and Google Docs for example.

Beloga – Featured Tool Image 2

That sounds amazing. Can you describe some typical use cases?

You can craft an email for a customer to announce new releases in a software product by pulling information from various product management apps and documentation, or create a guide or recommended steps on the spot during a technical production issue by having Beloga pull information from various runbooks and company documentation.

A user could write a marketing post against a competitor by pulling information about the competitor from the web and information about the product from internal company documentation to do a comparison, or craft a sales pitch for prospective customers from internal company documentation without the need for wading through an overload of technical details. 

Or they could pull answers quickly as a new hire from internal company tools and documentation without having to go through a senior staff member. The possibilities are endless.

Now, let’s say someone wants to generate new ideas for an article, how would they go about that using Beloga?

If you already have a company knowledge base, such as Google Drive, Slab or One Drive, start by integrating that into Beloga and granting access to files or folders. If you have any additional notes as you’re researching along the way, you can also create notes on Beloga directly.

Once you’ve gathered your resources, simply toggle “web”, “notes” and your various integrations and craft a prompt to compare between your company’s features and your target competitor’s. Beloga will then generate a response based on your prompt. You can then share this response with a teammate or save it to your inbox to read it later.

What about you, how do you use Beloga?

We use Beloga on a day-to-day basis to streamline information flow between the two co-founders. For instance, Beloga helps us keep tabs on Beloga’s changelogs and quickly ingest details in our shared Google Drive.

And finally… What’s next for Beloga?

We want to focus on building more integrations and potentially open an app marketplace. An OS should have a decent number of third party app inputs and outputs. We want to improve Beloga’s user experience and expand to an entire organization.

Ultimately, our goal is to streamline information flow between all members of an organization irregardless of role. We aim to empower folks with the ability to work at the speed of thought. We’re building a world where shared knowledge empowers people and inspires innovation.

Thank you so much for your time! Where can people learn more about Beloga?

Thanks for having us! You can visit our website, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Feel free to book a demo here.

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