The first time in the history of men children grow up with the knowledge that sharing is more instead of less. One of the unique characteristics of a new generation known as the “digital natives”. But not only this young generation has been influenced. In the past decade western culture changed from having a mono-chronic (one task at a time, structured) to a poly-chronic (multi- tasking, unstructured) perception of time. A shift that leads to more flexible and dynamic information needs. At the same time we feel sometimes overwhelmed in our exponential growing information society.
A lot of people perceive this as a problem. We don’t. Or as one of the worlds leading experts in the field of internet technology, Clay Shirky, vividly stated:
Information overload is not the problem. ~ It’s filter failure
Filter. Failure. An insight that changed our world. For example: we all enjoy a dynamic life in an ever changing world, yet we are still organizing our days by moving around static blocks on static grids. Current legacy calendars perceive and represent daily life as a sequence of fixed events. One. Step. At. A. Time.
Combine this with the fact that modern day technology is evolving in such a rapid paste that technologies that seem unreachable a couple of years ago are now a common good. Think about tex-to-speech technologies, the mobile web & multi-touch screens. Integrated devices with a wide range of sensors such as GPS, cameras & gyroscopes which are in continuous connection to the rest of the world. This brought “passive intelligence” to almost every consumer in the western world.
A huge gap between the opportunities of today and tomorrow and the way of how we actually curate our most precious & valuable resource: time.
In 2011 we took to the challenge not only to try to keep up, but to actually take the leap –literally into the future– and the lead in chancing the way we plan our daily lives by launching the internet startup Calendar42.
Calendar42 will be the calendar for the current and for the new generation, aiming to support the planning of our chaotic daily life. Progressing the calendar to become the perfect tool to for example choose between the countless social opportunities coming from hundreds of virtual connections, cope with the collaborative challenges in distributed teams, find balance between work and private life or offer the just-in-time travel needs in our unpredictable schedules.
What the technology of Calendar42 in essence enables can be summarized into two main concepts. Structuring data and executing actions.
It all starts with the information request of an end user. Or even better: the declaration of intent. For example: “I want to be warned when I need to wake up, so I arrive on time at the airport for my flight to San Francisco next week.” Or “What is a good place to hang out for some coffee after work with my friends?” and “Should I take public transport or my car to arrive on time for that meeting?”.
These questions, stated in human lexicon, represent the way we think. Luckily we all have been trained as Google Search Ninjas, so we know how to structure & divide these questions in order to get a generic, but factual answer from the internet. The “Achilles heel” of this whole concept is a combination of factors. First of all human lexicon can still not be interpret very well, secondly context of these questions is lacking and thirdly – even when one or both of the previous factors are in place – you will only get an answer which is valid for the specific moment in time the questions has been asked. And as stated before: we all enjoy a dynamic life in an ever changing world.
This is where the new technologies, and specifically Calendar42 will makes all the difference. A system that identifies the declaration of intent. Structures the information request based on a wide range of real-time data sources and actually executes based on the result. By for example warning you when your flight is delayed, activating the thermostat in your home just before the first family member arrives and recommending the best time & place to meet with your friends. Since a calendar contains our historic, actual and planned data it enables to not only once, but continuously connect you with the information, data or organization of your need.
All with a clear scope on our company values and the strong belief in open and transparency. Open brings innovation. Transparency brings a priceless good: control. Control over our own life, control over our own data, control over our own privacy.
The connection between end-users and organizations in time and place enables the measurement of the consequences in advance. It allows simulation of the future and thereby modifies the time-frames which are no longer relegated to repetitions of the past with little variation. The decision-making process in personal life and in business has always been based on past experiences, but with technologies like Calendar42 this will change forever.
Shaping the future starts with knowing the future.