Travis VanderZanden of QikCom Talks about His Startup Bringing Twitter-like Capability to the Business World
So what is your background?
I worked with Qualcomm for five years in San Diego. I decided it was time to start my own company and thought Austin would be a great place to start it.
How did you come up with the idea for QikCom?
I had been following Twitter for a long time. It’s a great way to communicate. I think it makes more sense in the business setting. Right now, consumers use it for things like what they having for lunch. I think it fits better for business. It complements email.
What is your business model?
It’ll be subscription based at the company level. It will be free for employees to sign up to get grassroots adoption. We then plan to charge a subscription for additional Enterprise 2.0 applications in our TabStore. I want to stay away from the advertising model. Twitter is still trying to figure it out. I think they will eventually.
How is your micro-messaging service better than Twitter?
I think that micro-messaging for business needs to be more secure. You have to have a company email address to join. We can lock down the IP address to reside in a certain range. We also have SSL on top of that. It depends on what you’re using it for. We’re hoping they will pay for that.
How many are signed up so far?
We have over 500 companies signed up so far. We’ve identified the early adopters in each of those companies and now we’re trying to spread deeper into the organizations.
How did you find the 500 companies?
All word of mouth. We haven’t started marketing yet.
Where is the development done?
We did everything here in Austin. Nothing was done overseas. We’ll be ramping up quickly to finish our TabStore app platform.
How do you foresee the business user making use of your service?
QikCom is perfect for staying connected with other employees within your company. Micro-messaging is short, quick messages that provide a great alternative to email. We also see the TabStore providing a lot of additional use to organizations moving toward Enterprise 2.0.
Who is your competitor?
Yammer is our largest competitor, they launched a few weeks before us and won the TechCrunch50 award.
How are you better than them?
We’re different from our competition because we’re going far beyond just rebranding Twitter. We’re building a business application marketplace called “TabStore” for on top of our core micro-messaging utility. We currently offer three apps/tabs in the TabStore, ToDo List Management, Frequent Travel Management, and Competition Monitoring.
Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.