Reality Check: Coghead Business Essentials


Coghead enables businesses to create, customize and/or use real, multi-user business apps in an easy, cost-effective way. Since Coghead is 100% web-based, employees, customers and business partners can use the apps from anywhere there’s an Internet connection.

To help people get started, Coghead has just announced “Business Essentials”—a suite of simple, pre-built applications that every small business needs. Business Essentials includes Company Directory, Basic Project Manager, Lead Manager, Recruiting Manager, PTO (Paid Time Off) Tracker, Asset Tracker, and dashboard applications that enables you to manage your business.

All the apps work together (like cogs), and you can customize them to suit your business. You can try Business Essentials here for free for thirty days. After thirty days, the cost is $49/mo for 5 users and $10/mo per user thereafter.

Disclosure: I am an advisor to Coghead.

By | 2016-10-24T14:18:55+00:00 September 6th, 2007|Categories: Books, Uncategorized|Tags: |14 Comments

About the Author:

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.


  1. naem September 6, 2007 at 7:42 am - Reply

    thanks for this really need to know abut that. God willing, i have to take a lot of time to get understanding more about coghead..thanks

  2. nowlink September 6, 2007 at 9:43 am - Reply

    “This blog has been brought to you by Coghead.”

  3. Tim September 6, 2007 at 10:50 am - Reply

    I think that the tools Coghead provides are really quite nice and could be very useful. But I have to ask: why in the world are they using the name “Coghead”?
    I mean, I guess it’s unique – or something. But it just sounds… un-serious.

  4. Justin September 6, 2007 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    They are competing in a crowded space with business essentials and it will distract from their main goal of making the process of creating web applications quick and easy.
    They still need a TON of work on that end.
    They are gonna be beat by the competition who is just focused on doing one thing.

  5. Smittie September 6, 2007 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    In a Web 2.0 world where everyone is delivering completed, ready to use applications, I’m not sure how attractive a roll-your-own offering is going to be.
    From the Coghead web page:
    Tutorial #1: Defining Collections and Data Structure
    Tutorial #2: Setting up Relationships and Basic Actions
    Tutorial #3: Extending Application Functionality
    Tutorial #4: Adding Advanced Application Logic
    Looks like the outline from my database programming class in college.
    Web based, show me how tutorials would be more attractive and less daunting than PDF files to download, study and attempt. I understand the benefit of having the informational files in PDF format but also providing them in html would be quicker and easier to navigate online (for those who want to do that).
    I’d like to play with it some more.

  6. Mark Curphey September 7, 2007 at 5:54 am - Reply

    Given MSFT gives this away as free templates for Windows SharePoint Services (also free) I am not convinced of the compelling diferentiator. With Office 2007 Server you get to build workflows and given the size of the ecosystem even a Mac evalngelist has to agree this in an uphill battle? Why oh why didnt CogHead focus on building components that people could plug and play to build cool apps that others don’t already have. Fonr donkeys years weve seen people come and go trying to create frameworks from business people to build apps and it just doesnt work. Business people dont write macros. I think CogHead maybe missing a good opportunity to appeal to hobbyist developers, thats prob you and “managers who are comfortable in their own skin” but not every manager….as Jerry garcia said ” You don’t want to be the best at what you do, you want to be the only one at what you do”. CogHead versus SharePoint verus Google Apps versus Notes….nuff said.

  7. Tom September 8, 2007 at 12:49 am - Reply

    My company is currently a customer where we’re currently paying full retail to the tune of $24,000/year for 16 users. Our sales rep will only offer us a discount of 8% if we sign a new 2-year deal AND purchase another 10 user licenses.
    Coghead seems like a interesting alternative to for us, and I imagine a lot of other Salesforce customers if our experience is at all typical.

  8. michael September 8, 2007 at 9:35 am - Reply

    as always…
    only availible for english speakers….

  9. cep telefonu September 8, 2007 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    They are competing in a crowded space with business essentials and it will distract from their main goal of making the process of creating web applications quick and easy.

  10. ProBizTeam September 10, 2007 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    Most SMB computer environments contain ZERO (0) custom applications. They don’t even create Word/Excel macros!
    We’ve implemented a variety of SMB groupware platforms, including SharePoint, WebOffice (Formerly and Bluetie. SharePoint is too complex for most SMBs, Bluetie lacks shared tasks and has no database customization. WebOffice meets 90% of the Intranet needs of most SMBs and offers users the abillity to create basic database applications with minimal skills.
    I think Coghead’s best chance for success is with the web development community. They need to abandon the “per-seat” pricing model and sell their tools on a per-domain basis. Coghead should create a web portal, that allows Coghead developers to showcase and sell their creations. Coghead can retain a reasonable percentage for anything that’s sold.
    By encouraging small developers to create a large variety of solutions and giving them a highly-visible way to market them to the greater web development community. The more “Powered by Coghead” apps. are seen on public and Intranet web sites, the more demand there will be for the development environment itself.

  11. jon September 10, 2007 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Guy, You’re not earning your advisor money with the guidance you’ve given so far.
    The comment about pre-built applications hits squarely on the problem. Some people want to develop, some just want to run a business. With some good advice, they could easliy address this need:
    1) Develop a single user version you give away. Anyone that develops in this environment is not trying to run a business, but is interested in making applications. You’d learn a lot from them and give them a chance to get familiar with the service without any risk.
    2) Create a market for people to trade applications. They can make money building apps, you build a user base and new offerings. Make it easy to get a rebate on anything purchased. Create a ranking system so people can easily find things worth using.
    The sharepoint comments above misses the point: with Coghead, you don’t have to run a data center. If I were worried about competition, I’d look more at Salesforce and differentiate myself from them.

  12. Vinayak September 11, 2007 at 6:21 am - Reply

    Zoho Creator blows away Coghead. They are better and they are completely FREE.
    Tom – $24,000 is too high. Check out

  13. prajith, from martial arts world September 13, 2007 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    ‘Cog’ means an old vessel (ship), and so its ship head… Good name. It moves and directs the ship…

  14. Denis September 15, 2007 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    let me share my view on SAAS platforms and their future
    I was looking closely at SAAS applications and I think that beyond applications themselves, there’s a significant market of platform proposition. There are many, many projects to create some custom business automation software for middle-sized businesses, which costs hundreds of thousands dollars and run for few years. An anatomy of typical project is
    – master-data editing/viewing
    – some workflow procedures
    – some specific business rules here and there
    – reports
    – integration with legacy systems
    at least 70% of effort are usually invested in building infrastructure, rather then business functions and logic, not to say about amount of time people spend doing QA for the infrastructure they’ve built. Such on-demand metadata-based platforms are supposed to make such applications development more productive.
    However, there’s one very strong player in that field, which is Salesforce with their Platform Edition/Force/Apex offering and I have serious doubts that other startups including coghead would be able to attract much developers attention.
    Taking my ISV consulting company as example – we want make more projects, faster, with less people, more success and without investing much into heavyweight R&D. Since CONSULTING is not about R&D or technology, really. In our case it’s about making custom business automation application fast, with competitive budget and with minimum technical risks.
    We selected SF platform for 2 factors – (A) SF has proven multi-year operational experience and we can rely on them and recommend them to our customers; (B) their Apex platform (although still having quite a few issues) has superior features compared to others, and probably is closer to Platform then others.
    Coghead can’t be similar to SF platform/Apex. Even making it 2 times cheaper won’t work since it’s not the budget falling to developer. Developer wants best tool in his hands.
    Key point is acquiring developer’s attention; they’ll start selling your platform to the companies.
    Consider a model where you target it as a custom business applications development platform. Make it open-source and provide option to have it hosted or deployed in-house.
    And – for sure – add more languages and address developing countries. Developing countries have a great tendency to do lots of in-house developments opposed to buying standard business applications. Coghead could be a nice open-source tool for business automation.

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