Connected, A Personal Relationship Manager That Brings Your Contacts and Conversations in One Place

What is the name of the site?

Connected is available at http://connectedhq.com.

A brief synopsis of the website / application?

Connected is a web-based personal relationship manager that brings your contacts and conversations together in one place across all your online networks. It integrates with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Calendar, and Google Voice to make it easier than ever before to stay on top of your most important relationships.

Why did you start this company?

Connected is a product of my own passion and interest for the past decade. I’ve actually built three different versions of this product for my own use, before deciding to start this venture and commercialize Connected. One of the problems that I recognized very early on is how hard it is to stay on top of the various relationships in my life. I have friends from my hometown and college as well as professional contacts from my previous employers, industry contacts, and more. Maintaining these relationships is a challenge as our relationships get more fragmented across geographies and time. The problem is only getting worse due to the many new social networks and communication channels like mobile, email, text messages, and Twitter. Figuring out the last time I spoke to someone and what they are up to these days can involve multiple websites and take up previous time. I built Connected in such a way that it is able to tap into all of these networks, aggregate the data for you, and create a comprehensive view of your entire network from one place.

In addition to this, there is so much value in relationships. We all hear stories or know the guy that serendipitously stumbled into an old classmate and landed a big deal, or the chance encounter with an acquaintance that results in a new job. Connected is a way to be more strategic about these chance encounters?

Recently, I had a good example of this. Last July I visited China for the first time in a three-city tour of Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. In each of these cities, I used Connected to quickly prepare for my trip by searching for friends within China. In some cases, these were people who I hadn’t seen in over three years! It turned out that we had multiple friends to visit in each city and renew our friendship.

I built Connected to solve this problem and help everyone who is interested in managing their personal and professional relationships do it in a better, more efficient manner. Connected is the next generation solution for any person who struggles to keep in touch with the most important people in their lives.

Was your company started on a shoestring budget or funded?

Connected was started as a fully boot-strapped startup with no outside funding about a year and a half ago. While I could see taking outside investment in the future, the ready access to technologies today paired with my technical background enable me to take the product from idea to inception with very little need for funding.

Who is your competition, and what do you do better?

If you think about your email, address book, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., as opportunities to stay in touch with your social relationships, in a sense we try to do the same thing but work on top of those channels to make it easier. Connected sits as a layer on top of all of these social networks and ways to communicate. We provide you with the relationship-centric view of how you can maintain your connections and conversations with the people in your network. There are multiple contact management solutions out there such as Basecamp or Salesforce, but many of those are oriented around large organizations or sales, and we focus on you the individual and how we can help you.

The way that we’ve really been able to innovate on this model is that we provide a fully comprehensive view of all of the conversations that are taking place. Let’s imagine a scenario where you have called, text messaged, emailed and Facebooked with one of your friends. Connected is the only place where you can get the comprehensive view of all of those conversations across all those channels in one place. In addition to that, many of the solutions out there ask you to input data about all of those conversations into their tool as a daily chore. We’ve built the only contact management solution out there that hooks up seamlessly with these different networks and pulls in all that data without manual data entry so you can focus on the strategic aspect of using that information instead of inputting it.

Why would a small business, entrepreneur, freelancer, etc use your product?

My product is geared toward any professional who derives their value from the relationships which they have. Connected’s early customers range from investors, mortgage brokers, salespeople, and freelance designers. If there’s a case where your success is based on creating relationships with those that you work with, Connected is for you. There are two ways in which we typically see people using it.

First, it’s a way to stay in touch with the people in your network. As a service, Connected enables you to set reminders for people who you want to keep in touch with, as well as prompting you to respond to important life events in your network such as birthdays and job changes. This provides the context and the opportunity to get back in touch with someone who you haven’t talked to in a while.

Second, Connected empowers you with the context with which to build a relationship. If you take a lot of meetings on a regular basis, it can be hard to arrive at every meeting prepared. We help with that problem. Each morning, we send you a daily agenda with a comprehensive overview of the people you are meeting with. This information contains not only the past conversation history you’ve had with them, but information like the people you know in common, the most recent news for their company and even publicly available information such as their latest blog posts, Twitter updates or pictures.

How could you effectively use these tools?

You can use Connected to find opportunities to keep in touch, prepare for meetings and uncover opportunities within your own network. Connected enables you to set reminders to contact a person on a regular basis and also proactively sends you alerts about important life events like birthdays and job changes to help you stay in touch. In cases where you have meetings on your calendar, it also generates a daily agenda for you which contains a comprehensive profile about the person and company that you’re meeting with.

We also enable you to manage, organize and search for people within your network. Our web-based interface lets you tag groups of people to keep in touch with them, or search for people by a specific geography or job position. This helps you uncover opportunities within your network to connect friends that are hiring, get a contact within a company or even something as simple as finding people who are in the city you’re visiting.

A short bio of your company:

Connected is a personal relationship manager that brings your contacts and conversations together in one place. It integrates with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Calendar, and Google Voice to make it easier than ever before to stay on top of your most important relationships.

Do you have a blog that keeps users updated?

Yes, you can keep up with the latest on Connected at http://connectedhq.com/blog/.

Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or ? Provide exact URL of each

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/connectedhq
Twitter: http://twitter.com/connectedhq

How long have you been in business?

We’ve been in business for a year, with most of it spent in product development. I just launched out of private beta on February 2011.

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