But how secure is the app Bret Taylor believes can beat Microsoft Office?
The inventor of Facebook’s ‘like’ button has introduced the feature on his new collaboration app as the line between social and work becomes increasingly blurred.
Bret Taylor left his post as CTO of the social network site in 2012 to set up Quip, and appears to have brought a few of his ideas with him.
The latest update to his latest venture includes the like button Taylor invented in 2007 at FriendFeed, something he later oversaw at Facebook when it bought the startup six months later.
And he hopes the new feature, along with many others, will see CIOs and businesses favour Quip over more traditional business software.
He told CBR: "The ‘like’ feature creates a lot of similar positive social dynamics that you’re familiar with in things like Facebook, but within a collaboration tool.
"Just like on Facebook that really awesome feeling you get when everyone likes a photo you share, it creates this really nice team camaraderie.
"A lot of enterprise software we saw on the market was very bad. We want the products you use to get work done to be as fun to use as the products you use outside of work: in the context of a team using this, the like button really captures a lot of that."
While the 15-strong Quip team looked at symbols from smiley faces to thumbs-ups to represent the like, they dismissed them as "too cutesy", and settled on a star instead.
But Taylor insisted the social element missing from Microsoft products has a place in the workplace, pointing to the adoption of iPhones and Androids over BlackBerrys in the ongoing consumerisation of IT.
"No matter how corporate your company is you tend to have this personal relationship with the people you work with everyday," he said.
Picture: The Quip app in action, courtesy of Quip
Quip’s app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play, and is designed for tablet and mobile phone use – Taylor told CBR that, due to Quip sending push notifications, most use comes from mobile.
Every enterprise sale the team has made has come initially from a user downloading it for free and bringing it to his or her business, Taylor added, though Quip is not revealing user figures yet.
Unsurprisingly, Faceboook’s former tech guru believes social will beat software like Office in the end, which is optimised for printing.
"Over the long term the products like Quip that rethink what these products should do in these new environments will end up winning," Taylor said.
Instead of the "too formal" ‘track changes’ option offered on Office, Quip attempts to be more intuitive and easy to use for collaboration, by including in-line message threads and a news feed of actions taken, which, of course, colleagues can ‘like’.
A comment in the document produces a message bubble in the margin, allowing people to track and contribute to reactions to the change without leaving the document.
A range of five themes and up to 10 design typefaces also lets users personalise their documents.
But Taylor was a little more vague when it came to how the software is secured, simply saying SMBs are more relaxed than enterprises – to whom they offer dedicated work accounts.
"We have a number of different options," he said. "Most small companies are happy if people co-mingle their personal documents with their work documents and most companies have a shared folder.
"We are trying to be extremely accommodating. We want our product to feel like consumer software but we also recognise our business model is selling it to companies."