UpWave Receives 2016 SaaS Awards From FinancesOnline

We are excited to announce that UpWave has been awarded with the 2016 Rising Star Award​ and the Great User Experience Certificate​ ​by FinancesOnline, a leading review platform for B2B, SaaS and Financial Solutions.

The Rising Star Award is given to new SaaS products that have just recently appeared on the market. Products that are getting good traction with the customers and viewed as giving high value. The second award, ­Great User Experience Certificate, ­is granted to products that offer especially good user experience.

In their UpWave reviews FinancesOnline’s review team writes that “UpWave is a moderately priced, advanced task manager for small and medium business which offers a variety of unique features for you to consider. Rather than being exclusively pipeline­ organized, UpWave strives to convert standard project management into an entertaining process, and does so with a modern interface, detailed tutorials, and a responsive and experienced support team.” Currently, UpWave is ranked as #8 in their best agile project management software category.

At UpWave we strive to deliver an easy to use Task Management tool for Teams keeping them informed, connected and happy. For the evaluation, visit the complete review page.

FinancesOnline.com is one of the most recognized and reliable online review platforms and the reviews are based on an independent and unbiased evaluation.

How to connect UpWave with Slack

UpWave is the easiest way to collaborate on projects with your team online. Sign up for a free trial at www.upwave.io today.

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Here at UpWave, we want to support your team wherever and however they work. Many of our teams use Slack for instant messaging in their worklife every day, and we do too. You can read more about it at www.slack.com .

We’re pleased to announce we’ve made it even easier to connect your UpWave projects with Slack and keep updated on activity within UpWave no matter where you are. Just a couple of clicks and you’re done. But, before we show you how to set it up, here’s 2 things to remember:

Ground Rules:

You’ll need to set up a new slack channel for each project. That way you can keep updates separate and easier to track. 

You need to be an admin of your UpWave account to set this up – Go to your Company Settings page to check.

How To:

1. In Slack, create the channel where you want your UpWave project updates to posted. In this example, our slack channel is called “upwavesprint6″

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2. In UpWave, go into the project you want to integrate with slack and hit the drop down menu. In this example, our project is called “Sprint 6″.

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2. Go to “Integrations” in the drop down menu

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3. Hit “add to slack”.

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4. You’ll be asked to authorize access to Slack, just make sure to connect to the channel you made in Step 1 and you’re good to go.

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5. You’re done! 

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Getting Started in UpWave

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UpWave is the easiest way to collaborate on projects with your team online. Sign up for a free trial at www.upwave.io today.

Running a team online and managing priorities can feel like an overwhelming task. We want UpWave to give you a feeling of control and to simplify your work day, using some very clear principles.

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2 Simple Rules

The UpWave approach to organizing your work is based on something called “Kanban”, which has 2 very simple rules:

  • Visualise your work
  • Limit your Work In Progress (WIP)

Over time, your understanding of how to get the best from UpWave will evolve and you can customise each project to your needs, but these two rules are the most important to remember.

Of course, you can be as creative as you like with UpWave, but here we’ll just cover the basics.

Navigating UpWave

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This is your team homepage, where everyone in your team can see your open projects. Remember, UpWave is designed for team collaboration and works best when you are not on your own. You can invite new team members by clicking the “invite new members” link on the left of the screen.

Step 1: Creating your first board.

We recommend starting with whatever project is your biggest priority or whatever it is that makes you feel most stressed (if you want to create a private project, just check the box and only you and those team members you invite will be able to see it).

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You can name your board whatever you like, we recommend something that’s related to the end goal and easy to understand for the team. Articulating the purpose of the board can be enormously helpful for everyone on the team. 

This is how your board page will look at first. A clean slate, ready for all those thoughts you have bouncing around.

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“To Do”: Visualising your work

First, take some time to consider everything that needs to be done to complete your board. Hit the “+ Add card” in the “To Do” column and enter all the individual tasks or ideas. Work with your team to decide when these tasks need to be delivered and who is responsible for them. Use the taskbar at the bottom of each card to set due dates and assign them to one or more team members.

“In Progress”: Limit your WIP

Multi-tasking is overrated! Research by the American Psychological Association shows that switching between tasks can slow a person’s productivity by up to 40%. Try to limit yourself and your team members to maximum 2 tasks each at a time. This is where prioritisation is key. To help, we have a very simple colour coding – red for high priority and green for low priority. Try colour coding your cards, you might be surprised by how much it helps. These colours are fully customisable and you can be as creative as you want with them, give it a try and see what works for you.

“Completed”

Seeing your completed cards stack up is motivating. In UpWave we encourage to celebrate each other’s successes so don’t forget to “High Five” each other for cards completed.

That should be enough to get you going. Good luck!

Dan and the team @ UpWave – support@upwave.io

P.S. Are you using UpWave differently? Great! We’d love to hear how you’re using it, send us a mail and let us know – maybe you could even inspire other teams to achieve more.

How to choose your language in UpWave

Many of you have been asking and we are pleased to announce that UpWave is now available in Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, French, German and Russian!

Here’s how you do it:

1. Go to your user profile by clicking on your user avatar in the top right (usually a picture of your face) and selecting “profile”:

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then

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2. Click on “Settings”

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3. Go to the “Account” tab

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4.  Choose your preferred language and hit “update”

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It’s as easy as that! What other languages would you like to see?

Have a great day,

Dan @ UpWave.io

How to connect your Calendar to UpWave

UpWave is the easiest way to collaborate on projects with your team online. Sign up for a free trial at www.upwave.io today.

It’s simple to integrate due dates into your calendar, whether you’re using iCalendar, Outlook or Google Calendar. Our easy to use calendar feed will create an all day event in the calendar for every due date in a project. 

There are two important things to note before we start:

Ground Rules:

Calendar integration has to be enabled by an Account Owner/Admin first. To see who has that role in your UpWave account, click your team icon at the top left of your screen and go to “Team Settings” then “Members”.

You need to enable each project to integrate with your calendar individually.

Let’s get going :)

Step 1.

Go to the project you want to connect. Click the project name in the top left to bring up the menu you see below and click “Calendar integration”. Here, admins will be able to easily enable and disable this feature for the rest of the team.

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Step 2.

Copy the url

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Step 3.

Now we’re going to add this url to your favourite calendar software :)

For Google:

Go to your Google calendar and on the left of the screen you will see “Other calendars”. Click the arrow just to the right and “Add by url”. Paste in the url you copied in step 2, click “Add calendar” and you’re done!

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For Outlook:

Go to your calendar in outlook.com. Click Import, then click Subscribe. In the Calendar URL Box, paste the url from Step 2. Give the calendar a name you’ll remember and choose yourself a nice colour, because why not? Now, click on “Subscribe” and you’re done!

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For iCal:

Go to File > New Calendar Subscription.

Paste the url from Step 2 into the field that pops up. Click “Subscribe”, and you’ll see some preferences to choose from like how your to-do’s with due dates will now show up in your iCal. iCal will auto-refresh the sync depending on your settings, up to every 5 minutes.

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And that’s it! Enjoy your new calendar feed!

As ever, if you have any questions, get in touch with us at support@upwave.io . We are always happy to help :)

Have a great day!

Standard Accounts with premium features – Coming soon to Someone.io

Loads of positive things have been happening for Someone.io in the last months and we’d like to thank you for the support that has allowed us to grow and keep improving. With that in mind, we’re excited to announce a big change for Someone.io in the form of upgraded, paid accounts, which will be launching in early December.

The Free Version will remain

For those of you who want to continue to use the Free Version of Someone.io, you’ll still be able to enjoy all the functionality you have now and we’ll keep working hard to improve your Someone.io experience. Once we’ve made the paid version available in December, existing Free Version users will then be allowed 3 additional new projects free of charge. As valued Someone.io early adopters, you’ll be able to keep all your existing projects for free.

New features for the paid, Standard Version

For subscribers to the upgraded version of Someone.io, which we are calling the “Standard Version”, your team will have an unlimited number of projects and access to some new features at launch that we know many of you have been looking forward to. These will include calendar integration, weekly team summaries, archive function for projects, .csv export and priority support as well as a host of other features launching in early 2016. You can read more on our Pricing Page here.

We will share more information on this soon, but for now we’d just like to thank all our users again for their support and say that here at HQ we are all looking forward to sharing an even better version of Someone.io with you.

Have a great week!

Dan and the team @ Someone.io

Someone.io’s Equity Crowdfunding campaign closes at 107% !!

Thanks to investors from around the world, we closed our funding drive successfully on Monday night after a 2 month campaign. 

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The team had a long debrief session on Tuesday and we thought we’d share some of our findings. We feel that as a business we are in a much stronger position after this campaign, not only because of the security that the funding gives us, but also what the process of the campaign has allowed us to discover about our product, our users and ourselves as a team. You can check out the campaign itself here https://www.fundedbyme.com/en/campaign/6070/someone/

So How Did The Campaign Go?

A third of the total was reached in the first 3 weeks, with much of this steady stream of investment coming from existing shareholders and arranged before the launch of the campaign. After that, we hit a long plateau of 5 weeks with very little action as the deadline moved ever closer. There’s a Norwegian expression “å ha is i magen”, which translates as “to stay cool under pressure”, something that’s easy to talk about in theory, but in practice can be very challenging. Trying to stay calm when there are no guarantees that you will make your funding total and continue to have a job is not an easy thing. The team had to make some sacrifices but we stuck together and kept our focus. This was made easier because, although it was too early to talk to anyone else about it, we could see that our user metrics were improving by the day and we were showing signs of growth.

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During those 5 weeks of next to no investment, we tried many different things to get the attention of investors, targeting them wherever we could find them, both online and in the real world. We entered several pitching competitions here in Norway, we flew to Sweden to pitch at Nasdaq and the fundedbyme offices, we bought ad space on all the social media channels and had one on one meetings with potential investors. Throughout this intensive time, we were listening to investors to improve the pitch and listening to users to improve the product. At the start of the campaign we found we kept getting the same questions, so we worked out convincing answers and embedded them into the pitch. Eventually, we weren’t getting too many challenging questions but we knew we needed to do more. We needed some good news. 

The Turnaround 

Things started to turn around for us in the beginning of October, when we hit the top of the Hacker News homepage. You can read more about the impact of that on our blog here, but it gave us something to brag about and allowed us to build momentum as we entered the final 4 weeks. Next was a series of pitches at Norwegian Investment Forum, where we attracted the attention of some international investors, and we began to see some small investments taking us closer to 50%. 

Why was over 50% of the money invested in the final week?

All of this positive momentum was great but we needed something else to help us reach a tipping point. We knew that investors were responding well to our KPI metrics for September vs August and so we decided to combine September and October and present them as our “KPIs Since Campaign Launch” in this press release. The next day saw the largest amount of investing of the entire campaign.

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The truth is, talk of market opportunity, financial forecasts and growth potential, while important, are only opinion. A best guess. Any smart investor wlll be interested in facts. I think that’s why investors responded so well to the press release of last Tuesday. Once we could prove that we were seeing huge growth in all the key areas of our business right now, we made it a whole lot easier to commit to the rest of the plan. 

We also released our first “Social” feature, High Five, in the final week. This is the first in a series of features that will help make team members feel more interconnected through using Someone.io. One of the big questions we had from investors was “what makes you different from competitors” and this was an important part of our answer. To show potential investors that we were already moving forward on that part of our strategy was also very helpful.

Why did investors wait?

However confident an investor feels in the product, team and plan, nobody wants to be taking all the risk, especially in a process literally called “crowd” funding. Building momentum was crucial to us reaching a tipping point. Even in the final hours we were getting mails from people desperate for the chance to join which just goes to show how powerful social proof is as a psychological driver. 

We made incremental improvements to the pitch and to the product throughout the campaign but sometimes that’s hard to see. To have two clear updates in the final week that directly addressed investor’s concerns in terms of growth and differentiation in the market was what created a snowball effect in the final days

Finally, many thanks to everyone who helped!

On behalf of the team I’d like to say a big thank you to not only our investors but also everyone who has show support for us during the campaign on social media, in the startup world and in the Nordic investment community. Our board was also an invaluable resource for us in the more difficult moments and we are delighted for everyone involved that the campaign has reached a succesful conclusion.

Onwards and upwards!

Dan and the team @ Someone.io

Introducing… High Fives at Someone.io!

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Here at Someone.io we want to not only improve your team’s productivity, but also to impact how team members communicate with each other and how they feel about the progress they make. Everyone wants to be acknowledged for the work that they do and research shows that something that on the surface seems simple can have an enormous impact on team productivity.

That’s why we’re happy to introduce you to High Fives – a way for teammates to acknowledge and reward each other with just one click. This is the first in a series of new features in Someone.io that together will help make your team feel more interconnected, an approach that we are calling “Social Task Management”, which will be a big part of how Someone.io looks and feel going forward. Below, we go a little deeper into the science of how this can impact your team, but first…

Here’s how it works:

When a task is marked as completed, a High Five button will appear and be visible to everyone who is involved in that project:

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Simply click the High Five button to send a one click acknowledgement for a job well done to any team members who were assigned this task and they’ll receive a message…

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It’s a simple as that. Go team!

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So, how can something this simple make a difference to your team? 

The science and understanding of what makes a team more productive has changed quite a bit in the last few years. We’ve pulled some data from an extremely detailed MIT study made in 2012 that proves teams that communicate with energy and engagement are much more likely to be productive. Our High Fives are a first step for Someone.io in a direction that empowers your team to increase the energy and engagement of their communication.

Why are these patterns of communication so important for teams?

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In 2012, MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory did a fascinating series of experiments with business teams, equipping all members with an electronic badge that recorded all sorts of information on how individuals communicated, from body language to tone of voice, which team members they talked to, for how long and much more.

Predicting Team Success

The results were unequivocal. Not only was communication shown to play a critical role in making teams successful but, remarkably, patterns of communication were proven to be the most important predictor in the success of a team. In fact, the researchers discovered that those communication patterns are as significant as all the other factors (individual intelligence, personality, skill, and the substance of discussions) put together.

Predicting Team Productivity

The data gathered by the MIT team showed that the best predictors of productivity were a team’s energy and engagement outside of formal meetings. Together those two factors explained one-third of the variations in dollar productivity among groups.

As a consequence of seeing this in the data, the researchers advised the manager of a major bank’s call centre to revise the employee’s coffee break schedule so that all team members would take their break together. That would allow people more time to socialize with their teammates, away from their workstations. Although this suggestion seemed counter productive in terms of efficiency, the manager gave it a try. And it produced spectacular results: Average Handle Time fell by more than 20% among lower-performing teams and decreased by 8% overall at the call center. Employee satisfaction was also seen to rise amongst these teams, sometimes by over 10%.

(You can read more about these tests in this Harvard Business Review article, written by the lead researcher on the project, Professor Alex Pentland https://hbr.org/2012/04/the-new-science-of-building-great-teams )

We are hoping that the High Fives can bring about a similar kind of positive change in team productivity – don’t underestimate the influence of small changes to communication patterns on team productivity – you may be surprised!

So, we’re really excited to release High Five, our first Social Task Management feature and we see it as the start of a new and exciting chapter for Someone.io. We are looking forward to making Someone an even more engaging and positive experience for our users. Please let us know if you have any comments and, until next time, keep on High Fiving!

Have a great day! :)

Dan and the team @ Someone.io

Press Release for Someone.io’s crowdfunding campaign, November 2015

Norway’s Someone.io sees active company base double and app usage quadruple since FundedByMe campaign launch.

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The release of Someone.io’s latest monthly KPI metrics shows why investors worldwide are contributing to the Oslo based task management app for business teams. The numbers tell the story of a company growing at a rapid rate, with company sign ups increasing by 395% and invitations for new users to collaborate on projects up 353% since the launch of their campaign at the start of September.

CEO Lasse Søberg is thrilled by the latest numbers “To show such strong growth in the key areas of our business is a fantastic boost to the team and to our campaign. We’ve seen investors contribute from all over the world and we’re looking forward to these numbers helping us reach our target”.

The Someone.io team is aiming to become Scandinavia’s first big player in the rapidly growing online business collaboration tool market. With their impressive growth and PR coups like becoming Norway’s first ever startup to hold the coveted #1 spot on Ycombinator’s Hacker News homepage, they are well on their way. Lasse believes that it’s their dedication to an easy user experience and a unique approach he calls “Social Task Management” that is giving them their edge. “Our research with SINTEF in the development phase told us there was a need for a tool that was easy and engaging. We want to make team members feel more interconnected and users are validating that approach which is really satisfying for us.”

With such exciting KPI’s behind them and a strong plan in place, those looking for Someone to invest in would do well to check out the latest hot property in Norwegian tech.

You can follow the campaign at invest.someone.io

Have a great day :)

What happens when your startup hits the top of HackerNews?

For the 60 or so bootstrapping startups here at Oslo’s StartupLab, to hold the No.1 spot on top of hackernews is the holy grail of marketing, especially when you’re in the middle of an equity crowdfunding round like we are right now. 1000s of businesses around the world make the attempt every week and very few make it.

But what happens when you reach the top and hold it for a day? The short answer is “A LOT” :).

You can have a look at the post here.

Here’s what happened…

Metrics

  • Posted: 09.23 CEST 08.23 GMT+1 03.23 EDT, 00:23 PDT
  • 151 points
  • 80 comments
  • a total of 40,000+ page views for someone.io (not unique visitors)
  • 750+ new company sign ups
  • Users from 30 new countries (now 90 total)
  • Contact from several potential investors :)

How did we do it?

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With plenty of luck, of course, but we did have a plan. Our tagline was the shortest possible pitch, confidently pushing our main selling point, “easy”, and creating enough curiosity for click through. Because Someone.io is aimed at business customers, we posted at 09:23 CEST, just as the UK arrives at work and mainland Europe sits down to its desks. New York and the East Coast were still fast asleep, being 6 hours behind.

Number of unique visits to Someone.io

Just seconds after we posted, we started to see a lot of new visitors to the website. Here’s the flow of unique visitors to the website.

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The previous two small spikes were a post in digi.no about our crowdfunding campaign and a mail out to several thousand users. HN news had a slightly larger impact…

(A big thanks to Heroku for helping us monitor the stress levels on our servers yesterday, we reached out to them early on in the day and they were first class.)

New Company sign ups

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Because Someone.io is a B2B task manager for teams, our key metric is how many companies we have signed up, rather than how many users. As you can see, yesterday was a terrific day7


Where did the new sign ups come from?

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These are the people who came to have a look and then signed up. Most are from Europe, followed by North America and Asia. (This image comes from intercom.io which was a great help yesterday and comes highly recommended:))

Twitter

We hit 100 tweets mentioning the Hacker News post in the first two hours, at first they were mostly from Tech news twitter bots:

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We set to work writing a few tweets of our own and saw way more interaction than usual:

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As the comment section on the post blew up and we started seeing traction on our own tweets, things got more interesting

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By the end of the day we had over 250 unique tweets talking about us, a 40% increase in followers including some big silicon valley folks and investors, plus plenty of praise from all over.

The Comments

This image comes from data we collected during the day to see the flow of points and comments on the HN post.

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The comment section was really fascinating and the HN community debated a lot of sides of our product and various strategies that startups in our position could use. It certainly wasn’t all sweetness and light but as we were replying we saw other users defending our position for us, which was heartening for us and I think a credit to the HN community. Especially the minimum of snark and a general attitude of supportiveness.

Praise: 

  • jaysonelliot: “This looks awesome”
  • mbateman: “I love the simplicity and user interface of this system…very glad to see new promising new development in this area.”
  • sangaya: “I appreciate the simple slick design and feature set. It focuses on the core need without feature bloat.”
  • arsalanb: “Tried it out! is awesome”
  • crystalc: “simple, clean and intuitive”
  • nceruchalu: “This looks awesome.”
  • robotnoises: “This is a killer UI. Congrats.” 

Challenges: 

  • Tens of new feature requests. 
  • Challenges on our security policy, 
  • many questions on how are we better than our competitors, 
  • demands for demos and templates, 

This is not to mention the customer service mails that were rolling in, potential investors contacting us and a stream of friendly faces here at StartupLab asking how we did it ;)

The two main questions we had were about our payment plan and what makes us different from Trello specifically. HN users themselves were jumping in to answer those which was great but I thought I’d take the opportunity to post our responses here:

  • Payment Plan: You’re right! Our plan to release the payment model this summer was made back in spring and that plan has changed… We started a partnership with http://www.sintef.no/en/ (Scandinavia’s largest independent research organisation) in March which made us change some things about the direction we are taking the product in.We have been working with SINTEF and 6 pilot partner companies to fine tune the product to meet user needs as they define them and also to make sure we have a premium, paid version that is going to work. It will be rolled out by the end of this month and, while I don’t want to give too much away, there will be a free option and a premium version with extra features where companies pay per user/per month. We will be sure to let you guys know when we have more details. Thanks again!
  • Trello: I’ll admit that there are some similarities, but our focus is very different. What you see today is perhaps closer to Trello than what the experience of Someone.io will be a few months from now.We have heard from many users who tell us that it is our design and attention to detail that they prefer over Trello. We know that won’t be the case for everyone, but there is plenty of demand for products that serve a similar purpose to Trello, but do things a little differently.With that said, I think there are 3 main differences between us and Trello. 1. We are team focused. Someone.io is specifically focused on delivering value to teams in a work environment, where Trello has much broader aims. Our focus on teams allows us to better meet their needs. 2. We have simple but beautiful design. We want to be the easiest and most engaging task management tool on the market. Our research tells us that some users find Trello to be “dull" and “uninspiring" and we’ve found particular traction with creative teams who enjoy our approach. 3. We are in the process of becoming the first “Social Task Management” tool. Together with our research partners, we have developed some features designed to make users feel more interconnected with their team and more engaged with their work which we’ll start deploying soon.Thanks for your question, have a great day!

All in all, a terrific day for our company. I hope this can give you some insight and some help for your own campaigns. This experience was a little nerve wracking but we were really encouraged by the response we had to the product and things are looking up for Someone.io.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch at dan@someone.io

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to come and sign up at www.someone.io

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