We’re Jorge, Kevin and Sean and we’re building GoLinks (https://www.golinks.io).
GoLinks is a platform that allows you to easily manage and share links by letting teams create a short link for any internal URL within a company. These links are easy to remember and share, so you don't have to bookmark or copy and paste them in emails.
Each day we use and share hundreds of links to get our jobs done, without considering how long it takes to access and share these resources. It’s one reason why many of us leave tabs open in our browser: we don’t want to spend the 5 to 10 steps to navigate back to that important page. With GoLinks, you’ll be able to deep-link directly into any application with just a simple keyword entered into your address bar. This allows links to be conversational. For example, one employee can create the keyword “go/review” to point to the annual review page in Workday. Later in a meeting, that employee can mention, “Remember to visit go/review to fill out your annual reviews!” Now anyone in that meeting can remember and access the link “go/review”, without digging through their email or Slack.
Golink systems are commonly used in many big tech companies such as Google, Linkedin, Twitter and Airbnb, built by internal tools engineers in those companies. These systems have become an integral part of the way tech companies share internal links.
When we started our careers in tech, we would often visit each other for lunch at these tech companies and we began to notice the same go/links everywhere. In the hallways, cafes, break rooms, posters. fliers and TVs, there would be these keywords prefixed with “go/” that allowed employees to quickly access information on their devices. The employee could enter a shortened URL like go/food into their mobile browser, or desktop, and could access the lunch menu for that day. An easy and simple concept, but an extremely powerful method for internal communication.
Although these systems are ubiquitous in large tech companies, we noticed there was nothing on the market that catered to startups, midsize, or non-tech companies. Companies usually don’t have the time or the resources to build sophisticated internal tools, so we set out to create GoLinks as a Service.
The challenge was building an internal tool for companies that may not have any internal infrastructure. For example, large tech companies have infrastructure so when you connect to the company Wifi or access the VPN, you can access the internal company network. This allows users to access the “go” domain on the network, which resolves the deep link redirection. For smaller and midsize companies, employees might be 100% remote or working in a coworking space, or maybe the company never got around to setting up an intranet. We had to build a product that did not rely on assuming internal infrastructure.
We were able to replicate the functionality of an internal network, and the simplicity of a short-link redirect system, by creating browser extensions for each of the popular browsers. The extension would proxy the “go” domain to our server and we authenticate and redirect the user to the correct location. Now coworkers can be on any network and any wifi, and as long as they authenticate in their current browser, we can find their company’s internal links.
We are startup-friendly—anyone under 10 users can get started completely free—but our main initial focus is on enterprise clients.
If you’ve ever used our GoLinks or any company's golink system, let us know how it’s changed your daily workflow. Thanks for reading. We appreciate your ideas and feedback!