Title: Brown Venture Forum - Elevator Pitch

As a founding engineer with a Brown Physics and Computer Science degree who got stuck with this job, I have two elevator pitches. The first uses Bill Joos's Garage.com outline for an elevator pitch to get that first meeting (Traction8584). The second is the one that we actually used.

A) How many of you get at least 25 email or voicemail messages a day? 50? 100? more than 100? How about when you return from vacation?

How many of you read the Wall Street Journal? How would you like to have all 250 articles delivered in 250 separate email messages every morning?

It's the same information - delivered in an immensely more usable form.

[A newspaper backed by a deep archive let's you choose what to read, and when to read it, without squirrelling away your own copy of something that might be important. Wave a WSJ, don't talk]

That's what Traction is. A product that changes how you view information. Instead of email, we deliver a newspaper organized like the Wall Street Journal - to your laptop, Palm Pilot or Blackberry.

Traction cuts the pain of information overload for all of your internal communication.

Part of the pain comes from your mail box. A corporate email study showed the typical user sends 27 messages a day, receives 30 messages a day - six with attachments. In a 260 day work year, the typical user spends 76.3 days - over three months - in their messaging system.

But, the pain isn't just due to your bulging mail box. It's also your inability to grab and use what's critical in what you see.

You can put a Post-It® note on the three key issues in 200 page contract - and get your legal team to pay attention to your burning questions. Traction let you do the same thing for any paragraph you see on the Newspage, your email, or from the web - and hand it off in 10 seconds or less.

Our first customers are In-Q-Tel - the venture capital arm of the CIA - and Mesa Systems International, an OEM customer who is making Traction a personal home page for engineers at Lockheed Martin, Lucent, Abbott Labs, Sun Microsystems, NASA, and others. in-q-tel.com, mesasys.com

We will do for internal communication what CRM promises for external communication - capture and manage the two-way flow of information within and among sales, finance, engineering and management teams, with a framework product that can grow faster than e.Piphany.

Can we meet in your office tomorrow for a demo? I'd like to show you how we'll change the world.

B) Andy van Dam says you should look at our demo.


"People are using email systems differently than the designers expected. They want to keep important email permanently. What was once thought to be a temporary communication is now a valuable, pervasive corporate asset. To accommodate this usage, users have taken what was intended to be a temporary store and used it like an archive and storage system. Since the systems were not really designed for this, costly problems are introduced." - Email Archive and Retrieval: A Hidden Enigma, A Hidden Cost, Feb 1999, Creative Networks Report, Traction8790.02

Seriously: customers and investors led us to shift from a freeform workgroup product, to an enterprise platform that places Traction squarely in sales, finance, engineering and management organizations, where speedy, accurate information flow has the highest return.

A May 2000 IDC report defines the "Team Collaborative Application" (TCA) market as a 'groupware-light' alternative to Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange "Interactive Collaborative Environments" (ICE). TCA products are distinguished by easy of use and rapid deployment, using a web native architecture. This market is projected to grow from $150M in 2000 to $425M in 2004 [CAG 40%].

Traction does not directly compete in the email, messaging, ICE, or TCA segments in IDC's report. It's a layer on top that use and redirects information flow, as CRM did by rechanneling customer communication from narrow helpdesk solutions. We use a web newspaper (focused on sales, finance, engineering, or management) as the organizing metaphor.

Traction consolidates news from all other organizations without IT integration costs; it just plugs together. Your personal Newpage channels news, key actions and hotlist items from all sources, including new sources as they are deployed. If you're the CFO, you'll see more detail on finance and corporate management, and choose to spend an hour focusing on early reports on the end of quarter closing, but skim the headlines and relevant key actions from engineering, sales, and operations. The email traffic routed through your email box dives lower and lower as Traction is deployed - through direct or indirect channels.

We have a great product that we are now working with our customers to make vertical versions (or skins). We'll focus our sales effort on one segment where the pain is greatest (e.g. field sales for pharmaceuticals), then quickly expand through indirect and direct channels, to become to a backbone for enterprise communication

see Traction14478, Traction14482

We're actively recruiting new team members, including a CEO, and are well along in developing our next generation product. We believe Traction's newspage is the capstone for the email, web, and voice infrastructure of every business.

We're determined to build a successful business, starting with over 30 years of hypertext research and product development at Brown, Mentor Graphics, and Electronic Book Technology, combined with great investors and management team team that's as talented, creative, and modest as we are.

So watch for Traction coming to your desktop soon.


Worldwide Team Collaborative Applications Market Forecast

CY2000 $150M
CY2005 $425M [40% CAG]

Traction11959 [IDC May 2000]

Worldwide Collaborative ASP Market Forecast

CY2000 $125M
CY2004 $2,000M [93% CAG]


Email 22%; Groupware 18%;
Team Collaboration 11%;
Unified Messaging: 25%;
Real-time conferencing: 11%;
Other: 13%

Traction11916 [IDC Jun 2000]

North America Corporate email boxes:
CY2000 110M Corporate / 24M Hosted
CY2005 129M Corporate / 123M Hosted

Traction13426 Lotus/MS split less than half

"Most users store more than 30 percent of critical business information in the messaging system, while a third of users store more than 50 percent of critical business information in the message store"

"The typical user sends a mean of 27 messages (median of 20 messages) and receives a mean of 30 messages (median of 30 messages) each day. In addition, 30 percent of messages sent have attachments, while 26 percent of messages received have attachments"

"... the messaging system is a critical application for most users and for the enterprise: in a typical 260-day workyear, the typical user will spend the equivalent of 76.3 days—or 3.5 months—in their messaging system."


e.piphany (EPNY)
Founded 1996
First revenue ship 1998
Market Cap: $2,026M [Feb 15 2001]

See E.Pihany 4th Quarter 2000 Results

FY1998   $3.4M Revenue  $10.3M Loss           (  9 customers)
FY1999  $19.3M Revenue  $19.5M Loss [ $23.4M] ( 75 customers)
FY2000 $127.3M Revenue  $20.9M Loss [$768.5M] (325 customers)

[loss including amortization of goodwill]

See Also

twisted-system.co… - Some items are password protected
grl200 [restricted access]

Brown Venture Forum, 15 Feb 2000

Article: Traction14497 (permalink)
Categories: :Doc:history
Date: February 15, 2001; 3:07:18 PM Eastern Standard Time

Author Name: Greg Lloyd
Author ID: grl