It isn’t often I start a product briefing with a Twitter feed – but when I spoke with Chuck Dietrich, CEO of SlideRocket we started out by looking at a live feed of Tweets describing how awful PowerPoint is. And while the idea isn’t new – after all, death by PowerPoint (Tweet stream) has been used for ages, many people who use the program often know there has to be a better way. And this is the exact area where SlideRocket focuses. But more on that later.
Dietrich had some interesting ideas to share – the 750M people who make presentations, qdo so because they need persuade someone, sell them, educate them or get funding.
This sets us up nicely doesn’t it? One of the most important pieces of software out there may be one that is most despised. Moreover, he says when they realized presentations were moving to the web – he saw they were becoming infinitely more valuable. Some examples he gave of other solutions which are more valuable online were cloud-based CRM and VoIP.
He continued, “What we are focused on is taking something that was invented in 1987 –PowerPoint, used by almost everyone and reinventing it for the web and making it a whole new paradigm on how you can communicate.”
In short – the SlideRocket environment allows a corporation to take control of presentations and more easily share assets among multiple presenters. It further enables a presentation to be alive – with data which can be pulled from the web and social networks. Moreover, it can easily support 3D transitions, web surveys and forms.
What a SlideRocket presentation looks like (use Chrome for best results)
There is also built-in analytics, security – to ensure only the right people can see presentations, collaboration, content management and distribution and sharing.
The company has just released its HTML5 player which I had a chance to use on an iPad and it works quite well allowing you to view presentations and interact as if you were using a PC browser supporting HTML5. I did get a crash or two of Safari on the iPad while using it but they are still improving it and on a PC I had the best results using Chrome as opposed to Firefox.
Moreover the company just released survey results showing that people would rather leave their house unlocked than leave without a mobile device – and yes, a change of underwear is less important than taking a mobile gadget.
Other interesting nuggets:
- The majority of professionals (90%) deliver sales presentations outside of the office, with 45% presenting over a meal; 30% presenting over drinks at a bar and 13% presenting on an airplane. Some of the most unique sales pitch locations reported in the survey include: in an ambulance, at the Vatican, at the Physician’s office on an examination table and on the Great Wall of China.
- 56% percent of professionals carry both a Smartphone/iPad and a laptop. Mobile devices are the most critical item not to forget among business travelers. In fact, survey respondents would rather leave the house without their laptop, boarding pass, locking the door or packing a change of underwear than leave without their mobile device.
Certainly the most impressive part of the demo was seeing how slides can easily be viewed and shared among various presenters – without them needing to start from scratch. Moreover, the ability to update a slide a single time and have it be updated across all presentation is quite useful for organizations who need to make constant changes to slides based on pricing, exchange rates or other date which is constantly in flux.
I haven’t had a chance to try the service out for myself but I am looking forward to doing so and will share more if I do. I should also mention a suggestion is to allow the presentation to change based on how a viewer answers a question. In other words if I am viewing a presentation on tires I shouldn’t see slides on snow tires if I live in the south. In the mean time, a thought for all you road warriors – for the benefit of others… Please pack an extra pair of undergarments in your laptop case – just in case.
How SlideRocket works: (click to enlarge)