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Last night I attended my first Austin Tech Happy Hour event in downtown Austin. I heard from the organizer that typically 250 people attend the monthly event — a level that is similar to events in my former home of NYC. Even with the sub-freezing temps and the threat of snow (!), I estimate that about 175 people showed up. And it was a great event – one that I will be attending regularly going forward.
I had one of two demo stations for the evening where I demo’ed CloudContacts (including our new Contact Updater) to about 25 people and also met one of the PR people from Porter Novelli who I have been exchanging emails with for a long time.
The company at the other demo station was GuruStorms. I captured a short video interview with founder Edward Cruz and one of the gurus listed inside GuruStorms. You can watch the interview below. Sarah Perez from RWW wrote a review of GuruStorms from their launch at DEMO 2009.
The concept of GuruStorms is one of trying to help you find answers to your challenges. You post a request on the GuruStorms site, offer a “bounty” and pay a fee (10% of bounty + $295), and then if the gurus accept the assignment, you begin working with the gurus. It’s a team approach – so you get a virtual workspace (I think they call this a whiteboard) where you as the client plus the network of gurus post questions and answers to help you get to the right solution to your challenge. All of the discussions take place behind a login and aren’t public as on most other help services.
During my time in San Francisco this week for the Dreamforce conference, I had the chance to meet with TaskForceApp founder Niccolo Pantucci. If you read CN regularly, you know I like productivity apps – those apps that save time or save money or both. What I liked about my conversation with Niccolo was our focus on utility and not on the next Twitter fart app.
TaskForce provides a utility to take emails and convert them to tasks with one click. The service currently works with Gmail but Niccolo notes that other email tools and mobile tools will be coming soon. I asked Niccolo about a desktop app (see video below) and he said to stay tuned. Once you install TaskForce inside Gmail, a set of buttons will appear which you click when you want to turn an email into a task.
The service is social so you can share tasks with your colleagues. If the person you share a task with also has Taskforce, they (and/or you) will be notified when a task is complete.
Continue reading “Interview with TaskForceApp Founder Niccolo Pantucci (video)” »
As with previous years, I met a ton of new people at the SXSW conference. I have to admit that I was very much looking to meet Dries Buytaert. Belgium-based Dries is the founder of the Drupal CMS. If you are a regular reader of CN, you know that all of our sites were in Drupal until a year ago when we shifted to WordPress. I always liked Drupal but the admin interface just isn’t as usable as the WordPress admin interface. Dries told me that the upcoming Drupal 7 release will have a redesigned admin interface.
Check out my video discussion with Dries below (make sure to watch in HD!). We talk about SXSW, the upcoming Drupal 7 release and the Drupal Gardens product. Drupal Gardens is a service provided by Acquia. Drupal Gardens is basically a hosted Drupal service similar to the WordPress.com hosted service.
Dries notes that the Drupal 7 release has a focus on usability (they hired usability experts to help make the product stronger). They are also making lots of improvements for developers – including better APIs and better database abstraction layers. The Drupal 7 release is in alpha and they are hoping to get it out in public within the next few months.
Continue reading “Interview With Drupal Founder Dries Buytaert” »
This morning I met with NY-based Producteev CEO Ilan Abehassera and our video interview is below. Last week Producteev launched a variety of new features around social group task management. What makes Producteev unique is that it allows you to send tasks from nearly any social app and receive notifications via the same social app. For example, if you need to setup a task, you can send a direct message from Twitter, a chat message from Gtalk or submit the task via email. Your colleagues are notified via Producteev on the services they are using.
Another interesting feature of Producteev is the ability to collect responses to a question using any of the social services. You post your question or need on Producteev and then push it out to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. and your followers/friends can click a link and leave a comment on your task or question. This feature is called “crowdsource your tasks”. The best part about this feature is that the responses are grouped together and removes the need to gather responses on each individual network.
Continue reading “Producteev Offers Social Group Task Management” »
One of the first posts here on CN was a recap of a presentation at the Future of Web Apps conference with Kevin Rose. In that presentation (and many since), Kevin noted that the site was built with, “$2,000 to start, using a developer on elance for $10/hr.”
Found via Andrew Badera, below is an interview with Andrew Warner of Mixergy and Owen Byrne. Owen was the technical builder of the first version of Digg. In the interview, Owen speaks about what really took place as Digg was built. Andrew talks about the “celebrity” status that Kevin Rose has received for creating Digg. Some notes:
- Apparently Kevin was nervous that he might be losing his job and needed to find something else to move to
- The supposed $10/hr on Elance is not correct Owen says – it was more and he also received equity in the company
- Digg mainly came about because Kevin wanted to get to the frontpage of Slashdot and couldn’t
- Kevin had a lot of friends who blogged about Digg and the notes on the Screensavers show helped build massive inbound links
- Owen says luck and timing played a big part of the Digg success
- Interesting line from Owen regarding luck… “luck is just probability and the more times you try, the higher your probability”
- Apparently Paris Hilton losing her cell phone was a huge help with Digg growth in the early days
- Interesting discussion from Owen’s perspective about the human side of Digg’s growth
Check out the full video interview below and the associated notes on Mixergy. Andrew pushes Owen to give tips about entrepreneurship. You can just listen to this video while you are working – it’s a must listen/watch.
Continue reading “The Truth About The Early Days of Digg” »
This morning I met with the SVP of Marketing and Sales for The FeedRoom, Matt DeLoca at the company’s headquarters in Manhattan. The FeedRoom provides a suite of SaaS-based online video tools. The company focuses on working with large enterprise customers with a complex set of needs. The company has raised over $60 million since their launch in 1999 although Matt told me that their Series A and B rounds have been removed from the books. The company raised $12 million last summer.
Matt noted that they have worked with companies including Playboy, GM, Intel and HP.
Check out our video interview below where we discuss a variety of items including:
- what is The FeedRoom
- comparisons to BrightCove
- and overview of their new 508-compliant video player which allows people with special needs to engage with online video
- how the acquisition of ClearStory Systems has helped The FeedRoom expand to provide a more rounded set of offerings in the enterprise video space
We have covered a good number of event planning sites here on CN. Today I had a chance to catchup with the co-founder of NY-based Pingg Lorien Gabel to find out what’s going on with the event planning service.
Lorien noted that they decided to start Pingg because the space was underserved and most of the services were "bad looking or cheesy". He says that they have a strong artist community using Pingg and creating invitations for site users to utilize for their events.
I asked about the difference between Pingg and the other 8,001,141 event planning services. Lorien believes the biggest difference is their print service. Basically with Pingg you can choose to send your invites electronically or by postal mail. The postal mail invites provide a revenue stream for Pingg. The print pricing starts at $1.25/piece plus postage. The other big differentiator is that they focus on more formal events including weddings. He sees a time when weddings are using Pingg to send invites electronically instead of traditional paper invites. Another interesting stat…over 15% of the invites sent on Pingg are for business events.
Pingg raised $2.8 million in a Series A round of funding from Martha Stewart in late 2008. The biggest player in the event market is eVite, which even though it isn’t as sexy or as strong in services as Pingg (and a few others), still does 16 million invitations each month. I asked Lorien about how he plans to grow the service and he said they are working some deals to get more distribution via Martha’s networks.