Nurture professional relationships: Clay

Nurture professional relationships: Clay

Although today's app, Clay, is built for iOS and macOS, the reading below can help you get an understanding of the gold standard it sets. I'm also listing alternatives below to get you started on Windows and Android as well.

A. The Problem and The Pitch

How do you keep in touch with your friends, ex-colleagues, and other connections? 👋

Whether you are a founder, PM, marketer, or creator, building meaningful relationships is key to your growth. Yet most of us are not thoughtful. We are reactive. We only reach out to people only when we need them most. And that's not ideal. 😓

No, this doesn't count.
No, this doesn't count.

But that's not (entirely) your fault 🤷

According to Dunbar's theory:

...people can ‘handle’ up to about 150 relationships – whether in early hunter-gatherer societies or the modern workplace. According to the theory, the tightest circle has just five people – loved ones. That’s followed by successive layers of 15 (good friends), 50 (friends), 150 (meaningful contacts), 500 (acquaintances) and 1500 (people you can recognise). People migrate in and out of these layers, but the idea is that space has to be carved out for any new entrants. (Source: BBC)

In the past, people have used index cards and Rolodex to help them demonstrate care by remembering conversations.

So, how can tech help today? 🤔

We need something that does not feel transactional and does not take time. So that we don't have to spend hours on various social media platforms hoping the algorithms remind us of the right people at the right time.

✨ That's Clay. ✨ 

Clay is an extension of your brain, purposefully built to help you remember people in your professional life. A personal CRM. If Superhuman built it.

Image: Clay

Clay is a beautiful & private home for all of your relationships. Populated from the ground up using your calendar and social history, Clay is the most stunning, powerful way to remember who you’ve met—and what matters to them.

And like Vimcal from yesterday, it is a part of the new age of "Craftsman SaaS products". Products that take users seriously. And offer a luxurious experience.

Both co-founders, Matt and Zach, are designers at heart. And it shows!

B. What's special?

Clay is taking something as mundane as personal CRM and making it delightful 🥳. More natural. And as we saw with Raycast on Dec 6, every once in a while, a new product is built that seems like magic 🪄. It makes us want to alter our workflow and question the way we did things in the past. Clay is one of them.

And this is just the beginning. The next phase (still under wraps) is enabling a multiplayer experience!

#1 💜 All relationships together: It unifies your contacts across Twitter, LinkedIn, emails, calendars, iMessage - and creates a single, unified profile for every person in your life. Automatically! Say goodbye to entering information manually, mindless tagging, and out-of-date details.

This is what you see after you've acknowledged all the conversations throughout the day. The 'Home' tab is tied to your calendar and is auto updated after every meeting. You can take all notes from meetings on a person level not a meeting level. And the 'Explore' tab is news about your network.
This is what you see after you've acknowledged all the conversations throughout the day. The 'Home' tab is tied to your calendar and is auto updated after every meeting. You can take all notes from meetings on a person level not a meeting level. And the 'Explore' tab is news about your network.

#2 🧬 Always have context:

  1. 😌 No/Low effort: Remember the last time you chatted or the first time you met. Or get to know more about who you are conversing with in an upcoming meeting!
  2. 📝 Active effort: Take notes before, during, and after a conversation with someone. (Can also use voice transcription). This way you always remember kids names, vacation itineraries, your action items and that last article you read that you’ve been dying to share, all by writing a note on someone's card.

#3 🤗 Show genuine care and awareness: Always know what's up with your network. Clay let's know you when any of your connections has a significant life event mentioned on social media or in the news. So that you can be the first to act on it - congratulate them for a promotion, help them after shifting to a new place or share an article they've been mentioned in!


#4 🧠 'Remember' and connect the dots: Recall people and conversations in the most natural way. Search for them based on the topic of your last conversation, location or month of the meetup, or their affiliation. 10x better than searching for them on LinkedIn or Twitter. What's more? You can also mention people in your notes so that Clay can later tell you who knows who. It's your relationship graph made easy. So the next time you need a warm connect, you know who can help you with an introduction. In a jiffy!


#5 👸 White glove onboarding: Contextual onboarding to help you get the most out of Clay


It's time to stop using Notion as a makeshift Personal CRM tool 👉


C. What's more?

  1. 🔮 Here's the story behind Clay. Involving 200,000 index cards and David Rockefeller, grandson of esteemed oil baron John D. Rockefeller. A quote from the writeup is all you need to get started with Clay:
  2. "Simply put, being thoughtful pays dividends and, even more remarkably, it’s learnable. Conscientiousness is one of the most malleable personality traits."

  3. 💭 Interesting to see in the future how apps like Mem (covered on Dec 2) and Clay can integrate together for super powerful workflows. Not just connecting people but also ideas and past knowledge. What do you think?
  4. 🔦 Here are a few alternatives to Clay: Dex (Mac, iOS, Windows & Android), Folk (mainly web based; spreadsheet), and Pigeon (basic; Gmail-based plugin).

D. What's next?

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