Trumba, whose team is building an innovative online event calendaring system aimed at enterprises. Jeremy Jaech was also the founder of both Visio and PageMaker – two of the Internet’s early successful desktop publishing systems. It's basically the same engineering team from both Visio and PageMaker too, and Trumba has financial backing from Kleiner Perkins, August Capital and Oak Investment Partners. So the stars are aligned on this web app, it seems, in terms of heavyweight developers and VCs.Last week I spoke to Jeremy Jaech, CEO and president of
What is it?
At first glance Trumba is hard to fathom. Perhaps being an enterprise application has something to do with that, as those tend to be more complex than most consumer web 2.0 apps. Trumba's latest product release, announced this week, is called Trumba Connect. It's a website calendaring and event marketing solution for companies. Included in this package are tools for publishing and promoting events online, plus connecting those events to personal calendars. It's a hosted service, with prices starting at $99.95 per month.
In his blog Jeremy describes the services as:
"...an active calendar service that provides businesses with a two-way communication vehicle between their website’s event calendar and the personal calendaring systems used by their customers."
Like other people, my first impression of Trumba was that it's a calendar app. However it's actually a complementary product to online calendars, because users store their events data onto the likes of Google Calendar or 30Boxes. It does this by interconnecting with existing calendar systems, which is why standards around calendaring is important to them (more on that below).
The target audience is not just marketing folks, but also webmasters - to implement and evangelize the technology. They don't think they have any direct competitors, although there are plenty of online events companies around who may think otherwise. Trumba says they're targeting people who currently do their own events / calendar rollups.
Their plans for the future are to keep improving their events publishing tool, improve discoverability (e.g. syndication, search), and continue to work with interchange standards.
In a blog post this week, Jeremy Jaech outlined the larger vision:
"Our vision at Trumba is a fundamental transformation of how and where event data lives online and, with our fellow members of The Calendaring & Scheduling Consortium (www.calconnect.org), to create new standards for issuing and accessing that event information [...]"
One example of a customer using Trumba is NYTimes.com Automobiles section. The calendar is customized for the NYTimes website and is a good use case for how companies can use Trumba Connect. More info here. I tested out the NY Times Trumba app by adding an event from NY Times to my Google Calendar. Below are some screenshots showing the process - and I can confirm it all went smoothly.
1. Events Calendar on NYTimes Automobiles
2. I click on an event, with the intention of adding it to my own calendar.
3. The event details are exported into my Google Calendar
4. Google Calendar confirms event.
5. Here is the new event in my Google Calendar.
Options presented to me by the NY Times Trumba app after I've finished:
- Email the event to friends
- Remind me by email before the event
- Remind me by txt msg before the event
- Notify me of changes to the event
I like how Trumba interconnects with existing calendaring systems - we're going to see a lot more of this type of interoperability between different Web systems in future, as support for standards (such as for calendars) improves.
As I noted above, Trumba is a hard web app to categorize - because in the end it touches both the enterprise and consumer worlds. Enterprises enter events content, while consumers enter those events into their own personal calendars. In the final analysis, I think the technology is complex enough and new enough that I can see the Trumba team getting a hat-trick of acquisitions by big tech companies - Visio, PageMaker, Trumba!