Social business leader Jive now has a new office and a new team of start-up founders thanks to its recent buyout of Meetings.io and Producteev. We recently spoke with Jive CEO Tony Zingale, CFO Bryan Leblanc and Meetings.io co-founder Denis Mars at Jive's new office in San Francisco to get some details on their plans for integrating the new teams into a successful company.
Producteev, Meetings.io Plans
"It's early days for integrating the two new systems", Jive CEO Tony Zingale said at the company's low key office opening event in early November. But, imagine an embedded video box in the activity stream, Zingale said about Meetings.io video conferencing technology.
In other words, the free video conferencing system will be integrated into the Jive platform in a straightforward way. As the company noted when the acquisition was announced, both Meetings.io and Producteev will remain standalone products for now. That could change of course, and they could even become premium features if the customer demand is there.
Jive paid roughly US $7.5 million for both companies, so it probably won't be be rushing them into the platform to make up the spending. The important thing to know is that Jive plans to work them in — not just as an added feature, but as a way to be more productive, Zingale said.
"Twenty eight hours per week are wasted simply because workers are emailing and collaborating internally", Zingale said, citing a recent McKinsey report on social media usage.
"Every social platform has an activity stream, and people can like and follow each other," Zingale said.
So what? Can you use it to get work done, is the question.
A handsome video conferencing system like Meetings.io is obviously a part of that plan, but the Producteev buy will be just as important for getting work done, Jive CFO Bryan Leblanc said. The ability to assign tasks and track them in the stream is one of the main features Leblanc focused on, and he acknowledged the success companies like Asana have had with just this type of functionality.
Denis Mars, Meetings.io Co-Founder
If you think start-up founders are excited to get bought out by by large firms like Jive, you'd be right. Mars was one happy fellow at the office party — though he may simply be optimistic in general. That certainly helps in the life of a startup. In Mars' career, he's gone to war with YouTube, teamed up with hip-hop artist 50 Cent and survived the funding drought that followed the 2008 stock market crash.
As an engineer, Mars was inspired by CitySearch and Goto.com founder and Internet pioneer, Jeffery Brewer. Brewer helped lay the groundwork for the pay per click system in the 90's, and once he struck it rich he began traveling around and dabbling in philanthropy — which is how Mars met him in Australia.
Brewer also began traveling and eventually made his way to Silicon Valley, a place he said was inspirational to him personally.
Advised by venture capitalist Paul Graham to avoid business school in favor of learning to code, Mars happily sidled up to Ph.D. students in the computer science program at Stanford.
The original idea for Meetings.io was a system that could monetize online videos. It was that system that eventually connected Mars to rapper 50 Cent to help his company to do just that. Unfortunately, six months later YouTube changed its terms of service, and Mars was, effectively, out of business.
Jive wasn't the only company thinking of snapping up Meetings.io, Mars said. But, the Google+ Hangouts resembling system has now found a new home, and Mars and his two other Meetings.io cohorts are all being welcomed into the Jive family.
The family's headquarters has now moved from Palo Alto to San Francisco, to have better access to a new breed of engineers and programmers. Many of Jive's targeted Enterprise 2.0 people have an affinity for urban life, he said, and they don't necessarily want to commute 45 miles from San Francisco.