Startup Cue aims to queue up your digital life

Jun 22, 2012 By Jon Swartz

Cue wants to lessen data overload. The tech startup is offering a service that organizes and creates a visual daily snapshot of your online accounts - email, calendar, contacts, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, instant messages and more. The process is complex, but the task is simple: bring order to social-media clutter for consumers and businesses.

A free app launched on Tuesday. A Web application will be available this week.

Maximizing time has become a preoccupation among increasingly harried Americans. A of "make the most of your day" yields thousands of results, ranging from self-help books to productivity tips.

"We were not built to handle what is thrown at us," said Daniel Gross, Cue's 20-year-old CEO. "Ultimately, this is a real problem that is getting worse with connected devices and more apps."

"It is a huge problem but a huge opportunity," chief technology officer Robby Walker said, noting that consumers, on average, absorb 63,000 words a day in content - the equivalent of a short book. Walker knows a thing or two about startups: He sold his previous one, presentations tool Zenter, to in 2007.

The Cue app - its name is a nod to Q, the gadgets genius in James Bond movies, and a play on the phrase "cued up" - could have huge implications for personal productivity, said Brian Blau, consumer analyst for Gartner.

"They're tackling a real issue: ," Blau said. "Cue does that for the basics: email, calendar and social networks. But it has limited features."

A visual timetable of the user's day depicts various meetings with detailed data on the people they met with, in the form of their profile photo, tweet, email and phone number.

Contact information, such as phone numbers and job titles, are automatically updated within the system. A search function makes it easy to find specific contact info.

If Cue sounds vaguely familiar, it's because the company started as search engine Greplin in February 2011. Thursday's launch qualifies as a company pivot to address the proliferation of social-media use on smartphones.

The 14-person company has raised $4.8 million in funding from a Sequoia Capital round that includes outgoing Facebook Bret Taylor and Gmail creator Paul Buchheit.

"People expect more from themselves and their peers because of tech. They want to be Super Mom, Super Engineer," Gross said. "This tool gives back time in your lives."

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