Update: I built it.
I’ve used Highrise as a lightweight CRM for a few years now. It’s fine for my needs — basically keeping track of people who I meet on email.
The thing that really made Highrise start to work for me is integration with Gmail, via Rapportive. Being able to add someone to my highrise, and add some tags and notes, right from my inbox, has been awesome. I use it every day.
But there is still something I really need that I don’t have. You see, tracking people and companies in Highrise works really well for people you’re already connected to. I.e., people who you’ve been introduced to over email — so that you can add them via Rapportive; yadda yadda. The problem wtih that is that there are lots of people and companies that I want to track in Highrise that aren’t yet in my inbox.
This is another version of the “strategic networking tool” problem that I wrote about a few years ago.
So, for now, I have a hacked together solution that involves using Highrise for folks I meet on email, and Delicious for people and companies I don’t know yet. This is an OK start, but it’s missing a key feature: collaboration. The kinds of notes and tags we use in Highrise are internal — meant for team discussion and not for public consumption. So, by using Delicious, I can write public notes & tags (which are fine most of the time anyway), or I a can save private links — but if I do that they’re not accessible via API and I can’t get them into Highrise no matter how much I want to.
So here’s what I want, ideally. A chrome extension that gives me a delicious-like experience for adding content to Highrise. I’ve taken a few half-hearted stabs at making one, but haven’t gotten there yet.
Here’s the idea in pictures (click each to enlarge). In my head, I’ve been calling this “Eyes on the Street”.
I use Highrise via Rapportive to track people I meet over email.
This give me a nice, searchable browseable view in Highrise, which I can share with my team:
For people I don’t know yet and haven’t met on email, I use delicious to keep track. There is a nice browser extension for this; it’s really easy.
So I get a similarly nice, searchable view in Delicious. However, any links I mark as private I can’t share w/ my team :(
So here’s what I want:
A browser extension that looks a lot like the Delicious extension, that lets me tag people and companies in Highrise (just like I can do via Rapportive in my inbox). If it’s a new person, I create a new entry.
If the person is already in the system, I can add additional links / notes:
The same thing works for companies:
The extension could show a badge when other people from my team have noted a given URL and/or left notes. Conversation (in the extension and in Highrise) ensues.
This is pretty easy to make, I think. If I were a better programmer I would have made it already. But rather than burn another whole evening futzing around writing my first chrome extension, I’m writing up the idea here :). Basically, the extension can talk to Highrise directly via JS/XML, or via a proxy server that sits in the middle. The advantage to the latter (drawn below), is that you can take advantage of Highrise wrapper libraries, rather than writing directly to the raw API.
That’s it! Is there anything out there like this? If so I haven’t found it. If anyone wants to take this idea and run with it I would be forever grateful.