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You Deserve a Better Address Book

contactspls | July 16, 2012

Son, there are two types of people in companies. Those who have good professional networks and bring in new business, and those who just do the work brought in by the first group.  Which ones do you think are the first to get laid off in tough times?

– My father, when I graduated from law school.

From the minute we enter the workforce, it is drilled into our heads that we need to build and maintain our professional network. Clients, sales leads, mentors, friends, family, and classmates all judge us on our ability to keep in touch. When we encounter problems, we need to be able to quickly reach others who can help, like our insurance agent, handyman, or loan officer.  Depending on your perspective, networking may be the most important skill in your life.

Given this overwhelming need for good contact information, it is ironic that all of us have a serious address book problem. Many of us have multiple email accounts. The contacts in our iPhones and iPads are probably different from those in our Gmail or Outlook, which are different from the records in our employer’s CRM, billing system, or other software-as-a-service (SaaS). Often, we keep a file of hard copy business cards that we have collected but not input into our devices. If you add in friends and followers on social networks, a given person could have dozens of different un-synced contact lists. Across these lists, there are duplicates, invalid or old emails, and partial records in different places that should be merged. By any measure, it’s a deeply flawed and inefficient system.

The problem doesn’t end there. Even if our contacts are accurate, complete, and synced, they are usually not comprehensively bucketed into different categories for easy sorting, group emails, and sharing. Furthermore, there is a wealth of useful but untapped information about many of our contacts on public websites and social media pages.  This extraneous data is freely available, yet the systems we use rarely attempt to aggregate it in a meaningful way.

A Lot of Lost Time

As a result of this dysfunction, most of us spend hours trying to clean up our contact lists at various times – usually after we get frustrated trying to find a current email or phone number.  Sometimes, we go one step further and research our contacts on the Internet, in hopes of finding new information.  However, very few people can afford to spend the hours and hours necessary to fully update and sync their contacts, for the same reason no one cleans every inch of their house in one shot. It is a huge, boring project that they will need to do again in a few weeks. So the problem grows.

Why is it that no one has solved this challenge by creating a consolidated, cloud-based address book that syncs across existing lists and pulls in publicly-available information about your contacts?

Because as it turns out, it is really hard.

So FullContact went and did it. Because some things need to be done, regardless of how hard they are. The solution just promises too much value to professionals.

Introducing the FullContact Cloud Address Book, now in restricted Beta. Say goodbye to hunting through different devices and cloud platforms to find the best email address for your client, or doing a web search for the Twitter handle of your mentor. We’ve got it covered. Plus, we wrapped our Cloud Address Book (and its engine – our powerful API) in an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, so you don’t have to spend time learning how to use another complicated cloud service. The whole point is to save time, not introduce more complexity to your day.

Life just got easier. And this is only version 1.0.