How many times have you left the house only to find yourself caught, meeting all the right people, without a business card in sight? Suddenly, you're scratching down your email address and phone number on a scrap piece of paper and you never hear from them again.
It's a problem we've seen approached in a couple different ways and today, we'll show you one more, with an app called Cardcloud that we think solves a basic problem the others don't.
The two other apps that come to mind when we think about replacing business cards with smartphones are Bump and Hashable. There's something for both of these, however, that hold them back - the medium and method around which they share contact information. For Bump, while it may be a magical-seeming experience to show off how you can trade credentials simply by bumping your phones together, maybe you don't want every business card transaction to be timely and magical. Maybe you want it to be quick and easy. Without ubiquity, it simply won't be. And for Hashable, the transaction occurs around a Twitter account. While this works great at all techie events like SXSW or Web 2.0, Twitter is not nearly common enough for it to work in the rest of the world.
Update: Hashable CMO Emily Hickey commented below to correct my assertion that Hashable only worked over Twitter. It also uses email. See the full comment below.
To that end, Cardcloud takes a simple and trusted path - email. Everyone has an email address.
"We make sure that you feel comfortable leaving the office without a stack of cards to share," explained Cardcloud co-founder and CEO Renato Valdés Olmos. "Through the app you can share your card with anyone, disregarding whether or not they have our app installed as well. You can just ask for a paper card or email address, and share your card immediately. There is no point asking if the receiving party has an app installed if 9 out of 10 times that's not the issue."
According to Olmos, Cardcloud not only aims to make it simple to trade contact information, but also add on a layer of extra information on top of that, such as the location where you met the person, their social network information, and a vCard that can be easily imported into your contacts list.
"We're not just trying to replace the paper card, but trying to augment it in a way that you just can't do with paper," said Olmos.
Cardcloud is available in the App Store today for iOS and Olmos says that an Android and Blackberry version are on the way "very soon." Check out the video below to see Cardcloud in action.