Probably the rat race to be productive is making us more unproductive.
How many productivity apps have you installed on your mobile in the past 6-8 months? Are you still in search for the perfect ‘to-do’ app? There isn’t a simple tool like Google Calendar that helps you schedule meetings and maintain records but then it still lacks features to make it inevitable.
Productivity and product management tools like Basecamp, Trello, Asana etc. have always been quite popular. After using and talking to a few people who use these tools regularly, one important feature that everyone wants is the ability to sync their tasks, reminders etc. from those tools back to Google Calendar.
Google Calendar is the central repository for all office meetings, appointments, reminders, birthdays etc. It's a tool that has all reminders in one place, simplifying future planning.
Amidst several tools, one can’t ignore or move away from Google Calendar. This is something that sparked Gaurav Gupta to build on top of the Calendar, to eliminate the need to use other reminder apps. This led to him start ClipPod.
Sharing more about his idea he says, “We're trying to make it easier for people to collaborate with each other. And the underlying assumption is that if something is easy to do, people do it more often. If you already have a Google account (and most people have one) and are using Google Calendar, that's all you need to start using ClipPod. There's no "signup", login, forgotten passwords or any of that. If you want to share your ClipPod with another person, just add him to that event on your Calendar. It's that easy!”
As ClipPod is in its nascent stage, Gaurav tried to keep it as ‘horizontal’ as possible, and not bind users to specific flow. Also, he isn’t sure which use case is working dominantly, at the moment.
But majorly 2 use cases have emerged –
Meeting Management - Think of everything that happens before a meeting (fixing a time, getting everyone to agree, setting up reminders), during a meeting (taking notes, presenting files, planning and assigning actionable) and after a meeting (sending out MoM's, planning follow ups etc.). But then, you have to keep switching back and forth between your e-mail, calendar and hard disk to get everything at one place. ClipPod adds these utilities to Google Calendar making it user-friendly.
Project Management - Most project management tools revolve around the idea of tasks with due dates assigned to someone in a team. Then, that task becomes the central object of collaboration, which usually happens via chat/messaging, notifications, files, time tracking etc. But all these communication channels are fragmented; users can overcome this with ClipPod’s integrated features.
There are others, for example social media calendars, editorial calendars, resource scheduling etc. but the team is keeping meetings and project management their top priority.
Gaurav was one of the earliest employees at SlideShare back in 2006-07. He was almost single handedly responsible for the Slideshare-LinkedIn platform app, which eventually played a large strategic role in LinkedIn's SlideShare acquisition. He later worked at Educomp and Naukri before venturing out in September 2013.
He, along with few interns, has been working on ClipPod since May, and launched the first version of the product in the last week of July 2014. They wanted to launch the MVP, get good traction and feedback to roll more features out.
Building products single-handedly with a bunch of interns isn’t that easy a job. Finding good talent to work with has been the greatest challenge of all. The best talent is either locked up in companies, drawing paychecks that they're too scared to let go off even if they don't really "need" it. People who do have the will to take the plunge are all pursuing their "own ideas", and would usually not be open to teaming up with someone else.
Product wise, a majority of companies still continue to use Microsoft products internally. We're betting on the fact that Google Apps will slowly dominate that market as well, or else we may eventually have a 'Microsoft versions' ClipPod.
As of today, ClipPod is completely free to use. However, eventually there will be a freemium model specifically meant for Google Apps for business users.
Gaurav promises that ClipPod would be indefinitely free for personal use (i.e. with a regular @gmail.com account)
Products and India
It’s good to notice the new wave of products from India in the recent past. Gaurav shares,
I think it's an amazing new trend. It clearly shows that a lot more people are now willing to take the risk of investing in new and innovative ideas, and also that people on the other side are willing to try and adopt new products. Overall, I think it's a great step ahead.
But, monetization for products in India is still a major problem yet to be overcome. Sharing the same sentiment, he tells, “We, as Indians, keep finding and preferring free alternatives. Thankfully, that's changing fast.”
He believes that ClipPod could prove to be a simple, flexible substitute to bloated and complicated project management tools that people struggle to use everyday
ClipPod might also pivot into a ‘meeting management’ tool that people will be able to use for everything before, during and after a meeting. The team has been gathering valuable feedback from users on a daily basis to understand the potential pivot and evolution of the product.
Sales – The team is trying to partner with few Google Apps resellers who can sell ClipPod along with the main Google Apps suite in companies and educational institutes.
Product – They’re trying to make the product available across platforms and devices. They’re also working to add a better notification system with major focus on search.
For now, he is focused on product development and technology, while also seeking a co-founder to lead the marketing front.
Do check this product and share your valuable feedback with the team.