At a recent business networking event @krusk introduced me to CardMunch – a cool mobile app that lets you take a photo of a business card and then upload it seamlessly to a transcription service. That’s were human eyes verify if the OCR picked up all the right things and push the contact information back to your iPhone app.Pretty neat — because sometimes you collect a few dozen business cards at such events. And, yes people still use business cards. There is just some awe factor.
What’s really crazy is that CardMunch had a nominal service charge before, but is now 100% free. Why? Well last month this company was acquired by LinkedIn. And LinkedIn plans to integrate this functionality as part of their service.
Aha <light bulb going off>… now its starting to make sense. LinkedIn is sitting on a pretty neat app that enhances their business model. Offering such a useful service free of charge creates viral spread and business dependence. Perhaps Linkedin boys are afraid of losing their business appeal to the rising use of Facebook by professionals. Either way, great tool and an amazing investment by LinkedIn.
Quite fittingly, this event featured Francois Gossieaux as a guest speaker. He spoke about how businesses can build communities by offering cool services around their main product. A very fitting theme to learn about such a neat mobile app.