I spent some time recently with both the founder and the CEO of Sliderocket. I invited CEO Chuck Dietrich to guest post about his vision of the future of presentation applications and what that meant for the world at large. Sliderocket is an interesting product and it was interesting to talk to someone who left the relative security of that granddaddy of SaaS, salesforce.com for a relatively unknown startup in, at first impressions, a completely unrelated space.
Sales and marketing pros live and die by the Internet. Key tools in their bag of tricks like email and websites have seen amazing innovation over the past 10-15 years. But, innovation around presentations – one of the most important business tools out there – has moved at a glacial pace. I scratch my head and think, why is that?
Even when office applications moved into the cloud (GoogleApps, Zoho, etc), the engineers made good strides with documents and spreadsheets but did very little with presentations. It is estimated that 30 million presentations are created daily – that’s a lot of slides! Presentations are a hugely important business tool, but the most popular old model ‘software based’ tools like PowerPoint lack the important collaboration, security and measurement capabilities made possible by the Internet.
None of us should ever have to sit through a static, one dimensional presentation ever again. No one should ever have to wonder, “Did that prospect even open my presentation?” or “Is this slide still current?” There should be no need for teams to email massive presentation files back and forth to one another, let alone clogging up a potential prospect or customers inbox.
Sales and marketing teams should and can demand more from their presentations.
A quarter of a century after the PowerPoint’s debut, presentation technology is starting to live up to its full potential. The possibilities for online presentations are practically endless and there are several companies dedicated to developing the next generation.
Some online presentation companies center on design. Others concentrate on web meetings. One that I’m particularly taken with addresses the entire presentation lifecycle – from creation, to management, to collaboration, to metrics. Still, there are many more possibilities for presentations than what’s out there today.
Imagine a world where slides, just like other documents are living and breathing. Imagine updating a logo or important statistic on one slide and having that information spiral through the Web and automatically update every other slide where that information appears – this is already possible today, but we can go further. Presentations will evolve to include mobile applications, so people can give rich presentations on the fly, from anywhere. Imagine your presentations assembling themselves! Like the old ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books, presentations will engage the viewer in a way that makes each experience unique. This is where we’re headed.
I spent more than nine years at salesforce.com and I’ve seen first-hand how technology can transform a once staid and settled industry.salesforce.com transformed software. Google transformed search. Amazon.com transformed shopping. The state of the presentation market it similar – it is ripe for innovation. (Sliderocket provided us a presentation to show the value they bring to presentations – see below. This presentation was made for the SXSW festival for which sliderocket is presentation software partner)