At TechCrunch 40 morning session two startups with weird names cracked some of the pain points with communications applications.
Xobni (inbox spelled backwards) helps to make sense out of the mess of Microsoft Outlook. It provides rankings, graphs and statistics about how your email contacts. For example, it can alert you to frequent email contacts who haven't contacted you recently or identify a contact's assistant or business partner, somewhat like a social network. Xobni also can thread conversations from across emails and find attachments without searching. In addition, phone numbers can be extracted from emails and brings in some data, such as pictures, from the Web.
It makes you wonder what Microsoft has been doing with billions in R&D. It's not clear how Xobni will make money--other than by charging a modest fee for the service or selling it to Microsoft. The company plans to support other popular email clients. A beta is available for download.
Xobni is funded from Khosla Ventures, First Round Capital, Atomico Investments, Baseline Ventures and angel investors.
Orgoo attacks the proliferation of email accounts, IM clients and chat applications. Some products, such as Meebo, aggregate IM accounts and provide chat capabilities, but Orgoo's "communication cockpit" aggregates an individual's email, IM, chat, video, SMS accounts in a single location in a browser or a mobile device (via a download). You can record a video and send it to any contact. Orgoo chat rooms can be embedded in Facebook, MySpace or other services. In addition, you can drag and drop IMs, chats and email into folders or subfolders. Orgoo is in private beta now and will launched before the end of the year.
I will give both a try to see if they can ease my communications pain.