When I was looking for a way to provide value to people while building a profitable business, I listed the four following high level options:
- I could help people/businesses make more money
- I could help people/businesses save money
- I could help people/businesses save time
- I could help people/businesses better use their time
Because time is such a scarce resource in my own life, it was only natural to decide to focus on it in my venture.
Wise Labs will help people/businesses make better use of their time by supporting them in the achievement of their goals.
I am aware that the concept of helping someone else achieve their goals has lost credibility because of the many internet marketers / scammers who declare they can change your life if you buy their product (Discount if you buy today! And you get this bonus #1 and bonus #2 for a value of $10K! Look at all these testimonials!).
I want to help people achieve their goals in a non-corny way, in a result-based approach.
The projects under the Wise Labs umbrella
So far I have developed several experiments and projects to help me better understand the size of the challenge.
TaskArmy / Deleguer: I have always been attracted by the concept of outsourcing. With an outsourcing business, I could help people save time on one hand and give a job to people from cheaper countries on the other hand.
With TaskArmy, I want to remove a major barrier people have when thinking of outsourcing: finding a service provider. Nowadays it has become easier to find freelancers online but it will still take you a few days to get the things sorted. And the same issue rises again the next time you want to outsource something.
TaskArmy is an email-based outsourcing service. You simply send an email to assistant[at]taskarmy.com with the description of your task and we take care of the rest:
- Finding the right provider in a timely manner
- Making sure your account has enough credit otherwise we send you an email with a link to Paypal
- Reviewing the quality of the work
The reason why the system is based on emails solely is because I want TaskArmy to be part of your workflow, like an extension of your team. When you want to delegate a task to your team quickly, most of the time you probably simply send a quick email. That is how you work with TaskArmy too.
And on top of that, emails are accessible from anywhere. You can delegate a task from your mobile phone at any time.
Dogether: This is the last application of my Facebook empire. A major factor that influences whether you will succeed in achieving your goal is how you will be able to maintain your motivation throughout the process. Motivation can easily be swept by a challenge or simply by erosion of time.
Dogether is a game where you can “recruit” supporters for your goal, discuss and learn things about the goal and it provides you with some additional tools to help you focus (like the effective 30 day challenge concept). I use a lot of concepts I learned in my previous social gaming company to keep the users hooked to improve their chance of staying focused on their goals.
For example, I introduced a level system. The more you contribute to the application’s community, the higher you level. A progress bar is displayed in the user interface to give him a feeling of progress.
Another successful concept is the 30 day challenge tool. You define an action you commit to yourself to do everyday for 30 days (like exercising) and everyday or so you can come back to update your progress in your challenge, while being supported by your friends.
I have temporarily discontinued development on this application because I realized it would take a longer time to build up a profitable business out of it.
WeekPlan: It is a weekly planner based on the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I developed this application for myself because I realized after a few months that although I was productive (# of completed tasks) on my main venture (CoachFire), I wasn’t working on what really mattered to grow my idea.
So I developed a tool that helps me keep my goals and roles in mind, and gives me a week perspective rather than a daily or list perspective. On top of that, it gives you some journaling tool to raise your self awareness and let you write down your values / mission statement / and past achievements.
To me the most useful feature of all is the indicator on the week view that tells me how important were the tasks I worked on this week. This really helped me realize on what tasks I was spending my time.
Out of all the Wise Labs projects, WeekPlan is the idea that got the greatest momentum, beyond my wildest expectations 🙂 It has been featured in popular websites like Hacker News, LifeHacker, MakeUseOf.com and KillerStartups.
At the moment, WeekPlan is free as I didn’t intend to make money out of it, but if the interest from the users stay consistent (as opposed to just a fad), I may focus more on it.
CoachFire: This is the major project of Wise Labs. I realized in Dogether (the facebook application that targets end-users) that motivating people is a hard task, and people are better motivated when supporting by their peers or coached.
So I decided to make coaching mainstream.
Yes I know it is a bit ambitious and sounds borderline pretentious but I prefer to aim further to throw my stone further. (<- insert here any widely common expression that describes the fact it is good to be ambitious because it calls for better performance)
I will make coaching mainstream by 1. making it easy for people to find coaches 2. making online coaching a better experience so that coaches can coach anyone in the world effectively (thanks to the use of the latest technology).
Today CoachFire is already available online, it gives you the ability to track the goals of your coachee and track the progress visually. There is also a facebook-like wall to communicate with your coachees (you can also send video messages). For live sessions from anywhere in the world, CoachFire provides an in-browser video chat component.
I am still looking for feedback from professional coaches to refine and add the features they really need in their work. So if you know some coaches (business coach, life coach, entrepreneur coach, etc..) please give them my contact details (aymeric[at]coachfire.com) so that we can discuss about CoachFire.