Tim Meaney

‘Kindling3: a Faster Vehicle’

You’re in a car race, screaming down the track at 200 mph. The pack is in your rearview, gaining ground, and one guy is ahead. You can try to protect your position by redlining to the finish, but what if this race is set to run for years? Pull into the pits, man. You need a faster car.

Late last year, Kindling did just that. Our needs had outgrown our architecture. New features were being relegated to random buttons in the UI, and the navigation was beginning to look like a wedding cake. Importantly, we couldn’t enhance the product quickly enough to keep up with customer and partner demand.

The choice was clear: continue to run full speed—but not fast enough—or rebuild. We chose to prepare ourselves for the long-term and embarked on a six-month effort to reimagine our flagship innovation product. Because there’s a lot more than one lap left in this race.

Under the Hood

First and foremost, Kindling3 is a lot of “re”s—a redesign, reimagining, rebuild and rearchitecture. It’s engineered using more modern technologies, for rapid iteration by a large team, with knowledge gained from the previous versions of Kindling, and from our partners and customers. Kindling has always been well regarded for its design, so it was important to stay true to this legacy.

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Innovation isn’t 9 to 5

Kindling3 embraces the fact that innovation is not a 9 to 5 endeavor. Ideas strike at any time: at your daughter’s soccer game, early in the morning or while leaving a customer visit. Add that to the fact that people are increasingly taking their work everywhere with them, with the phone in their pocket and on the tablet next to the couch. That’s why we’ve made Kindling3 a fully responsive web application (if you’re keeping score, that’s another “re”). Kindling3 understands the context in which it’s running and presents a tailored experience for each device, from phone to tablet to desktop.

Idea view on the iPad

Unlocking Constraints

Kindling3 represents a lifting of constraints. From a configurable evaluation workflow allowing for custom idea states, a flexible 3-tiered hierarchy for context and the ability to set a custom style, each account can configure the product to match its organizational needs. Current customers will also be happy to learn that Campaigns can live anywhere in the hierarchy—including at the top-level.

A top-level Campaign

Reporting Drives Decision-Making

We've learned that when people evaluate a prospective innovation platform, reporting is never far down the list of selection criteria. Kindling3 boasts a powerful and extensible reporting subsystem, ships with strong baseline of out-of-the-box reports and its reporting architecture allows us to add new reports quickly. Reports can be viewed in the app, downloaded to CSV and easily shared among users.

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Staying Current

The communications landscape changes fast, but email remains king. Kindling3 sports a new approach to email notifications, which gives users flexibility in configuring notifications to their areas of interest. We’ve also completely redesigned digest emails to be more engaging, while keeping the content front and center.

Redesigned email digests

People are Busy

One of Kindling’s killer features has been its recommendation engine. In Kindling3, we’ve redesigned and simplified it. Why? Look around. Everyone is busy. It doesn’t matter if you work for a publisher, investment bank, toy company or the federal government. You likely are working 60 hours, with tons of emails to get through. Kindling pays careful attention to each user’s actions, to draw a profile of their interests in order to deliver signal in a world of noise.

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Let’s Go

Kindling3 is here to rally your organization’s conversations around actual ideas—improving function, delivering services, creating new products, becoming more efficient. These conversations run across all of the personal screens of your participants, on their work computers and in their email. Innovation and progress come from a commitment to sharing ideas—and listening. Kindling3 is a better vehicle for that exchange, one we’re very proud of, and can’t wait to show you.