KnowledgeOwl CEO on Building a Top Knowledge Base Platform

Listen And Share This Software Spotlight Podcast

Watch And Share This Software Spotlight Podcast

In an exclusive Software Spotlight podcast interview, Marybeth Alexander, Chief Executive Owl of KnowledgeOwl, shares her journey and insights on building a successful knowledge base platform. She discusses the importance of customer-driven development, and the benefits of becoming a B Corporation, and offers advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Marybeth also demonstrates key features of the KnowledgeOwl platform.


In an exclusive interview on the Software Spotlight podcast, Marybeth Alexander, Chief Executive Owl of KnowledgeOwl, sat down with host Michael Bernzweig to discuss her journey in building a successful knowledge base platform. Throughout the conversation, Marybeth shared valuable insights on customer-driven development, the benefits of becoming a B Corporation, and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Origins of KnowledgeOwl

KnowledgeOwl began as an internal startup called HelpGizmo within SurveyGizmo, where Marybeth worked as the head of the support team. “HelpGizmo was designed to be a help desk solution,” Marybeth explained. “That project never got off the ground, but my internal team brought that project back to life as an internal knowledge-based solution, which worked so well.”

Recognizing the potential of the platform, SurveyGizmo's CEO offered Marybeth and her co-founder the opportunity to buy HelpGizmo and run it as their own company, leading to the birth of KnowledgeOwl.

Customer-Driven Development

One of the key factors in KnowledgeOwl's success has been its focus on customer-driven development. Marybeth emphasized the importance of listening to customers and building features based on their needs. “Most of our big features and functionality, and especially our most popular ones, have been customer feedback,” she said.

This approach has helped KnowledgeOwl create a platform that effectively solves real-world problems for its users across various industries, from software companies to retail and education.

Becoming a B Corporation

Marybeth also discussed KnowledgeOwl's decision to become a B Corporation, a certification that recognizes companies meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. “I want to build a software company that is employee-owned because you don't see that,” she explained. “I want to try to figure it out. Like that's my big, that's like my big hairy goal, right? Like is employee-owned.”

By prioritizing people and purpose alongside profit, KnowledgeOwl has set itself apart as a company committed to making a positive impact on its employees, customers, and the world at large.

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

When asked about her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, Marybeth emphasized the importance of taking action and making time for one's goals. “Just do it,” she said. “I think that's, I think it's harder. I think the older you get, unless you've done it before, like the, it's easy when you're younger to just like, you just do things because you're not scared of falling, right?”

She also stressed the value of building relationships with other business owners and seeking out communities for support and knowledge sharing. “I've started to like talk to other folks and I've learned so much just by doing that,” Marybeth shared.

A Live Demonstration of KnowledgeOwl

To give listeners a firsthand look at the KnowledgeOwl platform, Marybeth provided a live demonstration during the interview. She showcased the platform's customization options, allowing users to tailor the look and feel of their knowledge base to their brand, as well as its powerful search capabilities and user-friendly interface.

“A knowledge-based website is made up of two basic components of what we call categories and articles,” Marybeth explained. “The categories are like your folders. The articles are like the individual web pages that you can organize into those categories and folders.”

The demonstration highlighted the versatility of the KnowledgeOwl platform, with potential applications across a wide range of industries and use cases.


Marybeth Alexander's journey in building KnowledgeOwl serves as an inspiring example of how a customer-focused approach, commitment to positive impact, and willingness to learn and grow can lead to success in the software industry. Her insights and advice offer valuable lessons for entrepreneurs and business leaders looking to create products that make a difference in the lives of their users and the world at large.

KnowledgeOwl FAQ

What is KnowledgeOwl?

KnowledgeOwl is a leading knowledge base platform that helps companies create and manage online documentation for their customers and employees.

How does KnowledgeOwl's search functionality work?

KnowledgeOwl's search is built on top of Elasticsearch, providing users with enterprise-level search capabilities that are typo-tolerant and offer suggestive results as users type.

Can KnowledgeOwl be customized to match a company's branding?

Yes, KnowledgeOwl offers extensive customization options, allowing users to tailor the look and feel of their knowledge base to their brand, including custom logos, domains, fonts, and colors.

What industries can benefit from using KnowledgeOwl?

KnowledgeOwl can be used across a wide range of industries, including software companies, retail, education, banking, and more, for both internal and external knowledge sharing.

Is KnowledgeOwl suitable for both public-facing and internal knowledge bases?

Yes, KnowledgeOwl can be used for both public-facing and internal knowledge bases, with the ability to set up single sign-on (SSO) and other security measures for internal use.

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