9Slides: Marrying YouTube and SlideShare to move past the slide deck
Maybe the only thing worse than having to sit through a presentation is having to sift through a slide deck by itself. While slides tend to have all of the pertinent information in a concise (I hesitate to say "nice") manner, they can't convey any of the speaker's idiosyncrasies, jokes, or supplementary information.
9Slides founder Ruchit Garg thinks this is a problem. The service, which mashes presentation videos with slide decks and makes the resulting mix available on the Web, was founded after Garg realized that existing solutions, like SlideShare, weren't ideal for sharing presentations. 9Slides is officially launching today in an attempt to change that.
Citing his experience at "a global accelerator," Garg says that capturing presentations used to be an exercise in frustration. The video of the person speaking was often uploaded to YouTube and the slide deck to SlideShare, resulting in an experience Garg describes as "disjointed" and "kind of broken."
Because Garg wanted to start a new company anyway – he founded two startups in India and says that he was excited to do the same in the US – he decided to solve this problem. 9Slides synchronizes a presenter with the slide deck, recreating the holistic experience of watching a presentation in person while avoiding the "let's put multiple services on one Web page" trap.
Now, after a small seed round of funding, Garg says that 9Slides has "thousands" of customers worldwide who are paying for the service, which operates on a "freemium" pricing structure. Users can select the base, free option or graduate to a $100 per year option with more features or, if their needs aren't quite fulfilled by those options, arrange a deal with 9Slides to create a tailored solution. The service is also available through Microsoft's BizSpark program, which offers a "Gold" subscription for 12 months at no charge.
All told, as someone who has had to sit through his fair share of presentations and cycle through slides, 9Slides is appealing simply from a "slide decks make me want to go punch whoever invented PowerPoint" standpoint. Clicking through slides is boring – 9Slides' output isn't anywhere near as bad. If you have to use slides, and if you can make a video to go along with it, do so. For our sanity's sake.
[Image Credit: Free Vector]