A few years ago I founded TimeBridge while an entrepreneur in residence at Mayfield, a venture capital firm, determined to help make the lives of busy professionals better by streamlining their scheduling process. At that time, the world was almost completely on Microsoft Outlook. Google Calendar hadn’t been launched. Macs still ran on PowerPC processors– no Windows software ran on them. There were no iPhones nor Androids. Seems like decades ago right?
Well, the landscape changed a lot since then and we changed with it. We chucked our investment in the product we launched at Web 2.0— a thick Outlook client. We redesigned it to rely less on Outlook (which is tricky) and capitalize on an increasingly complex calendaring environment and a more web oriented world. So we hunkered down and built a new version of our application that tapped into Google Calendar and the increasing use of Macs in the workplace. That confluence was a natural extension of our service— and one that held great promise for growth. We built a product, technology and a business that I’m very proud of, but as with many things in life we found need to evolve further. Enter MerchantCircle.
Ben Smith, founder and CEO of MerchantCircle, and I have been friends for many years and I’ve long admired the incredible network he has built for small business owners and the tools that have helped enable those merchants to spread their message. One of the key components that MerchantCircle had not made available to its network yet was scheduling. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of running any business, organizing your customer’s appointments or even better, providing your customers an online mechanism for them to schedule themselves. And that’s the vision for our unification, to build that interface that both merchant and consumer can use to book their hair appointments, tire service or house cleanings, all through your MerchantCircle listing.
We have a new opportunity to take what we’ve built as a calendar assistance to professionals, to a broader audience and extend our platform in brand new ways. The MerchantCircle team has taken on a bold vision to power local merchants’ business— acquiring TimeBridge is part of that. I’m excited to be part of the MerchantCircle team and know that together my vision for TimeBridge will now come to fruition but with an exciting added twist helping to power an even greater community.
To that end, I have decided to stay aboard with MerchantCircle assuming the role of Chief Technology Officer. This will allow me to keep TimeBridge running smoothly for the 600,000 plus existing users as well as engineer the integration with MerchantCircle.
With that we know you all have had a few questions. We’re posting answers here and will update as needed.
What is going to happen to my TimeBridge service?
Your TimeBridge service will stay the same. You can keep using it just as you do today. If we do make any changes, we will definitely keep you informed.
What does MerchantCircle do?
MerchantCircle is largest online network of local business owners. They have brought over 1.3 million businesses online to help them build better relationships with their customers. We think it’s really cool that they are a champion for the little guy competing against the large, big-box stores. They have been very successful at building a large community and revenue base. We’re excited to help keep that momentum going.
Why did MerchantCirlce buy TimeBridge?
MerchantCircle is looking to add new services for their customers. We’ll be building something brand new using our technology and team. We have become experts on how to bring people together and we’ll be applying that to help consumers find time with local merchants.
You can check back here for updates or keep an eye on your email. We’ll send out news as it happens.9 Comments »