Everyone is so focused on search that they’re going to miss the bigger opportunity, which I think is making meaning out of the massive amount of information on the internet, not just searching it.
Workstreamer is opening up their limited beta test to the general public today (click on the picture at the right to see a full size image of the dashboard). The name gives you a slight window into what they do, but it’s like one click business listening. The stream of information produced by the internet is staggering, even when you narrow it down to just information about any particular company. Take a second to think about how much information is produced in a day. Stock prices change, people tweet about a company, new job openings are posted, people “fan” or like Facebook pages, people update their LinkedIn profiles, and Jigsaw information gets updated, just to name a few examples. Multiply this by even a dozen companies that you might be interested in, and there is no way to make sense of all this information. The Workstreamer dashhboard (at right) gives you visual indicators about the companies you are interested in following. At a glance you can tell if things are trending up, moving sideways, heading down, and what keywords are being talked about.
Dig in, and you’ll find information about each company at a more detailed level. How many connections on LinkedIn do you have at that company? How many have been added or left the company recently? What are the most recent tweets?
There is also a team concept. You can follow companies by yourself, or everyone in your company who uses Workstreamer can follow a group of companies. This allows team members to comment or share ideas on company events of interest.
I’ve been one of the beta testers for the past six weeks or so, and the product has grown and changed significantly in that short period of time. Given the expanded user base that will surely come starting today, I’m sure the team of agile developers will have even more great ideas to implement in Workstreamer.
The company was founded with seed capital from Austin Ventures. The amount of capital committed is described as “in the low millions,” and the only reason it is that substantial is because the company acquired some intellectual property from other companies (including FiveRuns) to help accelerate the development of the product. There is a common complaint heard from local entrepreneurs that AV doesn’t invest in early stage companies anymore. With seed money recently going into Workstreamer, Spredfast, Manuel Rosso’s new venture, Scott Harmon’s new venture, and it’s community outreach office hours programs, I would say that Austin Ventures is still interested in the early stage. But the financial markets have definitely raised the bar.
The team at Workstreamer is definitely worth mentioning. The CEO, Hank Weghorst, is a veteran of several successful Austin technology startups including Question.com, Ventix, iChat, and Troux. Suaad Sait has joined the team, the former founder and CEO of Reachforce, and previously an executive with Pervasive, Motive, Ventix, and Dazel. The remainder of this relatively small and agile team reads like a “Who’s Who” of successful Austin technology startup companies.
For the geeks in the audience, all the software is in the cloud. As the company’s systems go out and scour the web for useful information, they can scale up servers to get the job done quickly, and then scale them back down when done. Which may be key as the user base grows from its existing 350-person small private beta to the larger public beta launching today. The base service will be free, and later in the year the company intends to create some premium-level services which will be made available at typical SaaS monthly or annual rates.