Ross Mayfield may have helped build SlideShare, one of the most innovative document platforms in recent memory, but he doesn’t think documents are the future.
“We’ve already seen a really big thing happen, which is a move from email to messaging,” he tells Business Insider. “You have Slack on the enterprise side, and WhatsApp on the consumer side, and that’s truly transformative.”
Mayfield’s new app, Pingpad, aims to harness that shift and help define a new category: social productivity apps.
“There’s going to be an app for collaborating with other people, for getting things done. And it’s going to be on everyone’s phone,” he asserts.
Pingpad is Mayfield’s play for that market.
The app has three basic functions: notes, chat, and tasks. You log into the app and create groups. These groups can then edit notes together in real time, assign tasks, and chat with the group. It’s simple and built with social in mind.
“In the beta, we saw a great resonance with college students,” Mayfield explains. “It’s an alternative to Google Docs, which they just use on their desktop. They use GroupMe for messaging, but if they really want to organise tasks, or manage taking notes, they just end up chatting a lot, or sending emails back and forth.”
Pingpad is built around the presumption that the way we actually get things done will shift to mobile. Sure, we may need our laptops to do certain complicated projects, but in a world dominated by phones, there will be times we can get everything done in an app.
With this in mind, the main competition for Pingpad seems to be productivity apps like Evernote and Quip, which have lately tried to move in the direction of social. But Mayfield is adamant that the app that will come to dominate this category will be one built expressly with social in mind.
Pingpad raised a seed round of over $US1 million from investors like 500 Startups, CrunchFund Correlation Ventures, Kima Ventures, Floodgate, and Greylock Partners.
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