I had to wait for TechCrunch to cover this one. Ah, it must be nice to be the big fish.
DocSyncer is a Boulder-based site that synchronizes your Google Docs with your desktop, including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. It’s built by the same guys behind ProtectMyPhotos.com (covered last year). Sound interesting?
Imagine being able to use either Google Docs or your native desktop Office apps at any time from anywhere, and know that they’ll be synchronized for online and offline use. In certain situations it’s pretty compelling, and it’s a nice backup to boot. I played with this at Cliff’s invitation a few weeks ago, and as far as I could tell it works as advertised. The product has not yet launched, but you can sign up to be notified when it does.
Founder Cliff Shaw has been thinking about this idea for at least six months. We had a chat about it back then, and I told him that I thought it was an excellent concept. I’m glad to see that he’s made these first steps come alive. I think Cliff’s view is that people are used to their good old fashioned desktop filing system, and that services like DocSyncer are the glue that can drive adoption without forcing a new metaphor on the user all at once. If I have that right, I think DocSyncer could become more than just the one trick pony you might assume it to be.
The natural predator for DocSyncer is of course Google itself. If Google builds upon Gears to make this sort of online/offline interactivity native to Google Docs, then you’ve got yourself another Kiko on your hands. It doesn’t seem like that big of a leap.
Meanwhile this is the slickest, most straightforward way for synchronize your desktop based documents to Google Docs that I’ve seen. Right now it only runs on Windows, but they’re promising Mac and Linux support soon. DocSyncer also does not support Zoho Office, Buzzword, or other services similar to Google Docs. DocSyncer works by installing a small background service that manages all of the interactions. Once installed, you can select any document and quickly open it locally or using the counterpart online editor.
I think of DocSyncer as IMAP for documents. GMail doesn’t support IMAP without crazy hacks. Just another thing that makes me go hmmmm.
DocSyncer is currently seeking a round of angel investment.