Xobni: First Impression Feedback

I spend a ton of time everyday in front of a computer. As an analyst in Durham, NC supporting two bankers who live and work in the New York Metro region, my daily lifeblood is heavily rooted in email.
So when I came across a company called Xobni which launched at TechCrunch40 and vows to make one’s inbox simpler and more efficient, I had to try.

By placing a little Xobni badge in my blogroll, I was able to secure a private beta version. I’ve been testing it out for about a week and love a lot of the functionality.

Below I’ve copied some thoughts I sent to the Xobni folks as feedback. I’ll let these comments do the talking for now. I’ve showed it to a couple colleagues here at the Bank and the response has been the same from everyone – “That’s awesome. How can I get that?” If that’s not a stamp of approval for a consumer facing tech company, I don’t know what is.

Pros (aka “things I love”):
– The search functionality that allows me to see the most recent history with a particular contact. I was using Google desktop search to find similar information before, but have found in a very short time that I’m changing my behavior and beginning to rely on Xobni. That’s such a key part of any consumer facing tech company, and I was amazed at how quickly I have become attached to Xobni Insight.
– The fact that when I highlight a contact, it gives me a list of documents that we’ve exchanged. Sort of a tangentially related part of the above point, but I think it’s such a huge value that it deserves its own bullet point.
– Email contact rankings – they’re just cool.
– The analytics – it’s been really insightful for me to see my email consumption and outflow patterns. I haven’t even scraped the surface of ways to use this data to create efficiencies – at this point it’s in the “wow, that’s cool…cool enough that I need to figure out how to make the most of this” stage, but will be a big part of how I hope to use Xobni Insight in the future.

Cons (aka “things I don’t love as much”)
– during the first couple days I noticed a bit of slowdown in Outlook performance and Outlook froze up 2-3 times; the freeze ups may or may not be related to Xobni, but seemed to correlate to when I installed. Haven’t had as much of a problem yet, and it’s more of a headache than a huge deal in my eyes. I’m sure this stability will only improve (likely exponentially) over time.
– The analytics – as much as I like seeing the numbers, I find myself hungering for more. More specifically, how do I take this data and somehow make sense of it all? Surely, the bulk of this falls on me as the user, but to the extent that the analytics can be beefed up – not necessarily with data, but with functionality (i.e. how do I make my Outlook life even better) – the stickier the solution becomes for everyone. This is not a complaint at all, more of a suggestion for where to throw some development work.

I’ll keep thinking and using – great stuff. Keep up the good work…

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3 Responses to Xobni: First Impression Feedback

  1. matt brezina says:

    Hi Zach,

    I’m glad you are enjoying Xobni. You sound exactly like the type of user we built Xobni for.

    I want to learn more about the small problems you’ve seen. I am especially interested to see what version of the product you are running (we automatically update our users with new versions) as well as learn a bit more about your system configuation: version of Outlook, size of PST, Exchange, IMAP, RAM, CPU, other plug-ins, etc.

    This kind of feedback is incredibly valuable as we attempt to constantly improve the product. Please email me at your earliest convinience.

    Thanks,
    Matt
    Co-founder, Xobni

  2. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  3. David says:

    Hey nice blog, I have another tip for you: Lookeen!!
    That Outlook search tool is really amazing,unfortunately it isn´t that popular as many other tools, but it is so unbelievably fast and accurate, I love it! It works with Win7 and is a perfect tool for companies, especially because it is so small. It doesn´t really need much ressources and so you PC won´t be slower!
    If you wanna know more about this tool, just check out this page: http://www.lookeen.net

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