There are startup pivots. And then there are massive reboots. Haiku Deck, which today is taking the covers off its new iPad app, is certainly in the latter category.

You may recall the team behind Haiku Deck, which made waves and grabbed headlines with its creative marketing approaches for the celebrity-based gaming startup Giant Thinkwell. (You likely remember the Facebook game they created for Sir Mix-a-Lot).

But that idea didn’t really take root, and now co-founders Adam Tratt and Kevin Leneway (Kyle Kesterson has moved on to another startup called Freak’n Genius) are hoping to transform the way people create and share presentations.

Watch out PowerPoint.

Haiku Deck is a free iPad app, which automatically matches text with Creative Commons images or allows users to easily input their own photos, screenshots or charts. The Haiku Decks, created in a few minutes, can be viewed on a tablet, mobile devices or PC. They also can be exported to Microsoft’s PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote.

Here’s one that Tratt created about his guide for restaurants:


“The tablet began as a media consumption device,” says Tratt. But with as many as 20 percent of new iPads purchased for business use, the entrepreneur believes that we now are undergoing a “seismic shift in how people are using tablets, from content consumption to content creation.”

Adam Tratt

Tratt tells GeekWire that the Haiku Deck service can be used in any instance where one is trying to tell a story, share an idea or promote a service.

“I think early adopters will include entrepreneurs who are always pitching, marketing types who are telling stories and creating narratives for brands, leaders/organizers who are promoting a movement, teachers/students who want to deliver impact,” he said.

Since the app is free, Haiku Deck plans to make money by selling premium design templates. It also may add premium images over time, or professional services.

Tratt lists competitors as PowerPoint and Keynote, but he said “neither are beloved because they don’t make you a better designer” and the slide decks “usually come out looking like crap.” Prezi also is a possible rival, but Tratt said they are a Web only platform and

“Our approach is different because we are bringing radical simplicity and flawless beauty- two elements required of great oresentations. People love us for that,” he said.

The company’s investors, who initially bankrolled the company after it graduated from TechStars, also appear to be believers. The investors, which include Madrona Venture Group and Founder’s Co-op, recently pumped another $300,000 into Haiku Deck.

Read Adam Tratt’s guest post on GeekWireOur startup’s pivot: Three important lessons we learned

Robert Scoble got a preview of the new Haiku Deck service, saying it is like having “Instagram on your PowerPoint.”

Comments

  • Adam Tratt

    Thanks, John! Very happy for Geekwire readers to be amongst the first to try out Haiku Deck and send us feedback. Here’s how you get it. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/haiku-deck/id536328724?mt=8

  • Jodi Sorensen

    Congrats Tratt! The “reboot” rocks – nicely done. BTW- Love your Ratt tshirt, forever the trendsetter. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevie Kevin Leneway

    Thanks John! Also, we’re hiring iOS and web developers to join us on our mission to rid the world of ugly presentations. http://www.haikudeck.com/jobs

  • Matt Wass de Czege

    Adam, you need to pursue selling a corp lisc to large companies like Cisco (who I work for), that have huge internal image libraries and need an easier to use presentation app for their tablet users. An app like this can actually help reduce IT cost by enabling some users to replace laptops with a tablet.

  • http://twitter.com/shadrachwhite Shadrach White

    Was so excited to start building my first preso, got all the way to adding background photos and the app crashed. Thanks to @haikudeck for responding to my tweet and acknowledging that I need an iPad2 for best results. Great design on the App.

  • Robin

    Love it, Adam. Way to go!

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