A personal help guru from San Diego tomorrow is going to use a speech in Montenegro to launch a new service on a platform developed by a Halifax tech company.
During the speech in the Balkan country, Marshall Goldsmith, the author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and other books whose sales have totaled millions of copies, will officially launch sageCrowd, which the Halifax company of the same name has been working on for more than a year.
SageCrowd is an online learning network that will deepen the relationship between some of the world’s leading personal improvement authors and their legions of followers. The company believes that personal improvement writers often fail to alter their readers’ lives because reading a book doesn’t change your personal habits and behavior. SageCrowd transforms each author’s work into a series of monthly online lessons so followers can develop habits that improve their performance, brings them success and make them happier.
“Marshall is giving a speech that was previously arranged and during it he will offer everyone who’s there free access to the system,” said Sean Sears, the chairman of sageCrowd, in an interview last week.
The company has had two tests of its system already and has used the feedback to improve the user interface. Sears said it also has validated the company’s concept.
SageCrowd is starting off with only one channel dealing with Goldsmith’s works and will nail down that channel before including other authors.
“This launch is really about getting us ready for a much larger launch in January,” said Sears, adding that even then it will only feature no more than four authors. The company monitors about 100 authors in several genres and wants to ensure that only the bestselling authors in the world are featured on its site, he said.
The company has signed up Justin Gittelman, author of Whole Mind Thinking, and is in discussions with other leading authors.
Sears has been involved in tech development in the region for years, having built and sold three previous startups. In 2000, he was one of the founders of Abridean, Inc., which was one of the first companies anywhere in cloud computing. The founders sold the company for $25 million to a British concern in 2005, and were able to buy it back a few years later. They formed Ogden Pond Technology Group to serve as the holding company for Abridean, and then incubated sageCrowd within Ogden Pond.
Sears has said sageCrowd will focus at first on the professional development market, and is interested in expanding into two other market segments, health (including the huge diet market) and enlightenment.
The company has not yet raised outside financing, but intends to begin the fundraising process in the fourth quarter of 2013.