BatchBlue spent the past five days in sunny San Diego as we launched our first product, BatchBook, at the DEMOfall2007 conference. It was an amazingly unique experience for a small company like us, and I’m sure I’ll go into more detail about that here or at the BatchBlog. For now, though, I want to talk about some of the products that stood out to me.
CashView kicks off the list for three reasons. First, they were one of the winners of the coveted DEMOgod awards. Second, they offer a slick product that addresses an area that we don’t directly target, but could conceivably hook into via APIs and whatnot: small business finance. They exuded the same passion for solving real-world small business problems that we do, so it really hit home.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, they are great people. We had the pleasure of demoing right after them and the feeling was one of definite camaraderie in a situation where it could have been all about competition. We exchanged a bunch of our BatchBrew coffee for some of the exquisite chocolates they were handing out.
PlanHQ allows you to take your business plan out of the dusty, static Word format and make it a collaborative work of everyone in the team. Certainly tailored for small businesses, each user sees the main company goals but also the tangible tasks that need to be executed to reach those goals.
Two things stand out for me. I think the collaborative creation of a tangible object (on this case, the printed business plan) is interesting. I have an idea (that I’ll never get to) for a similar approach to a vastly different product. Also, I like the idea that a company’s newer employees can still view a relevant business plan, not an already-expired snapshot of what the company wanted to be 15 months ago.
Yuuguu was one of a couple products (Propel’s Personal Bamdwidth Manager being the other) that I would rather see as Skype features than stand alone products. Yugguu, to me, is Skype with desktop sharing. The sharing can also be done over a temporary website when both parties are not Yuugu users. VERY slick.
Dear Skype: please purchase Yuuguu. kthanksbye.
Tubes is something I won’t personally use, but I can see it being a great product for those who prefer to bypass Flickr, YouTube, Google Docs and the like when sharing files with small teams. Essentially, you create a dropbox of files that you share with whatever users you wish. Your Tubes can even be public. This is even how the Tubes folks update their own web site.
MyVello was my choice for DEMOgod. I was floored that they didn’t get it, but it must be because they just barely went over the six minute limit (by six seconds). MyVello solves a very real problem—conference calls always start late. So, the site allows you to set up the contacts for a conference call and hit one button when it is ready to start. Everyone’s phone rings at once and the call starts right away. Nobody hangs out on hold… no codes to enter… no problem.
In the words of Steve Jobs, there’s “one more thing.” There was one presentation—that wasn’t done by a demonstrator—that simply blew everyone away. I had the pleasure of speaking with Michael Callahan, CEO of Ambient, at the opening reception. Michael, 24, is the inventor of the Audeo.
The Audeo allows people unable to speak (think diseases such as ALS here) to utilize their thoughts to create speech. It sounds like science fiction, but Michael demonstrated it all week. Unbelievable.
There were certainly a few other cool products, but that’s my Top 5 (+1) and I’m sticking to it.