If most venture capitalists weren’t liars, we’d tell you that if we had the opportunity to fund Google, we would have passed. Seriously, who would have thought the world needed another search engine in 1995?
Fast forward to 2006. Does the world need another web conferencing product? Maybe. Check out Vyew.
Vyew is a free browser-based conferencing and “always-on” collaboration platform that provides instant visual communication without the need for client downloads or installations.
Vyew’s multimedia workspace enables real-time shared viewing of presentations, files, photos, and one’s desktop. Included are tools for whiteboarding, annotating, text chatting, and phone conferencing.
With Vyew’s “always-on” configuration, users can leave, permit others to enter and make revisions, and return–knowing that all content and annotations will remain intact.
Vyew has a growing set of plug-ins, such as Yahoo maps, Google search, diagram tools, notepad, games, and photo slideshows.
– Instant meeting: No client to download
– “Always-on” collaborative sessions
– Share and whiteboard PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and JPG, etc. files.
– Desktop sharing with one-click screen capture
– Remote storage
– Download photos from Yahoo!, Kodak, and Flickr to create multimedia slideshows
I know this may seem odd, but I like that they’re up front about mac support. “We want it to work, but we’re not Mac experts” and then inviting help. No dancing around things.
When a new company is willing to admit in a direct way that it has problems and wants help with them, it makes me feel good about dealing with them.
“If most venture capitalists weren’t liars, we’d tell you that if we had the opportunity to fund Google, we would have passed. Seriously, who would have thought the world needed another search engine in 1995?”
I think the question every investor has to ask is “is there enough suck in the status quo for someone else to come in?” In 95 and web searching, yeah.
in 2006 for Web Conferencing, oh hell yes.
I like the idea of being able to rate blog posts, but I find the current widget you are using to be aesthetically unpleasing.
this works well for a quick demo and it’s much faster to get started than something like premier conferencing; it’s perfect for times when you don’t need the more sophisticated tools. I think I would use something like this quite a bit to share something quickly, and use it more frequently than the aforementioned product.
I think this interesting, because it really isn’t ‘web conferencing’. Other conferencing tools (WebEx, GotoMeeting) basically ‘stream your screen’. Vyew is more of a web collaboration environment. Its whiteboard is well executed IMHO better than Webex, Groupboard or MSN. I have tested this with a Tablet PC and a Macintosh. The only real problem with the Mac was the screen shot function didn’t work. You can load images from Flickr, Yahoo, URL’s. You can load powerpoint slides, and step through them (it renders em as pictures.) If you look under ‘new page/load extras’ there is an interactive diagramming tool, and a game. I couldn’t get the game to work quite right but the idea of ‘plug-in’ collaborative flash objects is pretty interesting. Interactive Yahoo mapping was fun, but I find myself wanting an interactive Google map instead.
As a GotoMeeting user, I think that Vyew fills a gap that gtm doesn’t address. It will be interesting to see how this develops. It is probably the cleverest use of flash I have seen in a while.
“If most venture capitalists weren’t liars, we’d tell you that if we had the opportunity to fund Google, we would have passed.”
Do you mean “would not” have passed?
No, I think I got it logically right.
Interesting that their comparison leaves out Adobe Breeze, which is probably the closest to them since it is also based on Flash Player. (However, unlike Vyew, Breeze doesn’t also require Java). Breeze is also very extensible… any Flash developer can write extensions to add functionality like custom whiteboarding or whatever else they can imagine.
Amen. I am excited about this service. Why? Well, we are a startup and can’t afford the grossly overpriced services that are currently out there right now, usually costing $50/meeting or some outrageous montly fees in the hundreds of dollars. I hope they offer a free or paid plan to support small businesses that need to host 1-2 meetings a month.
I couldn’t make it work at my first try with either Safari and Firefox. Web is not expected to work this way. So Vyew doesn’t exist, from my irrelevant standpoint, until it is really usable as I expect from a browser-based service. :)
The New Vyew Review, Coming Right At You
There’s a new web collaboration offering on the market as of last week. Called Vyew, it is designed more for interactive/collaborative meetings than for one-to-many public webinars. The distinguishing features are low cost, quick loadup, no client soft…
I heard about this company quite a while ago. Their web site is going very slow – they should probably work on that.
Otherwise, it seems like a fairly cool product.
Guy, are these companies that you post about potential investments or just companies of interest?
Very cool. Big thumbs up! A video and voip feature would make it even better(possibly for premium users?) Also what about a remote pc feature, there’s been a gap in that for like the past decade. Most applications require installations in two computers, so a web type application would be very cool.
Desktop sharing isn’t rocket science enough to justify VC funding. Trust me, I’ve done that, took me 3 months from idea to shipping product part time. Server involved desktop sharing sucks because the data has to go twice as far AND you have to pay for the bandwidth both ways.
Neither is bundling a whole bunch of common features. What is missing from your description is the size of their user base and how they expect to make money. To be honest, I don’t see this technology translating into an easy revenue model. They need to have established, working, profitable sales channels.
Web Conferencing for the Rest of Us
The public health and nonprofit environments in which most social marketing and advocacy campaigns are planned and carried out are notoriously resource poor. This becomes especially evident when groups are trying to jointly plan county or state (let al…
I like the concept; I hate the name. If a name has any relevance to the success of a service, I give it a thumbs down.
The collaborative whiteboard is a great idea. I don’t think I would invest in this company though because it’s a concept that is very likely to be implemented in other web conferencing apps that have a much larger userbase and marketing reach.
Yes Siree! An easy-to-use, CHEAP conferencing tool with “good enough” features would be a great thing. Perfect for small biz owners/individuals who want to have their own 1-to-1 conference/meetings with other small business owners around the world.
Please visit http://manojranaweera.blogspot.com/2006/05/vyew-threat-to-gotomeeting-and-webex.html
for my comments on view. Big thumbs down – could be interesting once they match or beat features of gotomeeting.com
I don’t know a thing about gotomeeting.com, but the ability to not show animation can be considered a feature, not a bug based on some of the PPT presentations I’ve seen! :-)
Another web-conferencing site?
Despite having the most confusing spelling of any Web 2.0 startup name, Vyew.com seems to have some really good web-conferencing features, and certainly has the coolest and most informative Flash header Ive seen in a long time. At least this one…
They are up against such strong competition, they might be fighting an up-hill battle to acquire any noticeable percentage of the market.
“During this beta period, we have not settled on a business model…”
Hmmm, more cool “web 2.0” software developers without a clue what they are creating and who they are creating it for. (sigh)
Interesting idea, but conferencing without voice is…well…chatting. Not sure how the voice “partner” thing is going to work out for business users
I like it. simple, powerful, free (appropriate price – gotomeeting is too expensive for its value for an occasional user like me). I hope they find a revenue source.
With very few exceptions, businesses have largely passed on hosted collaboration and workspace tools. Most enterprise knowledge workers can’t get approval to outsource to an ASP. Peer-to-peer architecture can address this, but most web-savvy architects think in terms of servers & services, not users & participating nodes.
See my blog for more about the nascent p2p webs space…
Hi Guy. I was looking for this solution for a long time. There is a lot of competition, but usually it is very expensive or annoying products. I like it. Don’t know about the business model though.
For the most part I disagree with the comments above that think it needs more features (e.g. voice, video, animation, etc.). By just looking at a few of the people that loved it, it’s easy to see where they should focus: small startups scrapped for cash and personal users.
I was actually looking for a solution like this the other day when trying to describe some concepts to my mom the other day, and a few days back, this would have been nice as I was on the phone with my graphic-design brother who was having layout issues with a website. In both cases, it would have been great to say, “Go to www.vyew.com and enter 55555 in the join existing meeting box.”
Overall, I like it, and think they should avoid directly competing with the existing “full featured” web-conferencing offerings.
Interesting piece and I’m curious how you found them. I signed up for Vyew in December and have used it for cross team and client discussions and reporting/obtaining feedback. Prior, was paying $$$ using raindance. They’ve put a lot of effort and, to be honest, the price is right. In all honestly, I stumbled onto them after participating in a very cool online training program through their main business, http:www.simulat.com
We want to thank Guy for providing a forum that allows his readers to post comments regarding Vyew. The feedback is very valuable to us and we take them seriously. The only way that we are going to continue to deliver a great product is to listen to what you have to say and act accordingly. In fact, Shel Israel cited Vyew as a good example of listening and reacting to customers needs through blogs (http://www.socialcustomer.com/2006/05/meshforum_2006_.html).
At first glance, Vyew could be lumped into the vast field of web conferencing programs that are available today. But we believe that our premise and vision of web collaboration/ conferencing is significantly different than the rest. Rather than developing another me-too product solely for business use, we are also offering a tool that satisfies an untapped demand for the rest of us. We are not just going after the “web conferencing” market, but instead, are building a visually collaborative, social computing platform. With this in mind, we constructed Vyew to be a easy-to-use clientless collaboration product that is both hardware and bandwidth efficient, allowing Vyew to be highly accessible and profitable even from an ad-supported revenue model. Today, Vyew is the only freely available, feature-rich tool in this category.
Additionally, with the release of Vyew 2.0 in June, a set of unique features will become available; bringing us closer toward fulfilling our vision and ambition of making Vyew the most broadly adopted visual communication and collaboration platform. For instance, in Vyew 2.0, users will have the ability to create multiple “Always-On” sessions (VyewBooks). These VyewBooks can be used to maintain concurrent active group projects, as well as allow the creation of dynamic “scrapbooks” with a social network. This multi-user created content will, then, be publishable through a Vyew window – even on other websites or blogs. These ‘Vyewlets’ will be fully interactive; enabling users to annotate and draw in them, while the original content gets updated in real-time. Furthermore, Vyew converts all uploaded files (ppt, doc, jpeg, etc.) into independent VyewClips allowing content owners to create VyewBooks composed of select pages from various documents or presentations as well as photos, drawings, sounds and other ‘clips’ of information. There is a lot more, but I won’t spill all the beans! We will have an ‘alpha’ version that we can show to select vyewers in early June. For everyone else, you will just have to check back in late June or July to see what else we have cooking in Vyew 2.0.
We wanted to thank all of you for providing us with some really useful feedback. I would like to take a moment to reply to a few of the comments.
One individual wrote about how “desktop sharing isn’t rocket science enough to justify VC funding” and that “neither is bundling a whole bunch of common features”. We would agree with that. However, what we are betting on is that if we can provide a free, easy-to-use and accessible (i.e., clientless and firewall-friendly) tool that includes a really cool set of unique features (coming up in Vyew 2.0), while being profitable – then maybe we could justify VC funding.
Additionally, I would like to respond to Manoj’s comments regarding Vyew and GoToMeeting. It is really not an apples to apples discussion. As I read your blog, I noticed that Elwin, who posted on here and your blog, had two very good points with respect to how Vyew and GoToMeeting compared:
“GotoMeeting is a screen streaming tool, that allows for collaboration by allowing others to ‘share’ the keyboard and mouse. It is really a one-to-many sharing tool.” He adds that he uses “Vyew between our Architects as a collaboration tool. Vyew is more of a many to many sharing tool. We bring up Vyew, load an engineering diagram (as a jpg) or UML diagram, and each of us can whiteboard on top of it with our tablets real time. It works better than GotoMeeting because everyone can mark up the doc at the same time. Vyew sends the drawing object on mouse up, instead of streaming them, so your whiteboard strokes are captured better.”
I hope that I have helped shed some light into this confusion.
Two final points:
1) We have updated our comparison chart, which now includes Adobe/MM Breeze, as well as, a few other players.
2) For the individual who could not get Vyew to load properly in his browser, it could be because it was not Flash 8 enabled. We admit that we are a little ahead of the curve by using Flash 8, but we anticipate that it will reach full adoption before the end of the year.
Thanks for your support.
More free stuff from what the digerati call Web 2.0, the compulsion to collaborate: Vyew, a web conferencing application for up to 20 people that allows participants to work together on a wide variety of files via virtual whiteboarding. Vyew
Remember vyew – Mac Friendly Free Collaboration
Vyew.com? Oh yeah, I remember those guys. Browser based whiteboarding and screen sharing. I wont mention the 900 lb. gorrilla in the space (if you dont know who it is Im not going to help them advertise). Someone mentioned vyew aro…
Cool and free are not necessarily syonymous with marketable and defensible. This seems like a nice interface but with functionality that could be easily and quickly surpassed by the resources in and around Adobe/Macromedia.
I think Adobe has this nailed. Breeze has been in production for over a year now. The question is whether it is making money and whether the low end can aggregate enough users to justify someone buying these guys.
Just want to dropp off an info that Vyew 2.0 is going to be released in mid-July not in June like we mentioned before.
Our up coming release 2.0 has some unique and very useful new features. For example, it can support multiple VyewBooks. These VyewBooks which can be divided by customers, projects, interest, and more can be saved and open. Additionally, you can now mix and match pages from various file types or layered them together inside the same VyewPage which makes Vyew even more powerful in a collaborative environment.
We can provide you a sneak preview of this new version should you be interested. Please email me at email@example.com and I will be glad to send you the URL.