The Cloud Aggregators
When we started to think about cloud aggregation at Hojoki back in 2010, cloud apps had been around for some time but were not the de facto standard in many teams like we see today. Lots of people would still search for “scrum tool download” or something similar to find a project management tool. Today, for vast majority of us, it’s crystal clear that we don’t search for something to download but for something to use. We search for a cloud app.
With this trend, new challenges arise. With so many apps in the cloud, how can I have one uniform access to everything? In the good old desktop times, all apps always had one thing in common and that was files. Now, with cloud tools, I don’t have one directory anymore. My things reside at URLs, which start with docs.google.com or evernote.com or similar. So the question is, how to integrate all pieces of the puzzle and build platform out of them.
At Hojoki, we aim to solve this issue with a layer on top of all the cloud apps. Like the way Finder and Explorer provided you with an environment to list files, changes of files and some search functionality, we do it for cloud apps. In modern times, a Facebook-like newsfeed seemed to be the natural approach to implement this. Also, as work becomes more and more social, our take is to provide this functionality not with the single user in mind, but for teams who use Hojoki as their social, collaborative layer on top of their apps.
You know that you’re on the right track when other startups show up doing doing exactly the same thing as you. When you see this, you know that there’s a market for your new ideas. And this is where we are now. Next to Hojoki we see the folks from 300.mg and BusyFlow doing basically the same thing in providing a newsfeed on top of your cloud apps. Hojoki received $620,000 seed funding last autumn, 300.mg joined 500 startups and BusyFlow joined Gamma Rebels. So to sum up, recently, there has been a frequent theme emerging in the tech world and that is to aggregate the information people have spread out over their digital life. And VCs are investing.
We’re also seeing other startups with more specialized approaches of unifying the cloud. This has been the case with everything from photos and videos (Pixable, http://www.pixable.com) to daily deals (Yipit, http://yipit.com) and with different solutions like search (Greplin,https://www.greplin.com), websites (Onesheet, http://onesheet.com) and files (Otixo http://otixo.com, CloudHQ https://www.cloudhq.net).
Everything is starting to be aggregated for convenience. So, at the end of our journey, there won’t just be another tool category, but some kind of foundation for future cloud work. Happy times ahead!
By Martin Böhringer
Martin is CEO and co-founder of Hojoki. Hojoki aggregates cloud apps like Dropbox, Google Docs and Evernote into one newsfeed and helps teams monitor and discuss their work in the cloud. Hojoki is in public beta and is free.