Pandemic Product Innovation

Sarah Friar, Nextdoor
With Tom Byers, Stanford University

Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar describes how the company responded to a surge of users driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first challenge, she recalls, was technical: Simply keeping the digital infrastructure working. They soon explored ways to leverage the platform’s credibility with public agencies and share accurate, up-to-date information about the pandemic with users. And finally, they explored how to connect users with each other and with local businesses and nonprofits that desperately need support — which involved careful product innovation as much as good intentions.