5 friends from their previous workplace
Start in a small office in Yoyogi
Based on the concept of creating a new "must have" every day, we wanted to create something that would make future users wonder how they could ever have gotten by without this service. With this vision in our hearts, our company was founded in a small office by five friends from their previous workplace.
How the idea of TimeTree was born
For all plans, there is another person involved
Why are there only tools for individuals, when plans almost always involve another person? This question was the starting point for us to imagine our service based on the concept of "rethinking schedule management assuming that plans will be shared".
Share entire calendars
What method of sharing is the best? If there is a certain person you share lots of your time with, then sharing an entire calendar with that person seems easy and straightforward. When you are sharing anyway, then communicating would also be great. After daily discussion with the founding members, we have found the form of our service.
An unexpected helping hand
It's finally released! My wife's tweet became a great support
We finally released our service, but not a single news site reported about us. Just as we faced the terror of bitter reality and lost heart, president Fukagawa's wife posted this on Twitter. For some reason, this created a buzz and hype with more than 10,000 retweets! This was also picked up by the media and we became a conversation topic.
A management similar to a familiar restaurant
When talking about getting our service up to speed, we decided to use a management approach similar to that of a familiar restaurant. In a smartphone application, the faces of our users are difficult to see, and our faces are also difficult to see for the users. There would also be first-timers as well as frequent customers. We thought about what was important for us, and about doing management based on close communication.
The service makes little progress.
Valley of death
The initial hype on Twitter was over soon. The number of new users was dropping with every day. We added functions and improvements, responded to inquiries and squeezed out our wits to the maximum every day, but even then users did not come. Holding back our uneasiness, we repeated questionnaires and interviews of our heavy users and searched for a breakthrough.
Day after day with many numerous discussions
Taking walk after walk after walk
The management members at that time were 10 people. All our days in that small office were filled with brainstorming and discussions about how we could expand TimeTree. Fleeing the office that was right next to the Meiji Shrine and continuing the discussions while taking a walk among the large trees became a daily routine. Our members still often go for walks.
Use in families turns out to be a hit!
The end of "he said, she said"
Through repeated user interviews, we found out that satisfaction was especially high for use in families. We even received real-life feedback that "he said, she said" fights disappeared, and decided to target our service to families at first. By introducing useful tips and examples, user numbers also started increasing.
Building up an organization from zero
Our organization was also built up by discussing it with the members.
We started TimeTree with the concept of "rethinking schedule management", but then we even shaped the organization of our company through discussions with the members. You can come to work at whatever time you want. No restrictions for remote work. You can freely buy everything you need - office supplies, drinks, books. Discussions are done not in a boss and employee setting, but based on a flat relationship. Place importance on the decision criterium of "Why are we doing this?" We created many different arrangements.
Invitation to the office！
We focused our management on communication with our users, but then we had the idea to just invite some users to our office and asked in the application who would like to come. That was the beginning of the "office party" with management members and pizza.
Best end of year ever
Winning Apple's "BEST OF 2015" and reaching 1 million users！
At the end of 2015, TimeTree was selected by Apple as the "BEST OF 2015" application for the year! Cheers of joy were heard in the company, and everyone got very excited! After that, we reached our initial goal of 1 million users.
Move to Nishishinjuku
With even more users...
...our management members are increasing along with our user numbers, so we needed a larger office and moved to Nishishinjuku. Our requirement for the new address: "There has to be a nice walking course nearby." Our cosy office party was upgraded to a "TimeTree Day."
Broadcasting a CM throughout the country
A gain in self-confidence
Looking at the daily increasing download numbers and hearing from our users has given us confidence that sharing calendars can bring convenience to the daily life of even more people. In order to make TimeTree the new "must have" for Japanese people, we broadcast a TVCM in the whole country. Rather than trying to make people remember the name and functionalities of TimeTree, we made it our goal to get people to respond by showing scenes of how our users actually use TimeTree and the happiness this brings them.
A waypoint in 2018
We reached 10 million users!
4 years and a few months after launch, TimeTree has finally reached 10 million users. The next milestone are 100 million users!