Ambiguity and disorganization mess up everything from productive work to deadlines. We try clarifying tasks through email trails and meetings, and organizing projects in files. We divide tasks on to-do lists, and prioritize and schedule them into our calendars. But effective collaboration breaks down with multiple steps and systems.
"People suffer from the chaos of online collaboration tools. Emails are messy, chat is untrackable, and project management tools are too messy or complicated," says Denis Duvauchelle, CEO and co-founder of Twoodo, a social collaboration tool for small teams and groups. "Modern teams need a centralized, fast and intelligent collaboration tool."
Twoodo replaces meetings, internal email, chat and project management tools. You still have email or chat conversations. The added bonus is you use simple, Twitter-like tags to create and manage tasks, messages, calendar events and notes from the same place. Actionable questions and votes are also integrated directly into the conversation thread. The command box updates all of this automatically, making sense of Twoodo's tagline, "One box to rule them all."
"So much happens during our interactions with colleagues that it can be hard to know what requires doing first, where the information is stored and what answers a person gave on a particular issue," Duvauchelle says. "With our system, all conversations are tracked and organized automatically for you. Once the conversation is over, on the click of a button, your messages convert into a detailed action list."
The idea for Twoodo came to Duvauchelle about three years ago when the entrepreneur at heart tried working in the corporate world. "I was shocked at how in-efficient companies were," he says. "The constant repetition of information, client requests not being tracked and the lack of transparency within teams. None of the tools out there sufficiently managed working in a team. They were too robotic, too complicated or too slow."
Duvauchelle shared the notion for Twoodo with his two childhood friends, David Arnoux and Guillaume Acard. In 2012, they invited one other co-founder, Sean Anthony, to help them build and perfect Twoodo as the ultimate online collaboration tool. "The online collaboration market is really beginning to take off," says Duvauchelle, citing that Cisco Systems estimated it as a $42 billion market in 2012 with a steady, double-digit growth of 14 percent. "The fact that the team was located in three different countries (France, Hong Kong and Mainland China) really gave sense to what we were building."
The team came together at Startupbootcamp's three-month acceleration program in Amsterdam. "We had the benefit of expert mentors, a great office space and access to an extensive network of resources," Duvauchelle says. "Getting our first serious external support proved to us that Twoodo has a future. Otherwise they wouldn't have picked us out of almost 600 applicants."
There are people from all over the world testing Twoodo. Tech, social media and design teams are giving feedback at the moment, which includes creating events or meetings that will update your calendar.
"We would love beta testers, especially small teams or groups working together," says Duvauchelle. "They get the priority at this stage of our development because we are following lean strategy. The lean methodology points to the fact that there shouldn't ever be a product launch. It should naturally grow as you improve the product with the users' feedback, but we are aiming to have a sturdy product by the end of the year. We want our product to be as seamless as possible. Built by users for users."
Twoodo Lite is the iPhone app that lets you manage your team interactions on the go and keep track of what you need to do from one single box. It is about 85 percent complete and expected to be available in the next month. The android version is being developed. Behind the curtains, Twoodo is developing a semantic algorithm for text recognition.