Presentation software startup Haiku Deck had a very specific aim at launch: build an app for creating slide decks on mobile that didn’t suck. Now, the company has amassed 800,000 downloads since its launch a little over a year ago, plus added requested features like chart and graph creation, and it’s looking to address other user requests. The number one request, which it’s tackling in beta beginning today, is desktop editing.
I spoke to Haiku Deck CEO and founder Adam Tratt, who said that desktop editing was by far the thing asked for most by people who downloaded and love the mobile version. Haiku Deck’s primary mission at launch was to address a gap it saw in the market specifically in mobile presentation tools, however, so tackling that experience was the first priority of the small team employed at the startup.
“The difference between what we’re delivering and what everyone else is delivering is we have this intense focus on simplicity and beauty of output,” he said. “We’re basically trying to help people try to tell stories that resonates in the context of how people communicate on social media, how people communicate on blogs, how people communicate on Twitter, and all of these social tools that are so important today.”
Tratt says there’s a growing emphasis on the visual across the social web, from Twitter to Facebook to Pinterest and other emerging brands. Haiku Deck is designed to ride that wave, by providing an easy, eminently visual medium for communication that’s easily shared across them all. Many of those companies mentioned above began life on the desktop and moved to mobile later, but Haiku Deck is taking the opposite tack, in order to better compete with the reigning giants in the market.
Those giants include Apple (iWork now offers Keynote on the web), Google Docs and Microsoft, with PowerPoint and Office 365. Tratt says that in terms of really significant usage numbers, PowerPoint is still by far the dominant force on the desktop, however. Still, he believes HaikuDeck has a chance to eat away at the behemoth thanks to its focus on simplicity and sharing.
At this beta stage, the Haiku Deck offers most of the functionality of its mobile counterpart, minus creation of charts and graphs, which are coming soon. There’s also an update to the HaikuDeck iOS app today that allows users to create presentations on mobile and edit them on the web, or vice versa. Haiku Deck is solid software on mobile, and it’s great to see it making the leap to desktop, which should help it push traction even further.