CEO James Borow said Shift.com emerged from the GraphEffect team’s frustrating experiences trying to collaborate with other organizations, something that was “amplified by the struggles we saw on the marketing agency side.” (After all, there are usually multiple companies working together on an ad campaign.) At the same time, he argued that Shift.com shouldn’t just be useful for marketers, but instead serve as a much broader platform for business collaboration.
Borow said that the main problem with existing collaboration tools is the absence of a “persistent ID”, meaning that your activity and identity are isolated within each of the applications that you use. Naturally, Borow is trying to provide that persistent identity through Shift.com, which he describes as LinkedIn, except with people actually working together on projects, rather than just networking.
Borow and his team gave me a quick demo, and a lot of the elements will be familiar to anyone who has used other enterprise social networking tools. You’ve got a profile, and you can connect with other users, send messages, and join teams. It’s not just limited to your company — you can connect with users outside your organization, and create teams with them too. Your Shift.com identity should stay with you even when you change jobs, but presumably, when that happens you’ll be removed from a bunch of teams and added to some new ones.
And Shift.com is a real platform, with a set of apps that have already integrated with site, and which can post activity directly to the different teams. Not surprisingly, GraphEffect itself has been integrated with Shift.com, so users could update a campaign in GraphEffect and that would be shared with the relevant teams on Shift.com, who can then discuss the changes. The other initial platform partners are order management service Lettuce, mobile ad buyer GradientX, app developer Hyfn, digital marketer Kenshoo, and recruiting software The Resumator.
To expand that developer network, the company has hired Adam Gerston, formerly a partner manager in the Preferred Marketing Developers program at Facebook, as its new vice president of strategic partnership.
The company will continue to work on GraphEffect the product, Borow said: “That division of the company is profitable and growing incredibly fast.” However, he argued that the new platform could provide an opportunity to build “10 GraphEffects.”