A long-long time ago (last summer), during my very first batch in 365x.io as a mentor, I worked with a number of amazing projects such as RightHear, Eloops, Manage Your Trip, Edgecase, Howazit, Pickspace, and Gamoshi.
Some founders impressed me with their productivity, others have struck with their empathy, all these people have a vision of the future, and even through the dust of routine, they try to see their goal.
But two of them showed a rare quality: they turned out to be good storytellers. According to Scott Galloway, the author of “The Four” (the book describing the hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google), storytelling is a way to the cheap capital: “Through storytelling, outlining a huge vision, Amazon has reshaped the relationship between company and shareholder” (p. 32) by replacing “profit” with “vision and growth” in the traditional IR formula: “give us a few years and tens of millions of dollars …and then we’ll begin returning capital to you in the form of profit”.
So, looking back, I thought I’d tell you more about the project by Sharon Dayag (he’s on the left in the picture) and Tal Groder (on the right). There is one more reason to choose this project: both entrepreneurs remain active members of the 365x community and just recently we talked at the 2019 Summer Party in Tel Aviv (that’s where the photo was taken).
Moreover, during the spring consultations, I was asked to interact with other participants in the ecosystem through Eloops.
This is the second attempt of 365x’ Sarona Ventures to use the tools created by the startups passing through their acceleration program. The first one (Spacebook) did not appear to be a good match. If community members were invited to test the application, the situation would look different. But we were presented with a ready-made solution without appropriate warnings. And this led to a fatal conflict of expectations with real user experience.
Now let’s jump into the case.
Eloops’ mobile app appears really good.
Right after the authentication of the user and personalization of their profile, you can change the language (That’s the option I’ve been missing all the time launching my bank’s app) and you are welcome to the predefined Sarona Programs’ page.
So it’s really easy to provide startups you are mentoring with feedback via the Eloops app. The only thing is that it’s not very comfortable to write meeting minutes or a follow-up message using your mobile phone.
And I asked about an opportunity to join my profile via laptop. There was no answer from the 365x team and I started my own journey.
It is easy to see that the old style is preserved on the site, without a noble black background (with a gradient).
But the two-factor authentication is excellent: you can use the confirmation by SMS or enter the key generated by the Authy application on the MFA device.
Once you are logged in, you can use all the tools on the platform, but I have not found the way to the Sarona Programs community.
After the demo session with Sharon and Tal, I know that Eloops’ web interface designed for admins’ only needs and I’m definitely not an admin at Sarona’s account. I’m a mentor, that means I’m a user of the system. As a user, I can only join a corporate community via mobile app.
I asked the Eloops’ team to explain their decision to go only with the native mobile app, without giving an opportunity to the regular user to operate the system via laptop. Tal said:
“We believe that we don’t wanna be another tab on your desktop. We do not want to be part of the “missions” of employees. We want them to check the app as a break like they checking Instagram or Facebook. Our approach is that we are an employee engagement platform that works but doesn’t feel like work.”
Back to the app
Events are an important part of everyday corporate life. Whether we’re talking about tech talks, hackathons, weekly syncs, daily standups, team retreats or birthday parties it’s crucial for employees to be at these events. So notifications should reach all team members in a timely manner. That’s why it’s an option that’s built into the Eloops app.
Each company has a knowledge base containing at least a set of basic documents regulating the work of employees. These can be lists of useful phones, internal work rules, Social Media policies, vacation and holiday schedules, etc. Employees should have access to them at all times. Eloops offers a solution.
Last, but not least: every team member should be able to share his/her idea or suggestion with management. Modern efficient enterprise operates on the basis of orders and feedbacks. Feedback is particularly important for teams working on Agile.
My next question was why not bind communities to a users’ profile and let them switch between their own workspaces, as Slack does? For now, you can click the arrow on the top corner of the app to go back to the main page and enter another private network (If they gave you the permission).The answer was they will think about the implementation of multi-team mode.
I am convinced that it will be very useful to let one switch between different accounts within the platform like you can do in Slack. For example, I’m the admin at TCL’s account, mentor at 365x’s account and could possibly be a team member of a startup. Now I need to log off from my Sarona’s account to log into TCL’s account which is annoying and time-consuming.
However, in spite of that, I’d recommend Eloops to large corporate clients who regularly solve the issues of onboarding new employees and internal marketing of departments. This platform is a good match for those who are looking for an opportunity to provide employees with engaging and gamified workplace experience. The biggest value that this tool (set of tools) is giving today for customers is an opportunity to use pre-made content (Surveys, Forms, Virtual activities). The premade content was created by the team of the project in cooperation with their partners and clients including Coca-Cola, Philips, HP, Intel, PWC, and some other companies. So in the nearest future, Eloops is to be the marketplace of best corporate HR practices.
As for me, the idea of receiving virtual coins for performing certain social actions in the app, with the possibility of exchanging coins for corporate souvenirs, seems similar to Facebook’s Libra but not so global (“enterprise-grade”) and without blockchain under the hood.
During our first meeting in August 2018, Sharon and Tal explained that their brand is based on the idea of internal marketing and their target audience consists of HR specialists and marketing professionals. This approach is similar to mine. I strongly believe that internal communications are extremely important, especially for an IT company, because they could be used to accumulate the internal expertise to be shared with the external actors (community members, leads, mass media etc.). So I can clearly see the marketing potential of the platform. Onboarding and training are not the only use-cases for Eloops.