Chicago TechWeek: ACT Co-Founder Mike Muhney Is Back, And This Time It’s Mobile: VIPorbit

Many people in today’s business world especially the cusp of Gen X and Gen Y take for granted the contribution that Mike Muhney made to the way we get things done. Muhney is the co-founder and co-creator of ACT.

ACT was one of the first complete CRM (Contact Relationship Management) software companies in the world. Although it was no joke, the first version of ACT debuted on April Fool’s Day 1987. Yes over 25 years ago.

At that time Muhney didn’t know that they would create an entire industry, books would be written about managing relationships and business as we know it would be changed forever. Relationship management makes your contacts have a more meaningful impact on everything including the bottom line.

Through different spots in my radio career and a short lived stint as a record rep (because the company was sold to Disney) I used ACT and would do things like make notes that a gatekeeper (receptionist) had three young sons who played T-Ball or that Mr. so and so hated golf and hated the Alabama Crimson Tide even more.

Adding this kind of information to your contacts, along with a map of which contacts know who and a record, or event log of every single contact ever made with that person, keep you not only up to date with what’s going on but gives you a competitive edge when it comes to making real contact with people and making people at ease in business dealings.

What Muhney has done, is come out of retirement to take ideas that were the foundation of CRM and apply them to a mobile setting. Muhney is a relationship zen and probably doesn’t ever mutter a bad word about anybody but as he points out there are hundreds of millions of iOS users out there and roughly 15 million using what’s available on the market from companies like Salesforce and even ACT (which is now owned by Symantec).  This provides a world of opportunity for the Dallas based VIPOrbit.

What’s more fascinating to me was the time spent with Muhney and the fact that Im going to spend even more time with him because ACT taught my life business lessons that have given me a competitive edge. People have asked how I did this, or how I scored this meeting. In fact I spent an hour with a good friend at a Memphis startup giving him ideas on how to get his emails read. It’s little tricks you teach yourself using ACT that make that so much easier.  We’ll get to a whole blog post about that, but 25 years later with Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and more, it’s so much easier to find and add key elements to someone’s VIPorbit record that could make that difference.

So check out the interview below and download VIPOrbit to your iPhone or iPad today. My only qualm at the moment is that device to device syncing is still about a month away, which really means I’m going to have to wait to harness all that power.

Here’s the video:


Check out more about VIPOrbit here at their website

Here’s their page in the iTunes App Store

Here’s more of our coverage from TechWeek 2012

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more stories from “everywhere else”


You Might Also Like