Saturday, December 29, 2007

Yakkle Goes Worldwide

When we embarked on building an application that we thought everyone could use, was viral in nature, and that fit in with the trends in social and business collaboration, we had no idea how to market it on essentially a zero budget. We got advice from VC’s (venture capitalists) and former CEO’s that we would need to drive users to us by embracing open standards and by connecting with existing user communities. So we spent 2007 completing our features, fixing our bugs, honing our message, and wondering if our product “had legs.” We launched an alpha program with our closest friends and family members and were pleasantly surprised with how well we “got it” in building an easy to install, simple setup and “one-click-to-use” product. We then took a bold step in going public with the launch of our web site and with the general availability of a beta version of our product. Then the fun began! We started getting downloads, web hits, email, we even got included in a California company's newsletter even though we had no prior contact with them. Very cool.

We found a neat web site tool call Feedjit which tracks where web site hits are coming from. It uses Google maps to give a relative location and will track your last 100 hits. We decided to put it on our web site one day. Within 24 hours, we had our 100 hits and we were global. San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Canada, Rio, England, France, Germany, Sweden, even China, India and Taipei had found us. “Amazing” was all we could say.

Now a month has gone by and the viral nature of our product is taking hold. We were featured in a German web site write up on our product, we were featured in a French web site write up and someone took screen shots from our web site and wrote a “How to Use Yakkle” article. We continue to submit our product to various web sites to be listed as a free download or to have someone evaluate our product. We’ve sent pointers to our web site to Realtors, teachers, tutors, and so on.

With 2008 upon us, we want to provide some insight into what's next for Yakkle. Given the feedback we are getting, we are moving quickly into enhancing Yakkle with meeting recording and playback features, easy to setup collaboration sessions with invitations, and a feature rich IM portion with fonts, colors, and emoticons. We are also looking into tighter integration with Google including new email notification, offline chats, and shared status messages."

We don’t know where 2008 will take us, but if it is anything like the last month of 2007, our journey will be wild, vast, global, and unknown.

Discover Yakkle for yourself. Come along for the ride!

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