Tales from Startup Alley: Glide

Will Glide bring casual mobile video messaging to the masses? This Jerusalem based– I know, I did a double-take when I heard that as well—startup has as good chance as any of achieving this goal.For a number of years, I’ve followed the progress of video conferencing in the biz world, where it never quite achieved its goals and has generally been relegated to “special occasion” usage. On the consumer side, a VoIP company whose name escapes me has had some success with video.

In the view of the Glide folks, off-the-cuff videoing between smartphone-carrying consumer makes sense if you give them the option to view the message later, or to engage in a call in real-time. That is the key point here: consumers need to have a choice whether to let this intrusive technology enter their personal space. Implementing this efficiently so that the video is available instantly from the cloud–there’s no device storage in Glide–is tricky business. And from what I can tell, Glide has pulled this off.

I got to see Glide up close when I met with Adam Korbl, CMO and Co-founder, at TechCrunch Disrupt. Korbl explained that in addition to point-to-point messaging, a video sender can also broadcast a message to to a group of friends, co-workers, or perhaps even customers.Receivers can then respond back directly with their own individual message, either then engaging in real-time conversation or else storing for later viewing.

Korbl showed off the app’s interface–available on both Android and IOS–and it lives up to the company’s name. It’s quite easy to move between messages, and there’s a convenient preview feature that automatically plays through the first parts of your cloud-stored video messages, and then fast forwards to the next. After having been scarred by video services in the enterprise word with their clunky “unified communications” models, Glide made me feel that I would I actually use this in my professional and personal lives.

The TechCrunch Disrut judges agree as well, and Glide is one of the Battlefield Finalists.