Before we started Linear, Jori and I built another company that was part of the Y Combinator’s Summer 2012 batch. There were a lot of lessons I learned from YC. However, one thing I wish I had understood better was what effective product development looks like.

Back then, we knew how to code, design and ship but we didn’t know how to prioritize effectively, set meaningful goals, or keep the momentum up week after week. While at the very beginning this is not that critical. It becomes more when you get to the stage of having a product and user…


Morning of the NYE 2019. Lapland, Finland

As for everyone else, the pandemic played a big part in this year. It forced us to think about new habits and ways, while it also gave us time to reflect and showed us what we can be grateful for. I’m grateful to live in a place that we can easily and safely enjoy the outside and take trips to nature. I’m also grateful that most of my family and friends were healthy and safe during this time.

Personally, 2020 was one the biggest years for me. We got married, moved to a new home, bought a property and adopted…


At Linear our focus has been on empowering builders to focus on their work of creating software. In the past year, we have come a long way and we are excited to share the latest milestones in our journey.

Today, we’re announcing that we’ve raised $13M in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital and a slew of new product updates aimed at re-envisioning the principles and practices of building and continue developing the best in class tool for teams to create software.

Next Generation of Startups Are Being Built With Linear

Hundreds of startups today–from early teams to growth stage companies–use Linear to develop software and build magical…


At Linear, we believe software can feel magical. Well designed tools and practices encourage momentum and level up execution in our teams. Linear is now open for sign ups at https://linear.app.

This past year, we’ve been working on refining Linear with our early adopters. We’ve spent hours talking to company founders, managers, designers and engineers. The common theme across conversations has been how broken the current ways of working are in the software industry, the subpar quality of the tools we use to build software, and how much change a product like Linear can bring.

Engineers and creators feel that…


Changelogs are not uncommon in software development, but often they are not used in early stage companies to engage with users and investors.

We picked up the practice of writing a changelog when we started building the issue tracking and project management tool Linear. It felt natural to share updates as our goal is to build the most streamlined tool for software teams.

Our initial aim was to share the latest product changes with our early adopters and communicate how rapidly we were adding new features and fixing bugs. In the last 12 months, we have published over 50 changelogs…


Our mission is to streamline how teams build great software, starting from issue tracking.

At Linear, we are creating software for startups and companies who look to create impact. We believe creators should focus on the work they create, not manually tracking their work. Managers should spend their time prioritizing and giving direction, not bugging their teams for updates. Running the process shouldn’t sap your team’s energy and come in the way of creating.

That’s why today we are excited to announce that we’ve raised a $4.2M seed round, led by Sequoia Capital with participation from Index Ventures and others.

This is a big milestone for our team and we wanted to share a…


Introducing the more enjoyable and efficient way to manage software development with linear.app

Managing software development and design well is one of the most critical activities of any product company. Prioritizing the right ideas, tracking roadmaps and maintaining product quality can mean the difference between the success and death of a company.

This is why issue, bug and project management tools are some of the oldest and most popular types of software created. …


Each year, I try write these “year in reviews.” Mainly for myself to reflect and possibly read them again in few years. However, often during the holidays, I don’t feel like picking up the computer, so in the end don’t finish task.

So as of now, going forward, I will now try to do these summaries after the holidays, but before my birthday, which is today, January 8.

General work:

  • Got promoted to Principal Designer at Airbnb. While I’m not big on titles, this promotion gives access to the overall leadership group in the company, and makes easier for me…


How we introduced Airbnb Cereal to our UI

On May 15, 2018, Airbnb launched a new typeface called Airbnb Cereal across our product and brand. Airbnb Cereal was created in partnership with Dalton Maag — a global font foundry — and Airbnb’s Marketing and Experience Design teams.

This case study is part of a launch series, and details the technical process story. Learn more about how we designed a distinguishable typeface that combines character, function, and scale here.

Typographic decisions are usually made on a brand level — with considerations for look, feel, and accurate expression of a brand’s desired direction. But what about UI? …


Working in software development and design, we are often required to ship one-off solutions. Sometimes we’re working within time constraints and sometimes we just haven’t yet agreed upon a path forward. These one-off solutions aren’t inherently bad, but if they aren’t built upon a solid foundation, we eventually find ourselves having to pay back accrued technical and design debts.

Visual language is like any other language. Misunderstandings arise if the language is not shared and understood by everyone using it. As a product or team grows, the challenges within these modalities compound.

Design has always been largely about systems, and…

Karri Saarinen

Cofounder, CEO Linear. Past: Principal Designer & co-creator design systems Airbnb. Founding design Coinbase . Cofounded Kippt, Rails Girls. YC Alumn

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