Creativity is hard. Luckily, the right tool can make it easier.
Haiku Deck, a startup founded by former Microsoft Product Manager, Adam Tratt. The company is currently located in Fremont, Washington and launched their first product (tablet-first approach) less than 2 years ago. Haiku Deck aims to make presentations: simple, fun and beautiful. Basically everything Powerpoint is not.
The simplicity of Haiku Deck makes it fun, which inspires unknown creativity, eventually leading to beautiful stories wrapped up in a visual presentation. Incidentally, Haiku Deck was born through the need to improve on another startup idea. Adam and team began their journey at Startup Weekend and Techstars wishing they could create the standout pitch of the weekend, the one that would cause everyone to flock to their idea. Instead, their first startup failed to gain much traction. Instead of being discouraged, they revisited the slides, looking for ways to improve for their next opportunity. It was then they realized that their idea wasn’t being noticed because the delivery format was so ordinary.
Why is Haiku Deck called Haiku Deck?
Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry that provides a framework of 3 lines, each with 5, 7, 5 syllables respectively. Though the format of the Haiku may seem constraining at first, it helps to unlock many writers’ creativity by providing structure. Haiku poems often evoke rich imagery and natural beauty.
We named our product Haiku Deck because this form of poetry is the perfect metaphor for what we’re trying to do with our product. We believe telling a story or sharing an idea is the greatest things humans get to do. We wanted to make a tool that would unlock creativity as opposed to suppress it. Traditional tools for creating presentations don’t help non-designers to build beautiful things. In fact, they’re dreadful. Our mission is to make it 10 times easier for people to create decks (presentations) that are 10 times more effective and beautiful in 1/10th the time. – Adam Tratt
SEE ALSO: Why is Prezi Called Prezi?
Have you heard of Cranium?
Cranium is a party board game, based on Ludo (in which 2-4 players race to the finish by rolling a dice). It was created by two former Microsoft employees, Whit Alexander and Richard Tait, in 1998. The game was widely successful and later sold to Hasbro. Adam Tratt’s early involvement and success with Cranium triggered the startup nerve. After meeting Adam at a local Startup Grind event, he explained to me that Cranium built a great household game, but like any start up, it was only great if they could get product awareness, make sales and get people talking about it. He explained, they first defined their user persona, determined where that person typically hung out and marketed there . This reminds me of the famous Wayne Gretzky quote, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” They didn’t go to Target and take up more shelf space. Instead, they landed a distribution deal with Starbucks, at the time, the only board game to do so. Why Starbucks? That’s where their target audience hung out. It may seem like marketing 101, however it clearly validates how important it is to understand who you are building your product for.
Just like Haiku Deck, Cranium is simple, fun and allowed family to tell a great story to their friends and colleagues. More than ever, brands are fighting for your attention. Since consumers are becoming better at actively tuning out traditional advertising, brands have to be even more creative at capturing peoples’ attention to be successful. Great storytelling will only help!
Haiku Deck: an example
idea-to-market – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
Have a presentation coming up? Think twice before clicking on the orange “P” in your dock. First, watch how Haiku Deck works. How do you inspire a group? #whyisitcalledhaikudeck
Adam Lang is the founder and editor of Rewind & Capture. He is passionate about creative marketing, design and brand etymology.