The time has come. Today we begin to open the kimono on Highrise (formerly known as Sunrise).

The name is Highrise
The first order of business is the name. We were advised against using Sunrise because of potential trademark conflicts. Highrise was actually the name we came up with before Sunrise so we’re going back to the original. Now on to more exciting things…

The schedule
Over the next few weeks we’ll be revealing screenshots, descriptions, concepts, stories, videos, design decisions, and more. Then we’ll launch. We’ve been using Highrise internally for the past couple of months. We’re very happy with it and excited to let you use it too.

So what is Highrise?
Highrise is a shared contact manager that helps you keep track of who you talk to, what was said, and what to do next. Like Basecamp helps you collaborate on projects, Highrise helps you collaborate on people. You can use it alone or with your co-workers. You can think of it as a company-wide, web-based, shared address book with a few twists.

Why did we build it?
We talk with a lot of people. Vendors, lawyers, accountants, journalists, customers, etc. Keeping track of who said what, when they said it, and what needs to be done next is complicated. A jumble of notes on paper, in email drafts folders, and post-it notes is a surefire way to miss this and forget that. Further, we wanted to build a shared tool so I could read up on conversations David had with John Doe before I called John Doe. Knowing the history of a company’s past interaction with people is a great way to save time and make future conversations more valuable.

Highrise was built to satisfy common scenarios like:

  • See all follow-ups scheduled for this week
  • Review Susan’s notes before calling her contact at the printer
  • Set a reminder to write Steve a thank-you note next Friday
  • Review all conversations I’ve had with Chris from Apple
  • Organize interview responses for potential candidates online
  • See a list of all the designers your company has hired in the past
  • Enter notes from a call with a potential client
  • See all the people your company knows at The New York Times
  • Schedule a follow-up sales call with Jim in 3 months
  • Review all the people tagged “Leads 2006”

Highrise helps you keep track of people and related actions. Almost everything we do in business revolves around people. At the other end of every phone call or email or letter is a person. Highrise helps you keep track of these people, these conversations, these interactions, and what needs to be done next.

Stay tuned for the next preview of Highrise. If you want to be notified when we launch, please enter your email address on the Highrise mailing list signup form.