Facebook’s former CIO was told fix its calendar system, or else. Now, he’s got a calendar start-up

Two weeks after Tim Campos started as chief information officer of Facebook in 2010, Mark Zuckerberg summoned him to his office for an urgent meeting.

“I thought we were going to have a strategic meeting,” Campos told CNBC.

Once there, Campos says, he met with Zuckerberg’s executive assistant, Anikka Goodman, who lambasted the company’s internal calendar app. Goodman told CNBC she “expressed urgency” that Campos fix it.

“It was my job to fix it, and if I didn’t fix it immediately, I was done,” Campos recalled.

“Every executive meeting I had in my first year started with a tirade about how much people hated their calendars.”

With his marching orders in hand and motivation from his peers, Campos and his team began building a new scheduling tool. What they created was designed to help Facebook employees easily find optimal times and locations to meet.

“I realized there was a big opportunity to rethink the calendar,” he said.

In late 2016, Campos left Facebook to build something similar that could be used by anyone. That start-up and service, called Woven, launched Thursday.

Woven plugs into users’ email and calendar apps to analyze their schedules, locations, commute times and meeting habits. It then uses that data to recommend optimal times and travel times between locations as users schedule meetings.

“We treat calendars like an app that people are collaborating on,” said Burc Arpat, a former engineering manager at Facebook who co-founded Woven and is its chief technology officer. “That allows us to ensure that people are focusing on the meat of the meeting as opposed to the logistics.”

Woven uses the data it pulls to create a “graph engine” that’s the underlying technology of the company, Arpat said. In the future, the start-up plans to use that engine to build out more apps and features, such as time management analytics tools, said Dharmesh Thakker, general partner at Battery Ventures, which led a $4.8 million seed funding round for Woven alongside Amplify Partners, Felicis Ventures and individual investors.

Woven is “a platform on which you can first build a time-management app, but down the road, build more apps and make people more productive,” Thakker said.

Campos said the company plans to target small businesses and freelancers as its launch audience and grow from there. The service is available for free, and in the future, the start-up will add more capabilities that users can pay for. Woven can integrate with Google’s G Suite, and down the road, it will be able to plug into Microsoft Office 365, Campos said.

“That’s the core purpose of the product,” Campos said, “to help people spend time on what matters most to them by helping them streamline the scheduling and planning process.”

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