Archive for January, 2008

To our growing Xobni community: a place to share

We know that becoming an integral part of our users’ email lives requires a high level of responsibility. Email is the most mission-critical business tool that exists today. That’s why our goal from the beginning has been to be highly accessible to our users, and help them solve any problems they may encounter in a timely fashion. And we’ve interacted with thousands of our users! User feedback drives our innovation.

The demand on our technical support team has exploded since we’ve expanded our user base. We’d considered building a community forum for some time now, but it was the nudge of a Xobni “evangelist” named Gary that set us to doing so. He generously made an initial draft of a forum, which has now become community.xobni.com! You’re likely to see Gary patrolling the forums assisting as our first moderator. Be sure to say hi!

We envision this forum will be a place for Xobni users to communicate with each other, assist new users with common issues, and discuss new ideas for Xobni. The Xobni team will also take an active role, but mostly because we ourselves are Xobni users. We really want this to be an open dialog between Xobni users. Sometimes we’ll be the ones responding to questions, sometimes we’ll just read the threads for product ideas, and sometimes I expect we’ll even ask our own questions.

We’re also going to be more proactive about updating our FAQs and making product help accessible. With all of these improvements we hope to be able to provide a higher level of service to our users.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

go there now: community.xobni.com

Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program

Today we can officially announced our acceptance into the Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program. See the official press release here. We join fellow Y Combinator funded company, Loopt, as well as 20 other startups in this great program.

We were introduced to the program by Don Dodge, who is part of Microsoft’s emerging business team and is a good friend of Xobni. Thanks Don!

The Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program is designed to help high potential software startups get access, guidance, and support to accelerate their success on the Microsoft platform. So far we’ve received media support, introductions to potential business partners, and free software. Everybody in Xobni has a copy of Visual Studio running on their machine and thanks to the accelerator program this usually expensive software is provided free of charge. We’ve received a lot of other free software as well as media support over the past few months. The support we receive as part of this program extends into many aspects of our business.

Celebrating user happiness

xobni team dinner

As frequent readers of this blog know, two weeks ago we began a program where current Xobni users could invite their friends. We have since added a lot of users. Every time we add new users we love reading the deluge of happy comments from our new Xobni friends. Here are a few of our favorites:

Ok, so a few days ago, I finally got an e-mail from you guys to join the public beta of xobni. Well I installed it this morning, I’ve been using it for a few hours and all I have to say is WOW, where have you been all my life! I friggin love this thing (Google eat your heart out).

Geoff Hackett, Systems Analyst

Guys,
I must say that this is the first time in my life I send an immediate applaud. What an amazing application!!! Well done !!! It is the best application I have seen on outlook ever …maybe on my PC.

Rani Cohen, Israel

I just finished installing the beta, and have only been using Xobni for a few minutes now. I’m already sold, and completely blown away. This product is amazing! I find myself already wondering how I’ve survived without it all this time.
Bravo!
Jack

Every day our support guy, Skyler, sends out an email to our team with his favorite feedback or support quote of the day. He takes these quotes right out support and feedback emails. They are always motivating and often very funny. Here are some more examples:

Gentlemen,

I have to say that so far, I’m really, really impressed with Xobni. It’s clear you’ve put some real thought into it and the interactions are really well-designed. It’s about time someone made Outlook work properly; I’ve always thought that it’s a total dog of a program, which I use only under duress and in consistent ill-humour, so thanks for bringing some kind of functionality to it. Just being able to search email improves the usefulness by about 1000%. I have been evangelizing about Xobni all day – just wish I had more than 5 invites.

Thanks again,

Ian

Good Evening,

I finally received my Beta invite yesterday, after impatiently waiting for over a month.

I installed it today, and was blown away. My productivity went up at least 40-50% within the first hour of using it. I really think that you guys are underselling the way that Xobni groups similar message threads together. Another ‘killer’ feature that I didn’t see mentioned on the website – the prompt to follow up certain people based on follow up flags & dates I have set. Previously I used to set these flags, but native Outlook does not re-prompt you very well further on down the track.

With Xobni, within the first few minutes of using, I was aware of how many client emails I had to follow up on which will lead to real billable work tomorrow. The software has paid for itself already…oh wait, it didn’t cost me anything! ?
Well done guys (and gals). This is class software.

Cheers,
Devan Sabaratnam
Managing Director, Blaze Business Software Pty. Ltd.

Invite your Friends to use Xobni Insight!

Starting today, Xobni users will be given invites they can use to share Xobni with their friends. The invitations will appear in the bottom of the Xobni Insight sidebar.

invite box

Xobni is tackling a big problem. We want to help our users organize their personal information centered around people. Anywhere you communicate or build relationships, we want to help manage that information.

We want to make using Xobni as easy as chewing bubblegum. We don’t want to force our users to change email clients or social networks to use Xobni. Our software seamlessly integrates with the environments and systems that you already use to communicate and build relationships.

The first platform we’ve integrated with, Outlook, is huge. Outlook is used by 350 million people, so we figured it was kind of important. It has been a hard battle, and the battle is not over, but in the last four months we’ve overcome the biggest challenges by working with our users. We spoke with users on the phone, had long email conversations, and had others join us in our office for pizza, beer, and troubleshooting. Having solved many of the challenges we are now comfortable growing our user base. Thus, we are excited to announce our invite launch.

This “Gmail-style” invite system means you can get Xobni by buddying up with a friend who already uses Xobni. Nobody knows potential Xobni users better than our existing users. We will continue to give our beta users invites as time moves forward.

Xobni Insight was developed with the goal of making something people want. It turns out we were mostly right, but our users helped us improve our product even further.

Improved and added features

We read every feedback email, support email, and survey response. We’ve added or improved the huge pieces of functionality based on user feedback: attachment drag and drop functionality, copy, paste, and link clicking within conversations, editable pictures and phone numbers, and improved search and conversation views (our two top used features). Some more detailed feature improvements are discussed in our last blog post.

Social Graph
The blogosphere has been discussing email’s hidden social graph. Our Connected People feature leverages email’s social graph and we will continue to expose the social utility of email as we move forward. Our invitation system is another illustration of using the social graph. Xobni’s invitation system is smart; it uses the frequency and recency of your email patterns to recommend a list of friends you should invite to use Xobni.

invite dialogue

Web search
We envision a stronger connection between email and the web. We have big plans for what this means, but today we take a first step. Xobni’s search now includes Yahoo web results alongside people and email results. This feature provides a quick way to look up information on the web without having to leave the Outlook window.

web integration

We hope you enjoy the new features. Remember to share email happiness with your friends!


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About Xobni

Xobni’s contact management products offer lightning fast email search and organization of your inbox, as well as an innovative and comprehensive address book for the mobile device.

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