The sea change in social business engagement presses forward; however, development on Curatiant, the product I built to help guide companies in this transformation, will cease.
It all began in November 2010 with a simple vision – to help companies leverage social networks to usher in a new era of social engagement for employees via managed and secured communications. I wrote at the time that “anyone in the company should be able to create and curate content! No longer should companies have to invest in additional headcount to manage their social networks. Using the installed base of employee experts anyone with a license [to the product] can create content that can be pushed into an approval queue for review and publishing”. This idea and vision later became Curatiant.
Feeling quite strong about this shift in social engagement I moved in February 2011 to complete the drafting of the full details of project ‘MediaForce’ – later ‘Inteliant’, the codename for the product that would become Curatiant, and began the process of building the business justification to build and launch it. At the time, two rogue tweets had just been produced, the tweet by the American Red Cross and Kenneth Cole’s tweet. I knew I was on to something at the time and thought to myself “why has no one put safeguards into place to prevent these needless rogue tweets?” and aggressively built out the ideation deck for the product and began shopping the idea to my friends and family.
That original idea, in all its hand-drawn glory, can be viewed here (as you can see, I LOVE stick figures!):
*NOTE: MediaForce / Inteliant was originally focused on Healthcare as this was the industry vertical I found myself in at the time and an industry that I felt was ripe for innovation (and still do… more on that later). What you see in Curatiant now originated from this initial idea and concept after it was opened to all verticals and channels.
Just one month later in March of 2011 I accepted a leadership opportunity with Deloitte and ceased work on moving Inteliant forward; however, I never quite let the idea go that social content creation should be open to all employees. Even as I was challenged time and time again with industry players entering the space I was defining (HootSuite launched its own protected tweet solution in March of the same year) I kept thinking to myself that no one was doing it right… no one was really opening the keys to a company’s social business kingdom and handing it over to the rightful heirs, its employees.
Based on this belief, in November of 2012 I left Deloitte to launch Curatiant, my first startup as an entrepreneur with the goal of transforming the face of social business engagement. Based on the initial principles from almost two years earlier I formed a company, hired a development team, and set sail on the ambitious task of getting to market quickly to validate the idea, product, and need. In February of 2013 I launched launched Curatiant as a MVP (minimum viable product) to test the waters and received a warm welcome from several friends, colleagues and business partners; however, the market demand was not as strong as the initial reception.
The final ideation and pitch deck for Curatiant (I miss the stick figures!):
Bottom line: it was quite ambitious to build a product two years after initial ideation when established companies had then entered the space and captured market share… yet I still pushed the limits and launched. Today those limits have pushed back and with weak market demand and the inability to stand against established market players without much further investment and development, I have made the decision to shutter development on Curatiant. To those of you who supported me strongly and fervently in my launch, strategy, and marketing efforts: I owe you a huge debt of gratitude.
Curatiant, the company behind the product of the same name, will continue (though a name change is certainly in the future) and I will provide Salesforce.com consulting services under that company which is already a registered Salesforce partner. I will also continue my entrepreneurial streak with much more ideation and innovation to come! In fact, I have learned much in this venture as a first-time entrepreneur that I am excited to move forward and tackle one or more of the many large ideas I have floating in my head at the moment. Hint: I love to ideate and innovate in areas where the timing and opportunity is right… and I continue to believe that healthcare just might be that space.
With that being said, the ideation behind the product Curatiant is strong and thus I have already begun to write a book (two chapters completed!) on the tenets of the product and what it means to solve the social business engagement equation. I expect to have the book finished within the next several months and hope to offer it here, on my site, as a downloadable e-book shortly thereafter. For more information you can comment here or send me a tweet
Watch this space.