ProtoShare and CIO Happy Hour

As part of a comprehensive look at prototyping solutions, trends, and what the future holds, three of us from ProtoShare were recently interviewed. Check it out. And if you really have a keen interest in all of it, there’s even an un-edited 32 minute audio interview available, for your listening pleasure. We were interviewed by two smart, well-prepared, and knowledgeable people, Sasha Kovaliov and Ludmila Kurbatskaya. They had just started a new online project called “CIO Happy Hour.” As they were preparing to post the interview, we found ourselves wanting to know more about them, and what they hope to accomplish with their new venture. We switched roles.

Please share a little bit of history about CIO Happy Hour?

The CIO Happy Hour project appeared when we were thinking about better ways to engage our customers, who are mostly IT top managers and business owners. From our own (corporate) experience one of the main issues in discussing technologies and business is the lack of understanding: businessmen and tech people speak different languages, therefore business needs decent “translation” into language of technologies, and vice versa. New technology opportunities require both business strategies and planning Our goal is to make these two worlds closer, give information about the tools, talk about IT business, listen to the questions and issues of the readers and provide exclusive answers from real people.

Where are you located?

Our office is located in the development center of Itransition in Minsk, Belarus. We’re also coordinating sales and marketing activities in other markets (Ludmila is responsible for the Dutch region, and I am for the UK) very often we travel there as well.

What made you think of featuring the wireframing and prototyping industry?

We were rambling through emerging trends, and I came across the poll “Best RIA apps of 2009.” I noticed the majority of the apps that were nominated were in the wireframing/prototyping space. After a brief analysis, it was clear, that the wireframing topic is what we need. On one hand, it’s a great opportunity for development and collaboration optimization. On the other, there are a lot of new players in this market and it’s not easy to be aware of the latest changes.
Initially we planned four interviews, but after our first discussion we got quite a lot of attention from other companies, so we extended the list a bit and changed the format to a more prolonged marathon. We also noticed that the community of UX designers and IAs is very strong; we’ve received great feedback on Twitter and Friendfeed that helped us a great deal.

Any additional tidbits or information you would like to share with us is most welcome.

We are still experimenting a bit with the format. For the next round, we will conduct a poll that will let you decided on the topic. We want to know to who our readers want to talk, and what’s on their mind. We are flexible and open to new ideas and will continue focusing on business and IT cooperation, unique professional content, and comprehensive burning answers.

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