I am really excited to be able to let people know that beginning January 4th I am fortunate to have stepped into the role of CEO at Smooch.io, one of the most exciting projects I have had the opportunity to be involved with in my career.
It’s only just over one month, and it’s already given me the opportunity to work with an amazing team of dedicated co-founders as well as a rapidly growing list of really great and interesting customers and partners.
The last quarter of 2015 was an exciting one for me. After almost 18 years and several incarnations, twists and turns, Radialpoint, a company I co-founded with my brother Austin Hill (now spearheading Blockstream), and Hammie Hill as Zero-Knowledge Systems in 1997 and led as CEO from 2002-2013, was sold to an amazing company, AppDirect (in whom I am also fortunate to be an angel investor).
During this process, an opportunity arose to separate an exciting project we had been working on for almost a year, inside of Radialpoint. We were excited about the incredible traction and love from customers and developers our skunk-works in-app messaging project was attracting. Backed by some of the investors and owners of Radialpoint including myself, and the rest of the co-founding team, we started Smooch.io, a new company to meet that demand, and completely focus on helping businesses and consumers communicate and conduct business over messaging.
The Coming Wave of Conversational Commerce
Through the last quarter of 15, I had the opportunity to spend more and more time with the Smooch team, our partners, industry folks, and a lot of time with customers. The more I learned about the messaging space in general, the more it became clear that an incredible change is underway. As the opportunity grew, my excitement grew with it.
Messaging has become the primary form and method of communication between consumers of any age and dozens of different successful consumer messaging platforms have grown to meet that demand. While many of those platforms are doing exciting work to bring business to those consumers in exciting new messaging experiences - business to consumer messaging is still one of the least used B2C communication channels. At Smooch, we are dedicated to fixing that and are working to make it the easiest, most effective and preferred way for businesses and consumers to communicate and conduct business.
There are several visions of how the world of messaging as the primary communications channel might evolve. We can see great examples of messaging as the UI in hundreds of products like Intuit’s ‘Tada’, or customers of ours like ‘Treat’. We can see even more with messaging as an entirely new B2C communication channel in companies like WeChat, and early indications of this evolution in Facebook M’s plans, as well as Kik’s, Snapchat’s, Whatsapp’s and each of the other consumer messaging companies’ B2C plans. We are seeing the enterprise being disrupted by messaging through companies like Slack and others. Even with all of this change, I am sure like social in 2004, or web in 1998...
‘we ain’t seen nothing yet!
I am really excited be part of an amazing team that is focussed on the opportunities and challenges that this change is driving, and in the opportunity for Smooch to enable and support these great innovators that are leading this shift to messaging as a new, more effective, and more human way for us all to connect with each other, with business, and with the technology in our lives.
PS: Read more from the compelling visions of the evolution of messaging from some of the best informed thinkers in the space:
Chris Messina #convcomm
PSS: We hiring! Do you want to be part of the future of messaging? Check out the opportunities here!