A four-person startup company that has rebuffed offers from Silicon Valley and elsewhere to remain in Oklahoma City has launched a public beta of its software designed to help creative teams collaborate online.
BitConfused created Cage, which is designed to allow users to upload and present files, manage tasks, organize revisions and receive approvals in one secure environment.
The program has been tested privately by about 20,000 users since last year, including people working on projects for companies as diverse as Google, BBDO, Facebook, Target, AT&T, Virgin Media, Marvel, Electronic Arts and Walmart.
In the process, Cage has attracted some positive attention, said BitConfused co-founder Sandip Patel.
“We've gotten a lot of interesting offers from places out in Silicon Valley, or the East Coast or West Coast for moving our operations there or looking for VC (venture capital) money there,” Patel said. “We turned it all down because it would require us to move.”
Patel and his wife were born and raised in Oklahoma, and he doesn't aspire to move to the typical meccas of high-tech development.
“We're doing it from Oklahoma,” he said. “It's proof you don't have to be in Silicon Valley or Los Angeles or Boulder to do it.”
Cage initially focused on Web design, but the latest version is geared toward various types of creative projects, including illustration, video graphics and 3-D work, Patel said. The public beta status allows anyone to visit the company's site at cageapp.com and try out the software for free.
“It's a new product altogether,” he said. “All new team, all new code, all new design — a whole new vision.”
Since October, the developers dropped other projects to focus exclusively on Cage, Patel said.
Graphicly founder Micah Baldwin, who also is a Cage adviser, said the effort has paid off.
“I love the platform and the attention to detail, and I'm even more impressed with the team that put it together,” Baldwin said.
On Thursday, the first day of the public beta, new users were signing up and providing positive reviews of the software, Patel said.
The company will roll out new features and perfect details of Cage during the program's public beta phase. The plan eventually is to charge a small monthly fee for the program, he said.
One advantage of the small development team's expertise in online collaborative software is the freedom to work remotely, Patel said.
“I typically work from Coffee Slingers most days. That's kind of the beauty of what we do,” he said. “We eat our own dog food, so to speak.”