Bonnie Cha

Recent Posts by Bonnie Cha

Haiku Deck Expands Its Anti-PowerPoint Presentation App to the Web

The only thing that might be more painful than sitting through a PowerPoint presentation is creating a PowerPoint presentation. But Seattle-based startup Haiku Deck doesn’t think the task has to be such a bore or a chore.

Haiku Deck Web App 2 - Themes

The goal behind Haiku Deck is to give people an easy-to-use tool for creating presentations that are beautiful, simple and engaging — not slide after slide of bullet points, clip art and flash animations.

Haiku Deck first launched as an iPad app in August 2012 and now, the company is looking to expand its reach with a new, free Web app. It’s currently rolling out in private beta and only optimized for Chrome and Safari. But the company said it will continually add more functionality, including support for more browsers, and new users each week.

Like the iPad app, the Web version offers various themes, slide types and access to more than 35 million Creative Commons images. It will also have tools for creating charts and graphs, and an option to purchase premium content from Getty Images, though these features will be rolled out at a later time. Presentations can also be synced to the cloud, so you can start working on a deck on your iPad and then pick up where you left off on your computer or vice versa.

Haiku Deck co-founder and CEO Adam Tratt said the idea for the app came out of his own frustration with using PowerPoint.

“Our company belief is that story telling and sharing ideas is one of the most amazing things we get to do as humans, so it’s a shame that for people who work in an office, doing so comes down to this dreadful experience of using a tool that’s reviled,” said Tratt in a phone interview.

Since the company launched Haiku Deck over a year ago, the app has been downloaded more than 800,000 times, and it has seen 30 percent growth in active users for the past two months. Continuing to grow its user base remains a top priority for the startup (an Android version is on the radar), but Tratt knows there’s a certain segment of the audience that will stick to PowerPoint or Keynote (Apple’s presentation software).

“At the very tip top of the iceberg, you’ve got people making important presentations to give to investors, bosses, etc. We’re not going after the top of the iceberg,” said Tratt. “We want to go after the segment of people making everyday presentations, whether it’s socializing an idea at a team meeting or a small business owner wanting to look good for a new client. And the fact that it’s working is a delightful David-and-Goliath outcome.”

Going forward, the company is looking at adding such features as collaboration tools, greater customization and premium packages for businesses.

In April, Haiku Deck secured $3 million in Series A funding from investors Trilogy Equity Partnership, Madrona Venture Group, Founder’s Co-op and others.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik