Announcing Mage: Helping more businesses harness AI

We’re excited to announce our investment in Mage, a new collaborative AI tool for product builders.

Many product teams, especially at smaller companies, understand that AI can be a powerful tool for creating better user experiences. They dream of building a product that is personalized, intelligent, and magical. Unfortunately, the reality of incorporating AI into product development is often cost prohibitive and resource intensive.

Enter Mage. Mage is finally creating a modern, collaborative tool that makes AI more accessible by simplifying AI implementation and workflows. Mage makes it easy to clean data, transform data, use data from public sources, easily understand if your data is producing accurate predictions, and so much more. Operations that used to take hours or days for data scientists take seconds with Mage and they're just getting started.

We sat down with Tommy Dang, Mage's CEO, to tell us more about why he's building Mage, how they're thinking about building a magical product and brand, and where he hopes Mage will be in 5 years.

Tommy Dang Profile photo

What inspired you to start Mage?

My co-founder and I built an internal low-code tool (Omni) at Airbnb and worked with hundreds of product developers across many different teams. We saw that product developers know what AI is, what it can do, and how it can be used to improve their users’ experience. However, product developers didn’t have access to the right tools or the people to actually incorporate AI.

AI tools today are built for data scientists by other data scientists. Product developers have a different set of requirements for AI tools. However, current solutions don’t meet their needs. We saw that many other developers at small to medium sized companies had the same problem: an urgency to use AI but lacking the resources and tools needed to do so. That’s why Mage was created: to make AI accessible to many more people.

Mage is the Stripe for AI. Stripe made it easy for developers to integrate payments into their apps. Mage makes it easy for product developers to integrate AI into their apps.

Mage Logos
Mage logos in various iterations incorporating various elements like fire and lightning.

How did you come to value design?

Working closely with Brian on Airbnb Experiences showed me the power of great design: how things work and feel. We didn’t only have exceptional visual design, but the user’s experience on and off the platform was the magic. The team Brian started was called Magical Trips and our goal was to create the most magical experience possible for a traveler. The power of design was so clear to me after seeing how transformative a magical user experience can be on an individual.

How do think about using design to create a better experience for your customers?

We prioritize user experience above everything else. How do we make sure new features are solving real pain points for our users? How do we consistently improve our product, even features users love?

We know that it’s technically possible to build things the right way the first time from an engineering perspective. However, it’s rare that you get things right on the first try from a user experience perspective. This is where our design value kicks in. Because one of our core differentiators is our focus on design, we will keep improving until the user experience is simple and intuitive.

Mage Product
Mage Product: Using design and data viz to help people understand past and future predictions of their model.

How do you approach building an exceptional company culture and brand?

One of our 6 Core Virtues is “Give people power ups” and what this means is that we see the unlimited potential of people. Everything we do, we do it to encourage others and help them become the hero of their story. This is why our mission is to equip product developers with accessible AI technology so they can deliver magical experiences to their users. Our goal is to empower these developers by helping them expand their skillsets, grow in their careers, and master their craft.

The magical world we are building with Mage represents the challenges and opportunities that are present in the real world; except we help others become triumphant through the product and community we are building. Our use of elements such as fire, lightning, water, wind, and earth has 2 purposes:

  1. Help developers feel the magical powers they get from using Mage. Fire represents technology, lightning represents the electricity we use to power technology, water represents growth, wind represents change, and earth represents the physical community we exist in.
  2. Help developers envision the magical experiences they can deliver to their own users through AI technology

There's a bit of fantasy or world-building involved with this approach which we think is a compelling way to communicate what we do, to build our company culture, and to create a brand that resonates and connects with people.

Mage Colors
Mage color palette with names like earth, lightning, ice, and stone.
Mage Logo
Mage Logo in various applications.
Mage Billboard
Mage billboard.

What impact do you want Mage to have in 5 years?

In 5 years, we hope every product developer at small to medium sized companies will create more personalized user experiences in their products through their understanding and application of AI. All businesses that use Mage will create customer experiences that are transformative, relationship-centric, and long lasting. We also hope to have the largest, most engaged, and most helpful community of developers from all backgrounds and levels.