Tuesday Oct 23, 2012 by Susan Johnston - Contributor, VentureFizz
For Waltham, Mass.-based software company VisibleGains, spotting an unusual use case of their first product, Video Apps, inspired Postwire, their newest product which launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in May.
“We learned that there were sales teams using Video Apps in ways that we didn’t expect,” says Craig Daniel, Co-Founder & VP Product at VisibleGains. “The reason they were sharing the Video Apps was because we had really good tracking in it, and sales folks loved the insight they got from that.”
But creating Video Apps is a complex process for the average salesperson, so they decided to create a tool that enabled that detailed tracking along with private sharing of content including videos, photos, documents, and web links. The platform features a simple digital interface where client-facing professionals (of which they estimate there are 25 million in the US managing 1 billion client relationships) can privately share and discuss content with clients.
“As more and more businesses are going online and people are going online, the bigger vision is that client interaction,” explains Daniel. “Consumers are much more informed by the time they make a purchasing decision. We just don’t feel that the current tools out there are effective for sales folks to engage and educate their clients.”
Interestingly, though, many of Postwire’s users are not salespeople. Daniel says their users include professionals in interior design, athletic training, physical therapy, and other small to medium sized businesses.
“Let’s say you were my patient and I’m the physical therapist,” says Daniel. “I might send a video of you doing exercises or I might send you a YoutTube video of good form or other exercise techniques. I could also send you a PDF of stretching techniques or I might send you a blog post I wrote about how to get better after a knee injury.”
The time between writing the first line of code to launching at TechCrunch Disrupt was two and a half months, which Daniel admits is a “little bit insane.” He felt the technology was appropriately disruptive, so he submitted an online application for Disrupt. Daniel presented at the event [see video below] alongside Cliff Pollan, VisibleGains’ cofounder, and CEO.
While Daniel admits that “our target market wasn’t totally represented by the TechCrunch audience,” which tends to skew towards consumer technology, he says the event helped create excitement around Postwire.
Postwire recently added a paywall, but offered a promotion to current users. “You can use it for free and then at a certain point [5 pages, in Postwire parlance] you have to start paying,” explains Daniel.
Going forward, Daniel says VisibleGains is focused on improving Postwire’s user experience and building out its mobile apps. They are also working on partner integrations with other software providers like HubSpot, Google Drive, and Salesforce.