How WeTransfer runs on Paste®

200 people, 3 offices, one shared space for our ideas

At WeTransfer we make tools that move ideas—across geographical distance, from concept to market, from one brain to another. And to make products used by millions, we use them, religiously, ourselves. Long before we faced a pandemic that accelerated the rise of remote work the world over, one product in the WeTransfer family kept our organization of 200 moving in the same direction, headed for the same North Star.

Meet Paste®.

With addresses in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and New York City, as well as teammates logging on from home offices around the globe, we practiced “professional distancing” way before social distancing entered the collective consciousness. Untethered to any specific place, Paste is where we meet, a shared space for all of us to anchor ideas and gain feedback. 

Sometimes Paste decks serve as a source of truth, but more often they’re living documents, inviting weigh-in from collaborators and helping teams track progress independent of where they are.

Meet Marisa in sales (US), Karen in design, Sam from the Collect team, Faye in digital marketing, and Lizzie, who forges a sense of community among us as head of internal communications.

Five people in five places, moving ideas — no commute required.

The highlights

Marisa Harary, Director of Brand Partnerships
uses Paste to pitch partners and win business

Lizzie Ttoffali, Internal Communications and Community Lead
uses Paste to run weekly all-hands meetings for 100+ people—over video conference

Karen van de Kraats, Senior Visual Designer, WeTransfer Creative Studio
uses Paste to present projects, collect inspiration, and save time and work

Faye Ehrich, Director of Digital Marketing
uses Paste to get buy-in from collaborators and keep teams on track

Sam Beek, Lead Product Manager, Collect
uses Paste to communicate strategy, onboard team members, and plant ideas

How to show, not tell

Music. Microsoft. A call for change. If you frequent (as nearly 70 million visitors do each month), you’ve probably noticed the background rarely stays the same. 

We have WeTransfer’s indomitable sales team, including self-described ‘Paste diehard’ Marisa Harary, to thank for these wallpapers that serve as the backdrop for billions of files shared around the world. Based in New York, Marisa heads up brand partnerships for the US market, working closely with our global sales teams in London, LA, and Amsterdam.

To pitch new partners, Marisa’s decks draw attention to some of the most compelling campaigns WeTransfer has produced to date, leaning on videos and cinemagraphs, which play right in Paste, to illustrate its capabilities. “Paste is a great way to show, not tell,” she says.

Her decks typically get one of two responses. “It’s either ‘Can you please send this as a PowerPoint?’ or ‘Your deck looks amazing,’” Marisa tells me over video chat from her home in Brooklyn. Asked whether she ever recreates Paste presentations in other software, she says ‘never,’ choosing instead to export a PDF. 

“WeTransfer is such a visual brand and Paste makes it so easy to embed videos and GIFs that show what we can do,” Marisa says. “This is the way of the future. It’s hard to go back.”

How to run a presentation for 100 people. Online. Every week. 

Like Janet in The Good Place, Lizzie Ttoffali possesses institutional knowledge of how things work at WeTransfer and spends much of her time making it accessible for the rest of us. Now her role as Human Wiki (not official title) is more relevant than ever. “I focus on aligning how we communicate within the company so everyone has clarity,” says Lizzie.

“When Paste joined WeTransfer, some people were still using Keynote,” she says. “It always starts with one person using a tool. Others see how easy it is and start using it themselves. That’s how teams adopted Paste organically, and now we’re all using it.”

These days Lizzie leans on Paste to run our weekly All-Hands, a company-wide gathering for news and updates (and where we hear from special guests like philosopher Alain de Botton and artist Mr. Wash), that went fully remote during the height of stay-at-home mandates.

It takes a matter of minutes to make a deck cohesive even with many contributors adding their own updates. Plus, “Paste’s formatting makes decks look nice every time,” she says.

Paste's automatic layout system lets you focus on your content without worrying about formatting.

How to win friends and influence people

So, you have a product that makes kickass presentations. Great, you’re probably thinking, but I’m treading water trying to run a business during a pandemic. So what if my slides look ugly or take a bit longer to make?

These are fair points. And yet the need to work effectively and to keep people on the same page hasn’t changed.

Take Karen van de Kraats on our brand design team who relies on Paste to help other teams show up in print and online using a unified visual language. Along with art direction and designing offline events, Karen’s team develops guidelines, templates, and building blocks. Think: brand guidelines and marketing playbooks for Paste and WePresent. And because they often collect inspiration from around the web, the ease of embedding links in Paste is key.

In a previous life, Karen made presentations in InDesign, and says the move to Paste has saved “a lot of time and work,” crediting its focus and simplicity. 

Faye Ehrich, who oversees digital marketing from Los Angeles, agrees. “When I worked at agencies, you had to put aside four hours just to finesse a deck,” she says.

“Paste moves your focus away from formatting and lets you focus on the ideas on the page. It’s incredibly useful for teams that need to move quickly.”

— Faye Ehrich, Director of Digital Marketing

At WeTransfer, the marketing team uses Paste to navigate projects with many cooks in the kitchen. “We’re not a top-heavy organization,” Faye explains. “The goal is always ‘How can I get buy-in? How can we align our messaging across different teams?’”

To gain consensus, Faye presents go-to-market plans and tracks progress with Paste. These decks tend to circulate within the company, from owners to stakeholders, so “we have to be prepared for everything to be seen.”

WeTransfer’s marketing team uses Paste hand in hand with Slack integrated to notify collaborators when a slide needs attention.

Sam Beek on the Collect team takes a different approach. Based in Amsterdam (but “very remote-friendly”) his team uses Paste for open discussion and product strategy. “Everyone on my team adds their input directly to meeting decks,” he says. In the past, they relied on Google Docs and Slides, and Miro whiteboard. But these days, “anything that requires visuals go in Paste.” Designers drop their wireframes in decks, which are then shared with the engineers who build them.

Sam is also quick to point out the less formal ways he uses Paste, like welcoming new hires by onboarding them to what it’s like to work at WeTransfer. “And sometimes I use Paste to ‘incept’ ideas,” he says proudly. “I’ll make a deck named VISION 2020 and put ideas in there that nobody expects. It’s started conversations.”

In all these ways and more, Paste has become our digital office. It’s where our ideas come together to be seen, heard, improved upon, and ultimately made real—even when we’re apart.