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99 Percent of Fortune 500 Employees Who Use This Product Hate It. This Entrepreneur Built a Million-Dollar Business Out of That Hatred. Entrepreneurism is all about problem-solving, and finding a common issue can be a great starting place for your business idea.

By Liz Brody

This story appears in the September 2021 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of Haystack

The idea for Haystack came swift and easy. A way to build Haystack took more work.

Cameron Lindsay, 27, was sitting at his last job in 2018 when he noticed that 99 percent of Fortune 500s have intranet products — and 99 percent of people who use them hate them. In those two 99s, he saw 100 percent opportunity. The incumbents making these internal corporate communications systems were "all older-school," he says. "Employees today want it superfast, super­connected, and delightful." He teamed up with cofounder Haibo Zhao, a former tech lead at Google and Snap, to reimagine a sleek, nimble sports car of an intranet.

Building it would be like planning a subway system for a city you've never visited — so they realized they'd need an innovative approach. They nailed it: When they announced their official launch this March, they did so with $8.2 million in venture backing. Here's how.

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