TheFunded, the sometimes controversial site where entrepreneurs can rate and share information about venture capitalists, is beta testing a new tool. It’s called Topicki, and it’s a site for simple decision-making and management.
There are, of course, a lot of other project management tools out there, but I don’t think anyone’s really dominating the field yet. At VentureBeat, we still use email for a lot of our decisions, which kind of sucks — there’s a lot of repeated information, confusion when people don’t weigh in, attempts to dig up old threads about past decisions, and so on. Adeo Ressi, founder of TheFunded, says Topicki stands out because of its simplicity — rather than overloading users with features, it focuses exclusively on letting you make decisions and making that process as easy as possible.
Here’s how it works: Let’s say you’re trying to set an agenda for a meeting. You can create a private page where you list a few agenda items and invite other team members. Then they can add their own items, comment on the agenda, and vote items up and down. That information can help you formulate the final agenda — heck, you could just run the meeting based on the printed out Topicki page if you wanted.
The concept reminds me of Zapproved, which also lasers in on decision-making and tries to make the process as simple as possible. I didn’t ask Ressi about Zapproved specifically, but it’s clear that Topicki offers a different approach to the same problem. Whereas Zapproved emphasizes integrating into your existing workflow through email, Ressi says there’s value in bringing visitors to a separate site.
“When you’re in email mode, you’re just like, ‘Reply, done, reply, done,'” he says. “I want to take people out of email into a new system where they can actually think about these things for more than two minutes for a quick reply.”
So how does this tie into TheFunded’s VC-rating site? It’s not directly related, but Ressi says it serves his broader goal of providing tools that are useful for entrepreneurs. Up next is a service where chief executives can ask for anonymous feedback from employees and others. Ressi adds that he doesn’t necessarily plan to make money from Topicki, nor is that a big priority with TheFunded. Instead, he sees the company as a way to do good without being constrained by a nonprofit structure.
You may want to check out Ressi’s presentation on how “The VC model is broken;” the post also includes VentureBeat Editor Matt Marshall’s thoughts on the issue.