No it’s not a game. Doors & Dots is a new mobile app released by Jersey City startup easi6 that aims to help people organize and collaborate on meetings. They focus on the most important details of what, with whom, where, and when.
A lot of meetings, especially impromptu ones, are often too small to bother with long drawn out notes, but too big for a quick mention in your calendar. Doors & Dots makes it incredibly easy to create meetings, share meeting-related content, and then archive that content for later use.
Doors and Dots believes that they are solving common problems with meetings, specifically near term meetings, by focusing in four areas; create, share, snap, and socialize.
While there are many apps out there that are designed to quickly help people organize social events, none have been targeted for people having actual meetings. Most people plan their meetings out in advance, but impromptu meetings occur all the time, especially when someone is traveling and trying to see as many clients, colleagues, or associates as possible.
Say you’re in New York City for a big convention, and you want to kill your downtime by meeting with potential developers. Using Doors & Dots you can quickly organize that meeting (and others just like it), you can keep notes and photos from that meeting, and now you can even use Doors & Dots’ newest feature and track meeting attendees as they are en route. When you’re in a new area and running late, the person you’re meeting with can track you and help you find the best route.
What is your startup?
Our startup is easi6, Inc., a mobile app development company. We make Doors & Dots, a mobile app for creating, sharing, and discovering near-term meetings and for quickly and easily sharing meeting details on the go. Doors & Dots is currently available for free download to iOS devices from the Apple App Store.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Kay Woo (@climbingK) – Founder & CEO Kay holds bachelor’s degrees from Seoul National University (SNU – Korea) and Binghamton University (SUNY) in electrical engineering, financial economics, and mathematics, as well as a master’s degree in financial mathematics from Columbia University. In addition to his academics, Kay also brings to easi6 his experience working with startups and private equity investors in green investments and green technologies/consulting.
Jaehwa Han (@drunkhacker) – Co-Founder & CTO Jaehwa is a co-founder of easi6, Inc., and serves as the lead engineer for Doors & Dots iOS, Android OS, and back-end system development. Jaehwa graduated from Seoul National University with B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science and engineering. From his multiple startup experiences, Jaehwa has gained substantial skills in the development of mobile services, ranging from front-end to back-end systems. Among Jaehwa’s previous mobile projects is the development of a student-facing mobile application for Seoul National University. Additionally, Jaehwa has recently completed an internship at IBM’s Austin Research Lab, participating in IBM’s ‘Mobile First’ project.
Jordan Jarecki (@salserokid) – Co-Founder & CGO Coming to easi6 with academic backgrounds in social and area studies, Jordan also brings his professional experience in direct sales with an energy supply company and business operations in Campus Activities at Binghamton University (SUNY). Having completed startup training with the NYS Small Business Administration, and having developed many student-group and NPO connections, Jordan leverages his training and contacts to add value to easi6.
Where are you based?
easi6 is headquartered in Jersey City, NJ, just above the local favorite Powerhouse Lounge.
What problem does your startup solve?
Our mission at easi6 is to solve common problems with uncommon technologies – uncommon in their application, that is. With Doors & Dots, we’re making coming together with friends, and sharing meeting information on the go, faster and easier. We’re doing this by applying the latest technologies in social networking, location-based services, social media, and user modeling.
While other apps have tried to tackle social planning, Doors & Dots focuses on creating meetings and sharing meeting-related content. Currently, the typical methods of coordinating an activity are to use basic texting or email or to make use of social messaging services, like GroupMe, WhatsApp, or KakaoTalk. These tools are effective for planning meetings but not so friendly for sharing multi-varied content on the go.
Doors & Dots organizes the most important details of a meeting (for what, with whom, where, and when) in a single mobile screen, complete with meeting photos, a comment thread, and an interactive meeting map. Users can share their real-time locations en route to a meeting, chat on the map, and socialize around locations in a virtual, geographic space. We’re also proud of the ability on Doors & Dots to invite friends via text message and/or email using the information logged in a given user’s mobile device contact list. This way, users’ friends can still be kept in the loop, even if those friends do not use Doors & Dots or have smartphones.
What is one challenge that you’ve overcome in the startup process?
One major challenge that the easi6 team had to overcome early on was the physical distance between the team members. When the easi6 team first came together, the two business co-founders were in Jersey City, NJ; our lead engineer and co-founder was in Austin, TX; and our four developers were in Seoul, South Korea. Just recently, we brought all but two developers to our headquarters in Jersey City.
For the past six to eight months, however, we’ve had to make it work through careful and consistent communication. In addition to Google’s collaborative tools, Skype & Github have been invaluable services. Of course, we’ve always had to contend with the 13/14-hour time difference between Jersey City and Seoul, depending on Daylight Savings. We understand why Marissa Mayer decided to end Yahoo’s work-from-home employment policies, despite the controversy that ensued.
What are some of the milestones your startup has achieved?
Beyond bringing together an academically diverse and experienced, Korean-American team (including highly connected and talented advisors), and in addition to pivoting from a business venture in a completely different industry, the biggest milestone that our startup has thus far achieved is the development, implementation, and release of Doors & Dots for iOS.
We’re extremely proud of this accomplishment. We’re a group of young, aspiring entrepreneurs and the fact that we could learn as much as we have, develop a concept from scratch, and bring a product to market all in less than a year is an experience that could not be easily replicated in many other industries.
What are your next milestones?
Looking forward to the summer and fall of 2013, we have a number of major milestones to hit:
1. Early implementation of user modeling and machine learning modules for arrival-time and transit-method estimation.
2. Take Doors & Dots cross-platform with an Android OS version. This is an important milestone for the easi6 team as we seek to be competitive in the Korean market.
3. Begin implementation and testing of various premium and retail-orientated features.
4. Complete a beta version of, and prepare for live trials of, a Doors & Dots platform solution central to our early monetization strategy. A beta release of this solution is set for late fall 2013 or early winter 2014.
What’s next for your startup?
At this point, our startup is still very much in the market-fit stage of product development, testing, and iteration. We’re pre-money and pre-revenue, bootstrapping easi6 & Doors & Dots all the way. As our user base grows, we’ll continue to assess the need to take on funding to cover our growth and operating expenses.
In the meantime, we are seeking user feedback, pursuing media and other exposure opportunities, continuing to build out Doors & Dots advanced functionality, developing and testing our first platform solution, and making investor pitches. Furthermore, in order to better reach out to our target-user demographic, we are in the early stages of establishing a student ambassador program at select colleges. This program will continue to expand over the course of 2013 and 2014, and we are always seeking interested and ambitious students.
Where can people find out more, and what is your Twitter username?
We encourage tech enthusiasts, app users, and especially students, to check out our splash page online at: www.doorsndots.com, and to look for us on both Facebook and Twitter. We have a Facebook page and a Twitter page for both the company (www.facebook.com/easi6; @easi6) and the app (www.facebook.com/doorsndots; @doorsndots), respectively. Interested parties can also find us on LinkedIn and join the discussion on our startup blog at: blog.easi6.com.