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Rypple: Revamping the hated review process is great for business

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At last year’s Net:Work event, eight startups pitched their products for the Future Ideas Launchpad, with the audience voting for their favorites. Now that the 2011 edition of Net:Work is less than a week away (fret not, there’s still time to register), how have last year’s highlighted companies fared in the past 12 months?

For social performance management product Rypple, 2011 has been a pretty good year. ”We’ve doubled in size in the last six months in terms of our headcount, which sort of tells you how things are going business-wise,” Nick Stein, director, content and media at Rypple, told WWD in an interview.

Things have been moving along briskly on the product side as well, with the company introducing a raft of new features. “Rypple as a platform looks completely different than it did a year ago,” says Stein, and the company’s star customer, Facebook, is behind one major change, dubbed ‘Loops’ by Rypple. The feature utilizes the platform’s social-media like “feed” of recognition and feedback to generate a quick, effortless alternative to the much-loathed yearly performance review:

Loops, we actually developed specifically for Facebook. We launched it over the summer and all of their employees worldwide now use it every six months when they do their performance process. So rather than having to shut the whole company down and write essays about each other, everything they’ve been collecting between their review cycles – all of the recognition, all of the feedback – is now already in Rypple, so that when it comes to time to run a feedback loop they can do it very quickly and easily.

Rypple has also added a goals feature that lets employees collaboratively set then follow goals, showing individual workers how their specific tasks contribute to the larger aims of the company. Stein explains:

Rather than a traditional goal setting process that happens from the top, and then people who are lower down within the organization on the food chain don’t really understand how these lofty goals apply to them and how their daily work has an effect on them, now these are things that you join.

In addition to improving their product, Rypple has also added a bunch of talented new executives to strengthen their team, including a new CTO and VP of product management. Stein also foresees 2012 being a great year for attracting more big companies to the product.

“The biggest shift that we’ve seen in our business is the size of the companies that are coming to Rypple,” says Stein. “Larger and larger enterprises and even more traditional enterprises are coming to Rypple.”

Things are looking up for 2012 for last year’s Launchpad finalist.

Image courtesy of Rypple.

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