Creative Professionals Find a Cool Tool

Creative professionals who routinely swap large files are looking for ways to securely and efficiently send them -- without bumping into size limits instituted by many e-mail programs.

Jeremias Stelter, a senior vice president at small firm Alden Staffing, stumbled onto a tool made by a company called MuseWorx while doing a Google search for file sharing. At Alden, based in White Plains, N.Y., Stelter is in charge of helping businesses find staff on a project or full-time basis, with a special focus on the creative fields of graphic and web design.

He says MuseWorx is a tool worth passing along to other small firms. It's an operating system that allows creative types to share large, graphic files without the hassle and expense of storing them on their own servers. It helps users swap files via "cloud computing," a concept I'll address in an upcoming post.

Stelter said prior to finding the tool, his group would collect candidates' portfolios -- and surprisingly he'd find that about 50 percent of the designers he was working with didn't have a Web site. That meant he'd have to collect their jpg and pdf files, import them to PhotoShop, lower the resolution and repackage the samples. "We'd spend upward of 30 minutes on one sample," Stelter said, time better spent doing other work.

I spoke with MuseWorx co-founder David Fritsche, who is a former NASA programmer and a serial entrepreneur, but may be best known for running large computer firm Dynamic Systems through much of the 1980s.

Fritsche has done a lot of technology and marketing consulting for Fortune 500 firms and discovered that the process of moving large files from point A to B was plagued by big and expensive problems. "Sending a 10 or 100 megabyte file is a hassle that costs time and energy," especially when those files are traveling around the world, he said.

That gave him the idea to start MuseWorx about two and half years ago with CEO Robert Wilson.

"On the business side, with the larger firms, as we started using technology with marketing services, as they began to grow, so did the tech systems and that's what germinated the idea for MuseWorx," said Fritsche, who wanted to help small firms level the playing field with large ones when it came to file sharing.

"Larger companies are savvy about acquiring and retaining customers but that's what every business needs even if it's a sole proprietor," he said. "Marketing is about finding the right message with the right person at the right time. If you've got to convince someone that you need something, you've taken a detour."

Museworx manages about 400 file types, such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Illustrator, and allows the recipient to view the file even if he doesn't have access to those programs.

The monthly subscription fees range from $49 to $5,000, but most firms pay about $100 to $200, according to Fritsche. A MuseWorx mobile version allows users to view large files via an Apple iPhone or similar device -- a handy feature for traveling photographers and other globe trotting sole proprietors.

By Sharon McLoone |  December 11, 2008; 8:52 AM ET Tools and Tips
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