Gist Is Now Available to All

For those of you that are regular readers, you know how excited I am about Gist, an investment we made earlier this year.  On Tuesday Gist launched their open beta program making Gist available to everyone.

The coverage of the launch was extensive with articles describing how Gist works and what it is useful for in sites including GigaOm, ReadWriteWeb, Forbes, Mashable, Cnet, eWeek, NetworkWorld, WebWorkerDaily, TechFlash, and Microsoft StartupZone.  Some of my favorite articles were FilltheFunnel (hint – iPhone screenshots) and MarketingProfessor (hint – what they like, what they don’t like – much of which is on the product roadmap.)

On a phone call with the Gist team last week, I reminded them that they only get to “open up to the world once”.  The company has been operating under a “closed beta” since we invested as they simultaneously built out the product functionality while insuring that their architecture scaled up to handle a huge amount of data (which it is already.) 

I’m super impressed by the Gist team – this is a gang that knows how to build and ship software.  At my first meeting, they put the date of 9/15/09 on the board for the launch of the service.  Over the last 60 days, they’ve been obsessed with performance, functionality, the first time user experience, and software quality.  I think they should be incredibly proud of what they’ve launched.

While this is still a very early step in the business, it’s an important one.  The Q4 roadmap is very full and – if the last six months is an indicator – will be filled with many steady releases of new functionality to the service. 

I use Gist every day and have found it to be immensely helpful when tightly integrated into my work and information flow.  I encourage all of you to give it a try and give me as much feedback as you are willing to give as we try to extend it to be useful to all business professionals.

  • MikeK

    What is their business/revenue model?

  • majorwho

    I downloaded Gist yesterday after I saw a Tweet about if from @scobleizer. I recognized it's power almost immediately. Would like to see it survive and thrive.

  • Hi Brad, Gist could be very useful – I am just battling a little with the complex UI but I guess with enough use it will be come easier. Congrats on the investment; no doubt the service has huge potential.

  • Drake SS

    Genius and a little scary. Love it.

  • I also noticed immediately the power of Gist (once it downloaded all of my contacts, which took a while, but not by fault of Gist, just mine!) I'm still navigating all of the features, and trying to decide how to deal with Twitter user vs Facebook contacts etc etc. Thanks for pointing to the UI video, it was very helpful. Looking forward to starting to really use it.

    Great investment Brad, I always enjoy following the products/services that you see potential in, as they're usually great.

    • Thanks Kate.  We’re working hard – now that we are in public beta – to get the navigation cleaner as well as surface all of the functionality in an intuitive and accessible way.  I appreciate any and all feedback.

  • I've seen this type of dashboard approach a number of times. Have you checked out Batchbook? It's CRM focused, but also lets you (much more manually) add various social media feeds to a contact.

    I still need to figure out how Gist will best work for me. I'm thinking that a "company" view will be most useful to me at the moment. My "people" tracking is well served by my current toolkit (yes, separate services, but I follow / read / whatever the people I am interested in).

    At the "company" level, I don't have anything like this, and I am going to attempt to tune the dashboard etc. so that it gives me this.

    And yes, I'll report back to T.A., who I already annoyed at Launch Party by asking for "magic" — give me the important stuff that I need to know, but not too much of it.

    • I haven’t seen Batchbook – I’ll check it out.

  • from the Gist privacy policy: "please use caution when linking or posting any Personal Information, as such information may be viewed by other Gist Users".
    On the other hand "Your data is there for you and you alone. All of your information is private."
    Makes me nervous about connecting my email accounts… what am I missing?

    • Hi Saul, Our policy can be more clear and I'll have it updated. Your information is yours alone. No one can view your data nor any of the information in your account (people and companies). You may at anytime, share information with others, but again, this is only as a result of your request. In no way will Gist share or distribute your information without your request. Hope this helps.

  • So far so good!

    I've been deleting the companies from my dashboard that I don't want to see news for, is there a faster way to do this than going one-by-one?

    • Vladik, you can remove companies from the dashboard either by lowering their importance, marking them as 'don't watch for news' or deleting them all together. These actions are all available from the company list page. On that page, you can select multiple companies and then select the group action to either delete or turn 'watch for news' off. Hope that helps!

      • Definitely did the trick, thanks Steve!

  • Try changing the Importance threshold (make it higher) in the top left of the Dashboard window.

  • Tom

    The outlook import function needs a hierarchy clear-all function for folders. I have thousands many of which I do not want to import. Can't possibly uncheck on an indiv basis.

    Overall I find performance to be unacceptably slow.

    Otherwise terrific idea, nice ui.

    • Tom – thanks for the suggestion on the outlook folder picker. It's been added to the pile of things to do.

      What specifically are you finding unacceptably slow? (outlook? gist website?)

  • So, some tip about this issue are welcome and really sorry if my question is very simple. Thanks in advance

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