CircleUp, which demo’d at DEMO 07, is a new service that enables polling a question to a group of people through e-mail and IM. The results are returned to the surveyor as a single consolidated result, and the Los Angeles-based startup promises to remain a free service, at least until they find a viable business model. For campaigners, sports teams, school moms and general organizers/managers, CircleUp proves as a quintessential tool.
How It Works
CircleUp works in a true 3 step-procedure. The surveyor, firstly, comes up with a question he or she wants to ask. The question can be anything from “Are you coming to next week’s game?” to “What, in your opinion, is the meaning of life?”. The surveyor can select the type of answers that would be appropriate for the question — whether that’s a choice, option, suggestion, yes/no, true/false, etc. After the e-mail addresses of the participants are entered, the question is dispatched.
The participants can forward it to others, who can choose to participate in the poll as well. As the answers come in, the results are then turned into a visually and graphically appealing plot graph for the surveyor with a complete list of answers. Best put, the manual job of ‘e-mailing a question and manually gathering answers and making a decision mentally’ is turned into a simple, calculated process.
CircleUp is one of those products which looks to solve a simple but common problem — targeting a variety of potential users — and I think it succeeds. As a product, CircleUp is brilliant. I think where they will have their biggest problem, however, is with marketing — how can they reach out and tap this specific userbase. Let’s not forget, the real users that could potentially use something like this are no different than our mums and dads and most probably don’t go beyond basic e-mail and surfing.