(Icon.me Co-Founders Kent Savage and Matt Hovis)
I was invited to be an early user of Icon.me (one of my friends, Laura Beck, is their PR person). I signed up for the digital business card service and poked around the site several times, but I was not aware the value this cool Austin start-up has created until attending their "Launch Party" where I got to spend time with co-founders Kent Savage and Matt Hovis.
Icon is a cloud based platform designed for the modern professional who lives are lived online, but split up across several platforms. It is a digital business card that allows you to easily share your information and curate your online persona. Icons are optimized to be shared with anyone, anywhere via smartphone, email or online. They provide valuable personal analytics - like who is viewing, saving and sharing your contact information and even reveal what you have in common with those you meet.
While I do not believe the paper businesscard should ever go away (they still serve a purpose), Icon seems to have found the answer to what others have been trying to solve in creating a tool that is both easy to use and provides real value to those who are looking to use technology to help as part of their networking efforts.
I see a huge use for Icon.me in the event/meeting/conference space. Often the organizers of large conferences create a custom apps or other tools specifically for their meeting that allows attendees to share information and seek out the desired networking opportunities. The problem is that not everyone uses these apps, and when they go home they do not revisit the connections they made in their phone. While the folks at Icon have not yet implemented this feature, they could add a conference tab that would allow users could register when they will be present at an event, and make connections accordingly. Since they would already use Icon in their daily lives, it would solve the problem of not being irrelevant later.
There are many tools out there being created to help people network, and most do not catch my eye as really valuable to the end user over time. I see Icon as being something I would use and recommend. Its cool. Plus, it is always great to see the good things coming out of Austin, Texas!
Check it out and let me know what you think. The site still working out some of the bugs, but the concept is strong, and I can see it taking off.
Have A Great Day