Stress comes from juggling too many plates. Fear comes from the unknown. Freedom comes from knowledge and autonomy. This article covers the beginnings of ImpTime.
Richard Hoberman is a friend who I’ve known since before ImplicitDesign existed. We worked together as developers while still employable and had subsequently worked on a few projects as a collaboration between his company, Passacaglia, and ImplicitDesign. It worked well, we enjoy each other’s company, and we both realised we wanted to do more together. While we love creating bespoke software for all the challenges and novelty it brings, a product would give us something to point at that we had created and owned outright, and would give us an opportunity to be thought leaders in a topic that we cared about. Effectively we wanted to be our own clients on a project.
So in 2016 we sat down to decide what it is we wanted to create that would both scratch our itch and have some impact on the world. We quickly settled on some simple (!) features:
- the product would be people oriented
- it would enable users to grow and become better people, whatever that meant
- it would reduce stress
- and it would stay out of the way
It was a short step from there to realising we needed to build on ImpTime. At that time it was still an internal tool that encapsulated lots of knowledge but wasn’t consumer facing. Plus there were lots more ideas we hadn’t had the time to incorporate.
Having made this decision, the rest was a no-brainer. Passacaglia are in part a product company, so they have insight into the UX and marketing aspects of software development, and of course we all shared development experience and knowledge running many projects. So together we knew we could make this work.
Our biggest hurdle was simply knowing that the management software space is crowded, and crowded with some big names too. This had been discouraging in the past, because although we knew we had a strong product, how would anyone find it and how could we tick all the feature checkboxes of the big boys. But with our new refined vision, it became much more obvious what our unique selling point was; we weren’t creating business software just to run a company, we were creating a product to facilitate living, and along for the ride were all the tools learnt from managing projects.
So for example, our marketing showed that most users will find ImpTime if their company uses it. But each user’s account remains their personal space where they can always create personal projects which are shared separately. That allows settings where users can define the balance they want between private projects and work projects, and furthermore can be nudged towards behaviour they want in a way they want to.
These and other subtle but significant changes push ImpTime into a new sphere, namely Attention Management. It’s about letting the person exist as a human being with a subjective experience of the world, rather than as a pawn in a puzzle. This is a new direction for software in general and we think there is a lot of space both for new products and for actual life changing results.
So keep watching this space, we’re making another round of graphical improvements and also finalising the UX on a few tricky components, (the complexity of multi-user scheduling is tricky to convey), but we’re already taking on Beta users and so far the feedback and reaction is great.
If you’re interested in being involved, get in touch!