Podcast

Chris Strahl, CEO of Knapsack: $7 Million Raised to Build the Future of Design Systems

In today’s episode of Category Visionaries, we speak with Chris Strahl, CEO of Knapsack, a design systems platform that has raised more than 7 million in funding, about his addiction to the more agile side of the business world, and why smaller companies are the way he likes to operate. With Knapsack, he’s determined to reset the relationship between business and design, providing an integrated platform for collaboration and coordination which ensures the highest level of efficiency and consistency in the digital design process. The design systems platform category is all about providing the framework to support a whole range of design solutions, whether they come from engineers, designers, or the mind of a visionary CEO, and see them transform into high-quality content.

Chris also spoke about the current state of the venture capital market and being a ‘wartime CEO, ‘ the challenges non-digital native companies have in facing an increasing consumer demand for online experiences, and why building a new market category is such an exhilarating but challenging experience. Whether or not Knapsack will emulate the success of design platforms like Canva remains to be seen, but Chris can see a path ahead in that direction, and he’s determined to make it. 

 Topics Discussed:

  • The mundane challenges of modern design, and why most designers end up making the same product several times over
  • Why collaboration between engineers and designers is a key challenge for building a more efficient design process
  • The current state of the startup marketplace, and why a good ROI pitch is essential to make any headway with potential investors
  • How Knapsack is defining a new market category, why it matters and what makes it such a challenging experience
  • Why Chris isn’t done with conversations about defining ‘design systems platform’ yet, and how the future of the category is still flexible
  • The shortfalls of some leading design platforms, and why Chris believes Knapsack can do it better

Favorite Book:

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

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