eHub Interviews Imified

Posted by Emily Chang on Friday, March 23rd, 2007. Filed under: eHub Interviews

Visit Imified, originally added to eHub on Feb 09, 07.

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Thanks to Dave Hoff and Anthony Webb of Imified for this email interview.

eHub: What is your web application/service about?

Imified: IMified is all about providing an easy and consistent interface to the tools and services you use everyday without launching a web browser. We feel that IM lends itself to more than just “chatting”. IM is always on, offers presence, and and is really simple to use. We’re extending its use to actually help you get things done.

eHub: Why did you start this project?

imageImified: The idea for IMified came about when I was looking for an easier way to post todo’s to my Basecamp account. I found myself neglecting to add stuff to my projects because the process to do so was too cumbersome. Basecamp is a service I use a lot but doesn’t really warrant me leaving it open in my browser all day. I use IM throughout the day for staying in touch with colleagues and family. It’s always open and available, yet unobtrusive and was a logical interface to “fire and forget” simple data entry tasks.

eHub: How much time do you devote to its growth?  Do you have a day job?

Imified: Anthony and I devote about half our time at this point to monitoring and growing IMified.  We both work for ourselves and continue to work with our existing clients.

eHub: How large is your team and what are your backgrounds?

imageImified: Right now, IMified is a two man operation. We both work together to code IMified but each of us have other strengths that compliment each other well. Dave Hoff (co-founder), handles the design of IMified.com and PR stuff like interviews, and Anthony Webb (co-founder) keeps the servers humming and is responsible for our near 0 downtime. We both enjoy working with our users to think up cool, new ways to improve IMified.

eHub: What is your design philosophy?

Imified: We’re unique in that the meat of our service is all done over IM where the biggest design decision is how many line breaks we should use. In order to connect to applications through IMified, we provide a secure, web interface for adding services and modifying their settings. Here, we focused mainly on speed and ease of use. We realized we were encouraging our users to keep their browsers closed, so since we have to store user credentials for connecting to some services, it was important we made this a quick and easy process.

eHub: What technologies are you currently using?

Imified: We use ColdFusion MX7 Enterprise for our web front-end as well as on the back-end to handle the sending and receiving of IM messages through IMified. We make use of Ajax for editing settings and adding services to your account. There’s also some Java sprinkled in there for connecting to the networks. MySql stores all the data. We think ColdFusion gets a bad rap in the dev community. Stop hating, ColdFusion rocks!

eHub: If your project is live, what are the most requested features from your users/community?

Imified: At the time of this writing (February 22, 2007), we’ve been live for 10 days and the number one feature request is “joining” different IM accounts under one IMified account. We’re working on implementing this. Also, people from all over the world are using IMified and some are requesting that we translate the service in different languages. We’ve already had some of our users offer to help.

eHub: Does your user base reside in a primary geographic location or is it distributed?

Imified: Very distributed. IMified is accessed from all over the world.

eHub: Where do you see the project heading in the next 6 months?  The next 2 years?

Imified: We have big plans for IMified. What we’re offering now is really just the tip of the iceberg. We honestly feel we can change the way people think about instant messaging and are currently working on some game changing features. Within the next 2 years we’d like IMified to be the go-to buddy on your list for getting things done.

eHub: What is the greatest challenge to your success?

Imified: The IM business is a tough one with the big players all vying for users. AOL, MSN, and Yahoo all have different policies regarding bots and high volume interaction. So our greatest challenge will be staying on these networks.

eHub: What is the one thing you need to get to the next phase of the project?

Imified: What we really need is more feedback from our users. We feel like our users are our third partner is this endeavor. We’ve created something truly unique and innovative and need help from those using it to shape its direction.

eHub: Do you have a business model?  If so, what is it?

Imified: We do. Our business model is not visible at the moment but we plan on monetizing certain features in upcoming releases. Can’t let the cat out of the bag yet ;)

eHub: If you’re able to disclose this information, how much traffic or usage do you see on an average day?

Imified: Let’s just say we’re burning through a lot of bandwidth.

eHub: What is the one thing you’re most proud of about the project?

Imified: We’re really proud of all the positive feedback we’ve gotten from the community and our users. We get all tingly inside when someone sends an email and lets us know how IMified is helping them out in their daily life.

eHub: How would you describe the shift that’s occurring with the web right now to future generations?

Imified: I think we’re now seeing the results of a new generation growing up with broadband Internet access. This coupled with cheaper hardware has opened the door for forward thinking innovators to get out and build the next big thing with little risk. We’re witnessing the web’s renaissance.

eHub: What site(s) do you visit everyday other than your own?

Imified: eHub, WWD, GigaOm, TechCrunch, WebWare, SolutionWatch, AVC, LifeHacker, ESPN.com

eHub: How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Imified: I think we both get on average 5 hours of sleep per night. You can imagine how much our wives love IMified.

Thanks to Dave Hoff and Anthony Webb of Imified for this email interview.

Visit Imified
Originally added to eHub on Feb 09, 07