More than Just Email Being Brought to the Future

dokdoklogo_thumb1Email will be with us for a good time longer. DokDok, along with founder Bruno Morency, is seeking to evolve this often cumbersome communication mechanism, solving the often onerous challenge of exchanging documents via file attachment, tracking them, versioning them, facilitating interaction with them, and extending this vision to facilitate other products.

In Part 2, of this 4 part series, I sat down with Bruno to understand more about the future of DokDok, as well as from finances to fundraising.

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The Future & Finances

TPG: What’s your goal with the company?
Bruno: In a few years I’d like people to think back and ask themselves how they could ever use email without DokDok. If we get to that point, I’ll be one happy guy!

We have big objectives in mind for DokDok. Whether the best way to execute that roadmap is through venture capital or as part of a bigger company remains to be seen.

TPG: What are your near term and long term goals for DokDok?  Where would you like to see DokDok in 3 years?
Bruno: Our near term goals is to work with our active users to really refine the product and get feedback on the features we’re about to add. Longer term, we’re aiming to expand the service outside of Google Apps. In 3 years, I hope to see DokDok support most email systems with our API implemented by a majority of email clients.

As a matter of fact…
Our effort will be focused on the Email API (behind the initial DokDok presentation).

TPG: What are your growth plans?
Bruno: There are more than 2 million companies that adopted Google Apps for a total of over 50 million users. It’s a great customer base that includes many early adopters of innovative technology.

We’re currently in beta so the product is completely free to use. We will offer a paid account with premium features for a monthly or yearly cost in the coming months. We don’t plan to monetize through ads, referrals or anything else than our users paying us because they love our product.

TPG: How successful is your business?  Profitable yet?
Bruno: We launched on the Google Apps Marketplace on June 15, 2010. Feedback so far has been really good and we’re happy to see more users register daily. Putting a price tag on our premium account will be a good first step to profitability ;)

TPG: Did you ever consider taking on any investors?
Bruno: We funded initial development through my personal savings, revenues from consulting contracts and R&D grants.

Also noteworthy, (DokDok) closed a seed round of funding with Real Ventures a few weeks ago (http://nextmontreal.com/real-ventures-announces-first-two-investments-fabric-technologies-and-dokdok/).

Following DokDok

DokDok began as an email enhancer, working with your Gmail, Google Apps, Highrise to overlay concepts of a robust document management and version control system to email attached documents. As many resilient products do, it has now evolved to tap more deeply into the trends of Modular Innovation that are propelling many of the most successful and emerging companies out there. In this part of the series, we learned a good deal about DokDok, its finances and future plans. However, my conversation with Bruno covered many other topics. We can all look forward to the next part in our conversation with Bruno and DokDok, gleaning valuable advice from this exciting company and its founder.

Part 1: DokDok: Who’s there?
Part 2: More than Just Email Being Brought to the Future
Part 3: DokDok… It’s Advice!
Part 4: More Companies are Becoming Modular Innovation Enablers

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring DokDok, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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TBPP2010: Giff Constable on "Advice & Looking Forward"

TBPP2010_altabrv114556Giff Constable, The Best Product Person of 2010, is the subject of our first series of 2011. Over the coming weeks I will be sharing a Q&A session I had with Giff — and lending some insight into why Giff truly is The Best Product Person of 2010.

Who wouldn’t want to gain some great advice and insight from The Best Product Person of 2010 In part 3 of this series, let’s do just that.

Advice

> What is the best career advice you received as you entered product management?

Surround yourself with people who are better than you are at something, and make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

> What is the hardest lesson you learned as a product manager?

Lack of focus is a product and startup killer.

Looking Forward…

> What trends do you see in product management? positive trends? any negative trends?

I see many positive trends: more up-front customer development (thanks to folks like Steve Blank and Eric Ries), more iterative development from a streamlined foundation, more analytical rigor rather than design-by-HiPPO (highest-paid-person’s-opinion), and the appreciation of simplicity and great UX.
The primary negative trend I see might be too much of a pendulum swing towards metrics and quantitative obsession — sometimes forgetting that at the end of the day the user is a human being and the best thing to do is go watch them and talk to them.

> How do you see product management evolving over the next 5 years?

Product managers need to be truly multi-disciplinary and this is only
becoming more important. One needs to be adept at business,
technology, psychology, leadership, art/design and analytical rigor.

And more…

Over the next few weeks I will share more insights from some other outstanding product people I had the pleasure of speaking with in my search for The Best Product Person of 2010!

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring The Best Product Person of 2010, or any other of the upcoming product person interviews, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

TBPP2010: Giff Constable "In the Now"

TBPP2010_altabrv11455Giff Constable, The Best Product Person of 2010, is the subject of our first series of 2011. Over the coming weeks I will be sharing a Q&A session I had with Giff — and lending some insight into why Giff truly is The Best Product Person of 2010.

In part 2 of the series, let’s explore where Giff is now.

In the now…

> Whose shoes would you like to walk in for a day? why?

If this means actually *being* them, so that I could get a glimpse into motivations created by their lifetime of experiences, then I would say Vinod Khosla (because the actions and decisions of VCs are relevant yet constantly puzzle me), Kelly Wearstler (because it would be amazing to create with a 3D paintbrush of beautiful objects), and lastly my wife (because it would help me become a better husband and father).

> What excites you about your current products?

There are two reasons why I love Aprizi (http://www.aprizi.com): 1. I love supporting independent designers, who are creative souls pursuing their passion just like me but with different mediums; 2. I love the concept of shaking up the world of fashion and design products with a brand new tech-and-data-driven way of doing retail.

> What do you like most -and least – about being a product manager?

Most: I love a happy customer.  And I love the push-pull of working with engineers to distill the possible and the potential into something achievable and useful. Least: Fighting with a lack of resources to bring a great idea to life in the time one has allotted.

And more…

Over the next few weeks I will share more of my interview with Giff Constable, The Best Product Person of 2010, as well as other fascinating product people I met in this journey!

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring The Best Product Person of 2010, or any other of the upcoming product person interviews, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Valuing Project Managers, Advancing LearnVest & Marching Onward!

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A big thank you to everyone who made it to our latest record-breaking roundtable meet-up of The Product Group at Dogpatch Labs, as well as to our sponsors, Balsamiq Studios, Sunshine Suites, and Ryma Technology Solutions.

IMG_0954 Over the course of the night a few of the highlights were…

 

Featured Product: LearnVest
exploring the product, its challenges and successes, from validating features to hiring the best
(thanks to LearnVest Product Person: Debbie Wissel)

Project Managers — Who needs ‘em?
from the interaction between product and project to project managers’ very true value

The Product Group meet-ups are an opportunity for Product People (managers, strategists, marketers, etc.) to come together to meet, interact, and network in a roundtable setting. It’s awesome to meet fellow Product People in a laid-back, conversational gathering.

IMG_0958 If you are a Product Person and are interested in having your product featured or participating as a featured guest expert at an upcoming meetup of The Product Group, contact me.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our next meetup …

  Thursday, March 3rd @ 7PM
RSVP Now!

And, stay tuned for more announcements about March’s Featured Product.

If you would like to attend our next meet-up, RSVP today or visit our group webpage at…

http://meetup.com/TheProductGroup

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

P.S. Interested in becoming a sponsor or host of The Product Group? contact me.