CEO, Software Engineer, Two Decades discussed on Beyond the To Do List


Yeah hello and welcome back to another episode of beyond the to do list and is now the CEO of woven which is reimagining the way people used their calendar so they can spend time on what matters most to them in this conversation we're going to talk about what is broken with the calendar what he's trying to do to fix the calendar and it's a lot more complex problem than you would think not only that but we'll touch on how one of the other big problem APPs of productivity email in its various forms connect with the calendar as well as when maybe it should or shouldn't and just overall into y calendars t NBA killer of productivity and what to do about it and personally I've actually taken a look at woven and adopted it and I think it might be something worth looking at for you as well Oh but you'll hear more about it in this conversation with Tim Campos Sir well this week it is my privilege to welcome to the show Tim Campos Tim welcome to show glad to be here thanks for having me we've got a lot to talk about we can talk about time we can talk about calendars and email all the above I mean ultimately what we'd be talking about really is where you lean on the software and AI and it side of things when it comes to this thing that we call communication and the barriers that are ever present in productivity to the the flow of information Oh wow so just to outline like Ya that's almost like a meeting of life type it is yeah yeah if you didn't know but I I would love for you to maybe set the context here real quick for you know some of your experience where you've dealt with that exact well life outline that I just gave you sure sure well so productivity in many respects I actually didn't realize this until after the fact productivity has been a huge part of my life from the beginning of my professional career I I started off as an intern is company called sybase and I was doing a job there that to me was kind of boring but it paid and so I spent all the the time that I had automating my job and I was so successful at this I was able to quintuple the throughput uh of what I was doing without an actually reduce the amount of time during the day that it took me to do that it was our job I got it down to two and I was able to do five times as much work and my compliments here earn me a fulltime role at sybase it had throughout college but it really got me on this whole thing of so how do you take the work out of work how do you get to be more productive and that got me into enterprise software Is it like to get paid for the things that I do interprises WanNa pay people to be productive that got me to be a CIO later my career I company called Kaley tinker in it shaw more well known company called facebook and it also helped me motivate me to start the company that I'm the CEO of now called Boven which is burglaries offer companies I'm really really passionate about this space and finding ways to help you get more done with less effort with woven being calendar company or the main product being in the calendar space I'm curious because I know that point in the past and maybe not now maybe woven has changed this but I know at some point in the past you hated calendars can lane what you mean by that is still aide say they are bane of my and you know the first part is you know I aside got busier in my career might calendar started to become more just might to do listrik if it wasn't on my calendar I didn't do it and if it was I did and I hadn't had men at Kelly Tinker who she ran an experiment to see how far she could push this so while I was on a trip to India she put in a my calendar to go get her a small gift in in the late afternoon of one of the days that I was there and LO and behold that's exactly what I did and so you know she pointed out to be after I think that if not to jump off a bridge you probably would do it and I responded by saying yes there was enough travel time to get to the bridge I would so the calendar has very much become on occasion of my life because I'm so busy I can two places at once and I need to have a good system to help keep track of it that's not where the the eight relationship comes with hate relationship comes from one it's so burdensome to manage its into the whole process of creating calendar abandoned editing the event and sending the event to other people it's cumbersome it's not like other systems where you know for me to send a text message somebody I don't even have to touch the phone I can say hey series and a text message to Shannon then it will do the things that could be careful you're series you know I was GonNa say fold but super easy to do that kind of communications calendars are not that way I can ask Siri to try to create a counter event she'll do all wrong about the second thing and this is particularly true in corporate environments they break and they break in really uncomfortable ways where calendar events get opt or you'd have double bookings on People's calendars or you have conference rooms that get reallocated somebody else nobody tells you about it and so these circumstances can be quite embarrassing where you don't show up to a meeting that you were really important to or somebody shows up at your office you weren't expecting for them or you don't have the enjoyed for a particular event and so the when they don't work properly it can be such a drain on our productivity that is amazing to me we currently classified calendering as productivity software it's the anti productivity software this thing takes time and it takes the busier you are the more likely it is that it takes so much time you have to hire a full time professional to manage it for you so I definitely have disdain for this system I wanna see it done differently but I also have loved for I have I've loved for the potential of it is you know it's kind of like you know you're you know the the your black sheep child you have home you want to see them succeed in and you know that they have potential but the driving you crazy that the con constantly getting in troubling Google the calendar has so much potential because it's so central to our lives at least for those of us that are at least moderately busy I mean even my wife I like her whole life is lived out of her her calendar for all the things that she has to do with my kids and you know for her personal life and professional life so it's this thing that is really important to us if we had it better connected to the things that we're spending our time on the calendar has this potential to really help us spend time on what's matic what matters most as an estimation of woolen that is exactly what we're trying to do is to help you re Agean rethink the calendar to help us spend time what matters most and that starts with spending less time on the administration of the Council's counter smart enough to do that stuff for you but it doesn't stop there it's how do we make sure that when you go into a meeting you're sufficiently prepared how to make sure that for all the events so you have all the follow up actions are captured and executed on in in distributed to whomever responsible for them How do we make sure that that you know for those events when you're meeting with somebody new that you I have the appropriate breezing materials to help you understand of it is that you're meeting what are some of the things about your past that might be relevant to them and vice versa all these things are things that account has the potential it doesn't currently do it today but as a potential to do and that's what woven who's trying to bring market is account that can do all those things well I can see and hear from your relating your hatred for the calendar as to where that is stemming from its does often what's happening is the flow of communication or or better yet let me just put it as information the Oh of information it's happening but it's clogged it's Ma- it's lacking context it's lacking pre and post pre shen and follow through and so obviously it's in a sense somewhat broken a lot of similar ways that the thing that's often connected to count I e mail also is that you just highlighted to really critical issues the first is information Asian flow and having been a chief information officers is something I have definitely made a key part of my career for the last almost two decades kids and the there is significant What I call it it's a little technical information when it comes to calendering let's take a simple thing I wanna meet with you you WanNa meet with me we don't know when each other can meet that's the information gap I don't have is to your calendar and you don't have access to mine so what do we do we resort to an incredibly manual process I will look at my calendar by will find spots that record when i WanNa meet with you I'll write them down I'll send them to you in an email or text message or maybe if we're doing this over the phone verbally share that with you it's incredibly inefficient yeah this is two thousand in nineteen we should be able to let machines do some of this stuff for us so that's the first major gap of counters they are fully subject to this information asymmetry the Sechin is context they lack context a meeting or not vented his on your your calendar has four bits of information it has a title has maybe participant sometimes he put events on your calendar that don't have people in them it has time and as a description and that's it so it's very hard to go to your calendar and say hey one of the most mean NFL things I'm spending my time on it has no idea or how much time did I spend with customers might be able to help somebody else answer that him but it can't do it on on its own there's query mechanism in Microsoft outlook or in Google calendar to answer that question and there's so many things is like that which makes it says a counter doesn't have the context and without that you can't build the basis for automation might calendar doesn't I know that my date night with my wife which looks exactly like a dinner event with a customer a two very different events both of them have a a cost to move but a different kind of cost and so if you could teach the counter these things it could be a lot more effective in helping you manage the trade-offs of reschedule doing your date night with your wife versus rescheduling a dare meeting with a with a client very different types of events or let's take another example an interview is a very different kind of meeting then a one on one with an employee again they look the same on the calendar they are practically identical in terms of participant count the information or lack of in the description field the amount the time that they take on the calendar so they look the same but you're the way that you were going to manage to prepare for those is very very different you know for the interview you need to make sure the we know what questions you're asking this candidate that you're aware of who else is candidate has met list not just that day but maybe before being scheduled with you you know for the one on one you might have a running set of agenda items things that you're discussing with your employees about projects that they're working on career development objectives these are two very different kinds of meetings and because the counter can't tell the difference between the two of them can help us manage them in the way that they need to be managed so context and information asymmetry are two of the big problems with calendars and how their bill today one of the other things that it doesn't do is necessarily differentiate between what you're using your time personally for when it comes to whatever role you're in say managerial or Admin time versus say creator tied Toyota. This is a this is a huge one there's a great blog post on maker time versus manager time and this is something that I've definitely taken to heart I was doing a implicitly and how I manage my time and I did realized reading this blog post the brilliance of being explicit about it but for me my my maker time this time where I'm doing something creative where I need loss of uninterrupted times like I'm writing a presentation or if a you know the software engineer on coding or.

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