28 Comments

Summary:

[qi:012] Dimdim, a Burlington, MA.-based web meeting services startup, wants to take on Cisco Systems’ (CSCO) WebEx and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Placeware by emphasizing simplicity and ease of use. The company, which is backed by investors including Draper Richards, Index Ventures and Nexus Capital India, launches its […]

[qi:012] Dimdim, a Burlington, MA.-based web meeting services startup, wants to take on Cisco Systems’ (CSCO) WebEx and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Placeware by emphasizing simplicity and ease of use. The company, which is backed by investors including Draper Richards, Index Ventures and Nexus Capital India, launches its service today at DEMOfall 2007. Co-founded by Computer Associates alumni DD Ganguly and Prakash Khot, Dimdim has so far raised $2.5 million.

The service allows you share your desktop and files, and to IM, talk, and broadcast using your webcam. Dimdim is using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud service to operate its service, and says its software is open source.

The service utilizes Adobe’s (ADBE) Flash 9 plugin for all of the multimedia apps. I gave the Dimdim service a brief spin and was impressed by its stripped-down simplicity and the speed with which it loaded into the browser, especially when compared to WebEx’s long startup process.

But that doesn’t mean WebEx (acquired by Cisco Systems for $3.2 billion) has anything to worry about right now, for Dimdim is still a work in progress. Its interface needs tweaking; in fact, it needs to be livened up. After all, web meetings can be fun. too. Nor was I clear as to how secure my information was going to be or where, exactly, all the files that I uploaded went. But I’m sure they will resolve all these issues soon.

This is a competitive market, and it’s going to get even more competitive. Sooner or later, Google (GOOG) is going to enter with its own twist on web conferencing, as WWD’s Anne Zelenka has pointed out. If Dimdim hopes to truly establish itself, it will have to focus relentlessly on “user experience.”

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Can DimDim beat WebEx, Placeware?
  • Yes
  • Not Likely
  • Will Be bought by Google
  1. That’s one of the dumbest names for a company that wants to compete with the likes of WebEx. Anyway, if this company really does threaten WebEx then we will all hear of it eventually. As for now, its time to go back and take my nap!

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  2. Sounds interesting. Adobe might buy it as their “connect” (or “live” or whatever it is called now) product can easily unseat WebEX from this space.

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  3. Wow Eddie!

    You seem like a WebEx employee! Its ok if you like a competitor product and feel threatened. Its part of the business. Your comment just endorses your insecurities!

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  4. 1) It’s an awful name.
    2) WebEx is pretty sweet and competition is always good.
    3) The headline should be “Dimdim Aims to Challenge WebEx, Microsoft” instead of challenges it because it’s a startup, not a newcomer with a good percentage of market share, you know?

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  5. Hi Eddie,

    I am DD Ganguly, the CEO of Dimdim. I am sorry that you find Dimdim a dumb name. We get so many queries about our name that I blogged about it at – http://dimdim.typepad.com/dimdim_blog/2007/07/whats-in-a-name.html

    Talking of names – isn’t Kinko a crazy name too?

    Do try out our product. Ultimately that’s what matters doesn’t it?

    Warm regards,
    ddg

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  6. But it’s definitely a catchy name, no?
    Let’s wait to see and hear what dimdim has to offer.

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  7. This is an already crowded space with two 800 pound gorillas and a third looming large.

    Smaller, faster, cheaper, easier, imho, won’t get it done. Something disruptive will have to come along to change this game. Presentation sharing, application sharing and whiteboarding have been around for several years and corporate accounts and corporate standards make this a tough banana to peel.

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  8. Jerry,

    Haven’t you been part of a web meeting which got delayed and ultimately someone said, “Let’s just e-mail the slides and discuss them over the phone.”.

    That happens because legacy web meeting sofwtare is complicated and it can only be used by tech-savvy people, who are comfortable installing software.

    Think of Wang’s word processing software. Did it work? Sure. Was it for all? No. That’s where web meeting software is today.

    Warm regards,
    ddg

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  9. FYI – Microsoft web meeting application is now named Office Live Meeting, and is no longer referred to as Placeware.

    Adobe already has Breeze, now named Adobe Acrobat Connect as their web-based meeting space.

    I work on Office Live Meeting, but I welcome the competition from Dimdim. Additional competitors only make the genre of applications stronger.

    In fact I am going to try out the application to see what I think.

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  10. How come no one mentions GoToMeeting? It’s owned by Citrix and is much better than WebEx’s bloatware.

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