Speek.com, a platform for easy conference calls, started as a way to permanently rid the world of PINs and elevator music. As corporate employees, founders Danny Boice and John Bracken were fed up with how stale business communication was, and set out to re-think an industry that hasn’t seen innovation in over 20 years.
This blog post was written by Developer Evangelist Ashish Jaiman.
And right out of the gate, the team is at work developing a Windows 8 app to take advantage of the rising number of downloads from the ecosystem.
“We’re putting out our Windows 8 app even before Android,” said co-founder and CEO Bracken. “We feel it’s important to reach the Windows 8 demographic early and be at the forefront of the innovations the Windows 8 platform has to offer.”
“The ability to write a single code base that runs on any Windows 8 device from the phone to the tablet to the desktop is key, and that’s exactly what we intend to do. Not only will we support the Windows 8 phone, but look for Speek on the Windows 8 tablet and computer as well,” said co-founder and CTO Boice.
This graph from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week shows how intense the rising rate of growth is for Windows Phone downloads.
Super simple and visual conference calls wins pitch competition
Boice and Bracken left their corporate jobs to build the beta version of Speek, and presented at Distilled Intelligence 2.0, the pitch competition created by Fortify.vc and sponsored by Microsoft. The company took first place at the competition, which allowed Speek to add new investors, attract talented employees, and shined a spotlight on the work the team was putting in to revolutionize the conference calling experience for their users.
Speek solves traditional conference call annoyances with a visual interface that allows you to:
– see who’s joined the call
– see who’s talking
– share files directly on the call
– raise your hand on a call
– and mute loud callers
But where the company’s secret sauce really comes in, is that they’ve taken phone numbers and PINs completely out of the equation. Speek’s biggest differentiator is that you don’t need to hand out a phone number that no one will remember, or a PIN that you put in wrong five times out of six.
With Speek, every user has a memorable personal link, (i.e., http://speek.com/YourName) that you distribute for a call. To join a call, you just click the link, and put in your number. Two clicks, that’s it. And the conference calls you. You’re connected to a visual conference room on the web, where Speek gives you the tools to run a productive meeting.
A Windows 8 app for conference calls on-the-go in 30 days
Since its beta launch last year, Speek has experienced rapid growth, reaching tens of thousands of callers in a few short months. The founders quickly saw the need to reach business users who were on-the-go, whether taking a meeting while stuck in traffic or on vacation. Building a mobile app was the next logical step, and a Windows 8 phone app became a priority.
“We’re putting out our Windows 8 app even before Android,” said co-founder and CEO John Bracken. “We feel it’s important to reach the Windows 8 demographic early and be at the forefront of the innovations the Windows 8 platform has to offer.”
The company set out to build the app – and with a short timeline. The goal was to get the Windows 8 phone app ready for launch at March’s SXSW conference. After talking with the resources available from Microsoft’s Biz Spark team, Speek was able to quickly connect with qualified and cost-effective developers who were eager to get started building Windows 8 apps.
In a short thirty days, the Speek Windows 8 phone app was ready for launch and distribution, and just in time for SXSW.
Looking forward, co-founder and CTO Danny Boice sees many advantages to working with the Windows 8 platform. “The ability to write a single code base that runs on any Windows 8 device from the phone to the tablet to the desktop is key, and that’s exactly what we intend to do. Not only will we support the Windows 8 phone, but look for Speek on the Windows 8 tablet and computer as well.”
The Speek Windows 8 phone app is free and available here: