A startup founded by a two former Googlers has come up with a simpler version of documents called Coda.
In a Medium blog post on the launch, Coda co-founder Shishir Mehrotra said: “Coda is a new type of doc that blends the flexibility of documents, the power of spreadsheets, and the utility of applications into a single new canvas.”
“That’s Coda. It lets you make a doc as powerful as an app.”
Beginning Thursday, anyone can sign up for the beta at coda.io.
Coda is the product of three years of working under the radar under the codename Krypton, said Mehrotra, who teamed up with former fellow Googler Alex DeNeui on the venture.
Mehrotra was the vice president of product at Google’s YouTube.
LinkedIn’s co-founder and executive chairman Reid Hoffman sits in the Coda’s board, according to a Verge report.
Hoffman is a partner at Greylock – one of the Silicon Valley investor-firms that Mehrotra and DeNeui approached for funding for the startup.
Mehrotra said in the blog post, “Our journey started with a simple observation: In a world full of applications, why do documents and spreadsheets seem to run everything?”
And that’s the issue from where things started rolling toward coming up with Coda.
Just like Microsoft and Google documents, Mehrotra said the creation of Coda stemmed from the need to change materials “on a fundamental and structural level.”
“The starting point for Coda will feel very familiar. Like most documents, it starts with a blank page and a blinking cursor,” said Mehrotra.
“But the core engine slowly reveals itself to be quite different and powerful. Coda docs are built to erase boundaries, combining the flexibility of writing words on a page with rich, structured data formed on tables.”
“We built it so everyone can work together, in their own way, off the same data. We engineered it like a programming platform and built a new formula language.”
“The goal was to enable these documents to grow with people’s creativity. One of our early users referred to it as ‘Minecraft for docs’.”
Minecraft is a video game where players can construct their own virtual worlds block by block.
Mashable said Mehrotra is focused on “creating the most supportive ecosystem” for the collaborative use of documents.
Hoffman echoed Mehrotra’s goal.
Hoffman told The Verge that “the increasingly collaborative nature of office work created an opportunity for Coda to carve out a niche.”
“Our goal is to try to create this new kind of productivity app.”
“And already in the private beta, we’ve seen organizations start adopting it in ways that lead us to think we’re right about this hypothesis.”
The Verge said a product team at Uber was one of the beta-testers.
The Uber team was tapped as a beta-tested because some of the features of Coda include integrated commands.
“For example, type “GoogleDirections” and a Google Map with directions from an origin location to a destination will appear,” The Verge said.
Coda is entering a “crowded market” though and will be competing with other giants, namely, Google, Microsoft, Atlassian, Asana, Salesforce, and Slack, Mashable said.
Thus, it remains to be seen if Coda can compete against the other tech firms.
Would you be interested in trying out Coda? If you have tried out the beta form, drop a comment or two about it below.