CrowdCall – How Good Ideas Spread Fast

If you’ve read my stuff over the years you know that I love simple things that work well.

If you sit down with me and after ten minutes of describing your company I have no idea what your product is, things aren’t going well. This actually happens in about 10% of pitches I hear.

If you sit down and say two sentences and then I start babbling about how awesome that is and repeating it to you in an understandable way and then suddenly I’m on my phone downloading your app or visiting your website, things are going much better.

So, Crowdcall. Yesterday Pat Gallagher and I had lunch with Randy Adams in Palo Alto (yes, he looks a little bit like Jeff Bezos). Randy is a tech legend – one of the first board members of Yahoo, the software architect of NeXT, founder of the ill-fated but audacious SearchMe, founding board member of Funny Or Die.

Randy’s involved with a new startup, CrowdCall. Here’s what it does – easy, free conference calls with your contacts, without the need for them to download an app, no service to sign up for, no new conference call numbers to store.

When you call someone you can just hit “add call” and get a bunch of people on the phone (this is how we do CrunchFund partner meetings). Or you can use CrowdCall, create lists of groups that you call frequently (think family, team meetings, etc.) and with a single click call all of them at once.

That’s it. You don’t even create an account when you download the app, and the people you call don’t need the app.

It’s brilliantly stupidly simple and it is clearly now one of the daily-use apps on my phone. CrowdCall isn’t going to change the world. But it fixes a problem in an uncomplicated way.

And now it’s spreading like crazy. All I did was tweet about it yesterday. NextWeb saw that tweet and posted about it. Then Life Hacker. Then CNet.

Whenever someone is called for the first time via the app, CrowdCall sends out a text message about the service to that person. They don’t send it out ever again. But that’s how the service is spreading virally.

Thank you, Randy, for showing me CrowdCall yesterday. I hope we become shareholders soon.

Image lifted from Cnet article linked above.

9 thoughts on “CrowdCall – How Good Ideas Spread Fast

  1. I hope you’ll consider running some sort of annual report/roundup of how your investments are faring… as I’ve had some doubts. Seeing lots of great ideas. But that doesn’t mean they extend beyond features others can implement, that the company can execute, has a scalable business model, or sufficient market demand.

  2. How does one get to sit down with you (or digitally send) two sentences in the hopes that you think their stuff is awesome?

  3. Wow, Crowdcall is a brilliant idea! I will definitely spread the word about this one!

  4. $1500 per SMS for all of those unsolicited SMS messages. Those people should not get texted if I happen to call them.

  5. Alex says:

    I can see the appeal

  6. Jon says:

    So what is the revenue model for CrowdCall? How do they make money?

  7. Dave Mackey says:

    Sounds pretty impressive Mike, thanks for sharing…though I echo Jon’s question – what is the revenue model?

  8. Dave Mackey says:

    Sounds like a great product to me, thanks for sharing Mike. Though I echo Jon’s question – what is the revenue model?

  9. Martin Heitmann says:

    Interesting. But can someone explain to me whwt is their revenue model?

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