in Technology, tools

Admittedly I am a productivity tool nerd. Witness the number of solutions I've downloaded and tried.

I created the "Nike Run for productivity"

Earlier in my career, I took on to found a productivity-focused startup. The adventure started with me creating the: "Nike Run for productivity". This was in the heyday of gamification. I was inspired and felt a personal desire to build a product that I would personally use.

In my move to monetization and "building a startup" the adventure ended on our 3rd pivot to build a ticket capturing mobile application for the Managed IT Services Market. Smaller MSP's (90% of the market) lose significant revenue (~20%) due to lack of capturing tickets performed when on site. What happens is the IT Technician will be on site to fix a known issue, one reported to their ticketing system (Connectwise, etc). When done, they make their way towards the exit but are interrupted by customers asking them to

"please also fix xyz (ex. the printer), it's been broken for a while but I've not issued a ticket. It will only take you 10 minutes".

The service technician will jot down these tickets on stickies and paper….guess what happens when he opens his laptop in the evening, or the morning after, trying to update the tickets solved and input the additional tickets he served??! Exactly: He has forgotten what customer this was for, how long it took, etc. The above problem was what my startup ultimately settled on solving. We aborted the mission before getting enough customers onboard due to cash-flow challenges.

The bigger challenge we found, was Connectwise's poor partner relations. They felt threatened by our application as we would be the front-end ( a MUCH better experience) than the Connectwise UI. We would be able to own much of the relevant data. We would own the customer experience. For this reason, although we were a "Connectwise Partner", we were blocked from their API and unable to integrate!

Every time I see a startup building on top of an existing platform I speculate as to this particular risk. I personally would never play this strategy again. You are simply too dependent on them. In essence, you are doing all the hard work for them by pursuing a feature gap in their offering. Once you prove the market they can copy you and make you irrelevant.


Can someone please build…

I still have not found a to-do application that has the basic core features that I feel I need. I'd love it if someone would bring to market an application with the following features:

  • Ability to schedule estimated time for tasks
  • Integration with the calendar – both ways sync
  • Auto-move of tasks if they are not done (a la Todoist)
  • A GREAT UI and UX
  • Mobile first (iOS) but with a web version
  • Ability to email tasks
  • Ability to send attachments to the task
  • #Tagging ability. This is how I want to sort.

Note: How to monetize, I'm unsure of. This is likely a hobby project. 

Today I'm using Evernote and simply keep a note on my todo's. I bold the ones that are urgent. I (sometimes) use a Pomodoro timer for focus but wish it was integrated. I will use Trello for bigger projects.

If anyone knows of a solution that meets the above criteria I'd love to know.