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Haiku Deck Offers PowerPoint Alternative, Fewer Features Touted

haiku deck

Sometimes the best business ideas come from solving a problem we ourselves have experienced. That’s how Adam Tratt [1] says the idea for Haiku Deck [2] came to be.

The application aims to create an alternative to fuller featured presentation software like PowerPoint. The idea is that fewer features might actually make it easier to create presentations by not overwhelming users with so many options.

But the concept didn’t come to Tratt and his team until they were trying to dissect a business idea that went wrong, Tratt told Small Business Trends in a recent Skype conversation. Tratt says:

“I love to start with the story of why we built it.”

Fresh from a job with b0ard game startup Cranium [3], now owned by Hasbro, Tratt was working on a Facebook celebrity game featuring rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot [4]. (Yeah, it ended up pretty much like you’d expect.)

But what he came away with in analyzing the startup’s missteps was the realization that the hardest part had been creating a presentation on the dominant format, Microsoft’s PowerPoint. He wondered if it would be possible to build something easier to use.

The result was Haiku Deck, an iPad and now Web-based app that allows users with limited technical experience to create digital slide presentations and share them via the Web and social media.

Building Haiku Deck

To figure out how to build the new application, Tratt’s team started by boiling down the advice most often given for great presentations:

Here’s a quick video review of the app from one user.

Tratt says the iPad app was launched around Labor Day 2012 and is now approaching one million users. A beta Web version was released more recently. Last week a new iPad version was released with translations in seven additional  languages besides English  and the ability to change the color of the text being used on the slides.

The app is free with added presentation themes offered for an added  cost.

Tratt says Haiku Deck is already being used by attorneys, realtors, sales people and entrepreneurs.

Image: Haiku Deck