Roam / Story

The History of Roam Research

Roam wasn’t built in a day — but in three years.

Tobias Bru
Age of Awareness
Published in
6 min readSep 3, 2020
The history of Roam Research

In 2017, Roam was nothing but a prototype with one user. Three years later, it has more than 60,000 users and generates $1 million in annual recurring revenue.

Conor White-Sullivan, the Co-founder of Roam Research, started in 2017 — with an ambitious goal: He wants to build a tool that allows us to intersect and combine notes from different domains without losing coherence.

Ultimately Roam should be both — a tool for individual thinking and team collaboration. The information abundance on the internet often makes it hard to manifest own opinions and thoughts. Everybody tries to influence or persuade you.

„Roam should allow collaborating effectively with your past and future self.“ says Conor in an interview on the 20minVC podcast.

Overcoming Confirmation Bias
Overcoming confirmation bias with Roam

Once you have elaborated on your thoughts, you usually want to share and discuss them.

The program should make it possible to let one single person quickly „tap into the whole wisdom of the group“. How will Conor and his team achieve that goal?

A possible answer is “low floor, high ceiling”. Roam is simple but not easy. When starting to use Roam, there is exactly one entry point — the daily notes page. Everything emerges from here.

Beginners can start with plane notes or To-Do Lists and build a more complex system later on.

Civis Ro(a)manus sum 🖐

In late 2019, more and more Roam users came together. In the beginning, they were just a bunch of people who liked the tool and wanted to exchange their workarounds and improvement proposals. What once was a community quickly became a cult. Roam nearly became a religion to many of them.

But how did this group of Roam-lovers develop further?

Since January 2020, Roam started to change gears — They became the product of the day on Product Hunt.



Tobias Bru
Age of Awareness

I am a medical student with further interests in data science, maths, and AI applications to medicine. Earlier in my life I wrote articles about studying.