The company of the day is Redliner, a division of Eridon Corporation, based in the US. Redliner is a premier online word processor that directs your entire team through the editing process. You will find below an interview with Eric Schneider, President of Redliner. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Eric Schneider, President of Redliner.
How do you feel about being considered the most promising “Company of the Day” by Microsoft?
Great! Being recognized by Microsoft, even for day, provides inspiration to a team that has spent years working with Microsoft’s tools and more lately, Silverlight.
How would you describe your company’s product and mission?
Redliner offers breakthrough document collaboration—it’s an online word processor that truly simplifies the entire group editing and document approval process. Redliner allows you to instantly bring together a collaborative team, without having to install new software or engage in time-consuming training. Redliner’s accessibility—to anyone, anywhere—and intuitive features make it an overwhelming improvement to traditional change tracking and emailing multiple versions back and forth.
Where did the idea for this company come from? What was the genesis of the idea?
Today’s collaboration process is stuck in a vicious cycle of email attachments and integrating traditional change tracking. Working together on business agreements, contracts, sales and marketing copy, articles or other professional documents—especially under a tight deadline—can be inefficient and chaotic. When several individuals are working on a single document and accessing various versions, how many times do they find themselves asking, “What has changed?”, “Is this the latest version?” or “What do I need to respond to?” Redliner eliminates those headaches by automatically processing exactly what each person needs to do next and directing him or her to it. Redliner’s unique user dashboard prompts individuals whenever they need to take action on a specific document while also tracking what they require of others, all of which keeps the edit, review and approval process moving quickly toward completion.
Impact of externals:
How did you fund the company? VC, Angel, Bootstrap? What is the chronology of funding?
Originally angels funded the company, joined later by VC and corporate funding.
Are you currently seeking funding? If so, what kind and how much?
Yes. One to two million.
What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think? Are you going to join? Why?
It sounds like an interesting program that we are exploring.
Product and Market questions:
Describe your offering.
An on-line collaborative word processor and approval system, where driving the workflow behind getting things done and approved takes center stage.
What do you sell and how do you sell it?
Redliner is not yet commercially available but will be offered as a Software-as-a-Service on a subscription basis. It is a Silverlight-base collaborative application delivered through a user’s Internet browser.
Do you have any Software IP? More specifically, is there something unique you are doing in the marketplace?
We represent a significant application written as a Rich Internet Application (RIA) that will be delivered (without any installation) to anyone using a browser. We are leveraging the Internet to deliver more than storage in the cloud, but an interactive environment that directs and truly simplifies the entire group editing and document approval process.
What would you describe as your “primary” market? Are there any secondary markets you service?
• small law firms and solo practitioners
• PR professionals
• newspaper, magazine and book editors
• freelance writers
• project teams working on documents
Do you have a growth plan or strategy? Any plans for Internationalization?
We are adapting our core workflow/word processor to the particular needs of various verticals.
How many employees do you currently have? How many software developers/engineers?
Are you hiring? If so, what kinds of positions?
We anticipate starting another round of hiring in the fall.
What technology platforms are you building on? Why? (No taboos)
Microsoft Silverlight/SQL Server.
Are there any customers or clients you’d like share? References or quotes?
Many people have responded to our demos by saying that they have always dreamed about a tool like Redliner. As we are just now engaging customers in real trials, we look forward to sharing their experiences.
Do you have a role model or someone you have looked up to? If someone in particular, whom?
It goes without saying that Bill Gates was the symbol of success for most software engineers during the last twenty years. However, it has been the small group of supports and investors over the years that helped us along that have been most influential.
What were some of your previous endeavors before starting this company?
We did many projects over years, including the widely used “GoBack” PC utility.
Do you have any advice for young software entrepreneurs?
It doesn’t matter how cool your product is, or how in love you are with it. It needs to, in a compelling way, solve a real problem for a well defined audience. Notwithstanding, much of creating something new is working through unknowns and discovering unanticipated opportunities.
Where do you see opportunities today and in the future regarding the Software/Internet arenas?
There are many opportunities around systems that add their value by leveraging a connected world and the social changes that occur as people adjust to how one lives in a connected world.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to share the following which I wrote to a friend:
It is interesting how one holds on the ways things were as the new presses in. Me too—I originally wanted a cell phone that had a rotary dial. But then suddenly you realize that it is not just an improvement, it is part of a new world; it’s not just better than Edison’s first microphone and a speaker, it is a portal into a different space. When you are traveling, you don’t look out the window or engage your chance neighbor on a bus, but click on your “portal” and slip deep into a world oblivious to your physical boundaries, a place more abstract than ever, yet with its own culture and limits (much of which is not learned but discovered—ideas too fluid for a textbook). It is all changing—we have all been fooled by Darwin, mislead to look for evolution as longer arms and bigger eyes in an adaptation to our environment, but our evolution is in our heads, in thought. I remember being glued to the screen watching Lawrence of Arabia twenty years ago, but now couldn’t finish it with the kids because it was too dated, and limited by the skills, techniques, and technologies of the times. All this “new” threatens to turn our hard earned status as wise adults into fumbling children trying to figure out and navigate unfamiliar experiences. No, I don’t want to learn latest operating system—the last one made me feel lost and helpless enough. On the other hand, you can only watch an old movie so many times. Life is in the new.