Something my business partner said to me last week got me thinking – what is our main objective at Uberflip? Is it to be the greatest page-flipping software on the planet? That would be great, and I think we’re on our way there, but that only speaks to our ability to make great software.
Our true objective, which may or may not be obvious, is to become the next PDF format. We are the future of document distribution. The fact that our solution makes content trackable and engaging are 2 key factors of why we can be successful in disrupting Adobe’s business.
Two things need to happen for us to achieve this goal:
1. Technology needs to catch up: Our mobile solution is great, but when it comes to some use-cases, a PDF is still clearer to read (because it’s vector-based and handled natively by devices like the iPad). No matter how much advantage we have over the PDF already, if you want to read fine print, you need true text – not just images.
- The answer to this is coming – true HTML5 representation of each page: images + text + css + fonts.
- When we achieve this (and it will be complex) we will have a major competitive advantage and a true answer to better document sharing.
- Our dev team has been making some great headway in this area with a tool sourced online, in combination with a lot our own magic sauce!
2. Marketing and education: We’re doing the right thing – we’re telling our audience to upload their existing PDF. They’re familiar with PDFs, and we narrow our education scope to “make your PDF better” rather than “get rid of your PDF and use Uberflip instead”.
- This is an important step in our evolution.
- When the technology truly catches up and our platform offers a hands-down better way of sharing ANY type of content over a PDF, we’ll start tweaking that message to ‘get rid of PDF’ and disrupt way more than the page-flipping business – we’ll disrupt Adobe.
In order to uncrown PDFs, wherever our audience currently creates content – inDesign, Word, Quark, etc. – they need an ability to output to Uberflip wherever they have an option to output to PDF.
- This means plugins and integrations.
- My gut tells me that by the time we’re ready to integrate, a major part of the content creation will be happening online via SaaS solutions as opposed to traditional desktop applications.
- Integrating with all major vendors of content creating suites online (and offline) will be key, both for awareness and adoption. This is an area we can and should start integrating with sooner than later by establishing relationships with those SaaS providers.
- This is different than integrating with storage solutions like Dropbox andBox.net as those services accommodate transfer of existing files; but that is also important for continued adoption.
I’ll share with you a personal struggle I had for a long time:
Where is the future of content heading? Is there really a place for nicely formatted documents in the future of the web? Or, are companies just going to start creating their own web content and abandon how they used to design and create content?
The conclusion I came to:
I truly believe tablets have opened the door for a new type of content that is the next evolution of print – it’s not websites and it’s not apps. More importantly, it’s not fully defined yet. It’s magazines, brochures, financial documents, whitepapers, training guides, flyers, and any document designed for tablet consumption. Our solution is in the best position to deliver that content no matter how it was produced.
HTML5 is the future. It’s a lofty goal, but I believe we can displace Adobe’s PDF as the new standard in document sharing.
Looking forward to defining the future with all of you…