Tim Stumbles is the co-founder of Office Timeline, a small start-up on a mission to rid the world of project presentations that make audiences yawn. Office Timeline makes the world’s most popular timeline presentation tool, built as an add-in into Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, 2010, and 2013.
In this conversation, Tim discusses how Office Timeline evolved, and how typical users work with the product.
Geetesh: What motivated you to create Office Timeline. Also tell us what do you mean by the “freemium” model?
Tim: My partner and I came from enterprise careers where we frequently presented projects to teams, customers, partners and our managers. We found that making a good timeline presentation in PowerPoint was time consuming and painful. Also, the presentations we ended up creating always seemed a bit too complex and difficult for our audiences to follow. In hindsight, we probably bored them out of their chairs…or at least we missed an opportunity to really distinguish our work and ourselves. Wanting a better way led to the creation of Office Timeline.
In the enterprise and beyond, PowerPoint is the vehicle for business communication so we built a free timeline maker in it. The fast adoption and overwhelmingly positive feedback of our initial release was quite surprising. It became obvious very quickly that we were not the only ones struggling to make professional-looking timelines and gantt presentations. Based on this feedback, we improved the design and have just released a new enhanced version called Office Timeline 2012, which makes it even simpler to create beautiful project presentations in just a few clicks. A new workflow and the smart wizards guide users through each step within PowerPoint. They select the type of project or timeline they want to build, enter their data, customize the look and feel and then click finish. Office Timeline builds and manages all the graphics of their project presentation…it is really that simple!
Geetesh: Can you share typical uses and scenarios for a timeline in a PowerPoint slide?
Tim: Project managers, planners, consultants, marketers, and business leads use Office Timeline for project presentations and proposals with their teams and customers. They also mention using it for business reviews with management and for communicating to sales and marketing groups. Educators and trainers are using Office Timeline because it makes it easier for them to present historical information in a visual way. That kind of feedback has been really great and has motivated us to keep improving.
See Also: Office Timeline: The Indezine Review