Onin is trying to fix event planning by combining calendar and chat – TechCrunch

What if the calendar and messaging app were actually the same thing?That is the idea behind it Onin — A British startup that wants to simplify event planning by creating a more organized app for organizing things.

If it sounds a bit niche, it’s a good idea to remember that the calendar is a little late (ha!). Due to the pandemic, our work lives in endless virtual conferencing slots. Alias: How many times a day can a person survive a zoom call?

Indeed, digital calendar limitations, these pretty adorable (but more essential) time management tools, have faced scrutiny since the introduction of COVID-19. defect? Yes, there are some.

As a result, startups are paying more attention to this space in recent years.Consider something like this Calendar Lee When To manage meeting schedules more efficiently (aka “Smart Calendar Assistant”) — or more recently Magic — Trying to push the (invitation) envelope a little more by trying to make the calendar more collaborative.

Onin Has a similar collaboration, but initially focused on the consumer. We want to be a new and dependable app for arranging drinks, trips with friends and more. (If you can take off with a social celebrity in your twenties and break into your work environment from a B2C through a consumerization backdoor, the founders are thinking there.)

But why do you need a whole new app to organize your birthday drinks, I hear you cry! ??

Onin’s claim is that the experience of arranging multiple events using digital tools is frustratingly non-social and frictional.

In a regular calendar, the creator of the event owns the event (and therefore the planning process), so only you can make changes that sync to all participants. Therefore, these endless email discussion threads that occur around early group events are self-appointed when people try to hash the details of the plan (who helps anyone, when, where, etc.). Ask the organizer to update the invitation. Everyone stays on the same page.

Onin’s alternative approach is to fold and combine chats and calendars into a one-stop scheduling dream of “one place to find time and plan events without leaving chat” for this planning asymmetry. Avoid. Or, well, that’s a promise.

(And — yes — it still integrates with your existing calendar software, so events planned on Onin are synced there.)

Founder Ryan Brody said: “We will be an aggregate layer of events, contextualizing process and third-party integration so that there is no fragmentation between events and the discussions that form them (currently, diary events are always one step). Behind the combo, all steps are duplicated)

“To do this, replace the calendar app / web app and act as a client for your calendar provider (” Bring your own calendar “). “

“We’re starting from the consumer-to-consumer exchange side, but we strongly believe (and have already proved) the usefulness of onin across the sector,” he claims. “The important thing is to chat first, not the event. 95% of the plans are done by chat, not by editing the details of the event, so our hard work to incorporate the event into the conversation itself. Work (you can also @mention to one of the subgroups to see upcoming events) Fun). “

According to Brodie, the problem Onin is focusing on is due to fragmentation associated with the long-standing iCalendar standard (also known as the Internet Calendar and Scheduling Core Object Specification Format (RFC 5545)). This allows various scheduling services to understand and process calendar items (first created in 1998) — that’s why, as he says, trying to do group scheduling with an existing calendar app. That would be a very frustrating mess.

Onin’s answer to this legacy fragmentation takes the form of a patent-pending “architectural solution.” That is, as Brodie says, software always “organizes” events “from a calendar perspective, not a specific user.” (Or, more simply, “The organizer is the group’s email address and controls synchronization.”)

The effect is to avoid fragmentation between the event and its communication channel. This removes unnecessary friction from the event planning process by allowing the group to plan things together more spontaneously.

“No one has ever solved this problem,” says Brodie (his name may be well known as co-founder). YC-backed Islamic dating app Muzmatch, Before proceeding to the next app challenge).

“It’s very difficult to do this because the calendar standards are decentralized and non-canonical (our technology has centralized and normalized events). What you can do with a native app. All can be done with a very frictionless web experience at first (all Onin groups are quick shareable links). “

Asked about other software solutions, he suggests that Onin is aiming for “Microsoft Teams, that’s just right.” So, uh, touché. (“Easy to use, easy to understand, very powerful and versatile, even though it’s not tied to the Microsoft ecosystem, it can be extended from one-on-one conversations to groups of hundreds, and events are always seamless. Synchronize. Information to participants’ diary “is ambitious.)

“We send invitations to all users, rather than using our own calendar like Calendly,” Brodie also details how Onin does things differently from its rivals. .. “Therefore, the event is perfectly collaborative and provides a history of changes within Onin, but with an external calendar it only changes the attendance status as a regular participant. This makes Onin very sticky. It will be sex! “

So far, after being released on Product Hunt in August, this product, which has attracted attention, is still in its infancy and has just been released as an MVP. But Onin has already plagued investors, raising $ 1 million in pre-seed rounds (“ideas alone”) last summer. Notable self-confidence voting at such an early stage.

Preseed supporters include Entrepreneur First Matt Clifford and Hambro Perks (in angelic words), and many others who aren’t ready to publish yet.

“In 48 hours, more than 400 people participated in an early access program that included an 8-step form detailing calendar issues. I’m confident that there is a serious demand for just combining chat and calendar.” Brodie says. You’ll get a list of integrations and features that your team is working on.

“We already have an official Zoom integration and are working on a Typeform and Calendly integration (notion, Google Workspace, etc.), resulting in event-based discussions in other apps. Take over and think of the event as living on in (“zero switching cost”). For example, when you join a Zoom call, a context message is sent to the group — “[Ryan] I participated in Zoom “— No one has ever done this!

“We own an event that syncs to everyone’s diary. It’s all linked to Onin. Own patent pending Talk about time A chat UI that enables all of this. We have a very conceptual style group / subgroup system, which is a) very easy to create follow-up events and b) easy to create subplans (eg lots) Product launches on holidays with activities and interviews with TechCrunch …). “

Onin is trying to fix event planning by combining calendar and chat – TechCrunch Source link Onin is trying to fix event planning by combining calendar and chat – TechCrunch

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