Timeful is being acquired by Google to help enhance Google’s calendar and mail programs.
According to Fast Company, Timeful, a scheduling application that uses artificial intelligence to assist customers with scheduling their personal, private, and business lives, will join the Google family for an undisclosed amount. The plan is for Timeful to remain its own independent entity, and to incorporate itself into Google’s family of programs and applications.
Timeful, started in 2014, was created by the team of entrepreneur Yoav Shoham, behavioral economist Dan Ariely, and data scientist Jacob Bank. Shoham has prior experience with Google, having sold Google the Katango app in 2011. Terms of the for Timeful deal were not disclosed, including price of the deal, whether all or part of Timeful’s 20-person staff will be moving from Timeful’s Mountain View, California, offices to the Google campus nearby. What is known is that eventually, whomever is chosen from Timeful will move to the Google campus, and CEO Jacob Bank will become a Google Product manager.
Bank explains the use of behavioral sciences in the Timeful application. He says, “(it) tells us that it’s much more effective to change the environment people work in directly than to introduce a new tool.” The projected windfall, and the ability to bring Timeful to the Google masses, made Timeful’s sale a no-brainer.
“We can evolve tools to become smarter in subtle ways,” Bank says of Timeful. “When you add up all these small changes over time, in five years they can have a big impact.”
Globes is reporting when Timeful came out in 2014, Timeful elicited money from a wide range of investors, including Ashton Kutcher, Kleiner Perkins, Khosla Ventures, Data Collective, Greylock Partners, and Israeli fund Pitango Venture Capital.
What makes the acquisition interesting it the connection each of Timeful’s inventors to Google. Along with Shohan’s selling of Katango to Google, Ariely served as an external consultant, and Bank was an intern with Google many years ago.
Shoham was recently asked why the Timeful team decided to devote so much time to Timeful. “Time is the most expensive resource we’ve got. The way my late grandfather managed his time is similar to how I do it, even though life and technology are vastly different. It’s hard to manage time; we have no time bank — it’s elusive and intangible, like money.”
“The Timeful application isn’t the final solution to the time management problem,” Shoham explains. “It’s proof of feasibility. What we did is to rethink the problem, and break it into more surface factors, such as tasks, projects, and hobbies, such as running, all of which compete for the same time resource.”
[Image courtesy of Rappler]