Have you created a document for your business that is nothing short of brilliant? Or have you ever needed a form and thought, “Someone must have created one before. I hate to reinvent the wheel, but where do I begin my search?”
I just found a site that offers visitors a chance to view and share their documents similar to the video share loved by billions on YouTube. It is called DocStoc, founded by Jason Nazar, CEO in 2007. I had the opportunity to chat with Jason and learn why he started this service and what he offers his target customers:
“While I was completing my JD/MBA, I started a consulting company in Los Angeles with some alums of my MBA program. Between our need to share documents in graduate school, and the amount of time I personally spent on Google looking for docs for my clients, I realized there could/should be something like YouTube for Professional Documents. I wanted to create the most robust repository of free professional content for a wide variety of purposes.”
What do you envision Docstoc Becoming?
I’m a big fan of Linkedin.com and consider is (as most do) the premier online community to share professional contacts. It’s where most folks go online to find professional contacts. Similarly, docstoc will be the premier online community to share professional content. Anytime, anyone needs a business or legal document their first thought will be to go to docstoc. With this as the foundation of the company, we’ll add the ability to connect users with additional information, resources, and services to serve their professional needs. Looking for a document is just a starting point; WHY do you need that document. Those are the problems that we’ll help solve over time.
I went online and spent some time exploring DocStoc and this is what I found:
- A place to store my important files that can be set for private or viewed by others
- An opportunity to create a profile that links my profiles at Linked In and Facebook for additional networking opportunities
- A registry for my blog – ooh, yeah, new audience members!
- The ability to upload files I’ve created that I feel will benefit others; articles, excel spreadsheets, power point presentations – some for information share and others as templates
- A marketing site that allows me to spread my name as an expert in my field via the documents I upload to share.
- Blank templates; financial, business, legal, and marketing.
DocStoc is a competitor to Scribd. I have to be honest, I liked the clean look of Scribd, but once I got past the “pretty” I realized that there were more files at DocStoc. The selection, the organization and the quantity of material at DocStoc was very appealing.
One question: How reliable are the financial and legal forms? DocStoc’s “terms of agreement” removes liability for the quality of the forms submitted by contributors other than DocStoc associates.
Also, it is not clear exactly what use you can make of forms and documents if you download them from the site. For instance, DocStoc’s lengthy “terms of agreement” state those who use forms cannot alter the forms without the permission of the form’s creator. I would use caution if you are considering downloading documents to use in your own business. Read the “terms of service” carefully first.
Keeping these cautions in mind, if you just want to share documents with others, either publicly or privately, or if you want to use DocStoc for displaying some of your documents and spreading the word about your business or positioning yourself as an expert, it could be a useful site.
One more question for Jason. Tell us about one of the benefits you find most valuable?
“You can upload your documents and embed them anywhere on the web where you could embed a video (for example to promote a book launch or portfolio of designs). This feature is very popular with bloggers who can embed PDFs and scanned documents into their stories.”
Do you store your documents online with a site like DocStoc? I can see the immediate benefit when working with a group – the ability to share a file via the Internet has immeasurable benefits, but do you also use the service to market your business by sharing forms, articles and PowerPoint presentations?
Have you tried DocStoc? Anyone else that you’d recommend? How do you decide what to keep on your computer and what to save on the Web?