It is a little ironic that Tony Wright’s latest startup project, TouchBase Calendar, was built in the shadow of the Costa Rica beaches. After all, that’s one place where you’d think the rat race of scheduling meetings and making appointments on time would be a super low priority.
But Costa Rica was the birthplace of Wright’s new iPhone app, known as TouchBase Calendar. Wright, who co-founded RescueTime and has dabbled in a number of startup projects since leaving Jobster, was one of the selected members of a program known as StartupWorkaway in which 15 developers gathered at a 12,000 square-foot Costa Rica villa to kick around new entrepreneurial projects.
“It was the best travel deal of my life,” said Wright, who was selected among hundreds of applicants.
With a private chef fueling the geeks’ stomachs each day, Wright tinkered with the idea of creating an application that allowed individuals to get the pertinent information they needed before heading into a meeting.
From that Costa Rica experience, TouchBase Calendar was born. The 99 cent app, which is launching in the App Store today, is designed to sit on top of your mobile calendar.
It sets out to solve a nagging problem for anyone who frequently runs late for meetings, allowing users to send a text message, email or call notifying guests whether they’ve arrived or are running late.
It is a bit like Glympse and Gist, which Wright described as “very large, expansive offerings.”
TouchBase, he said, is designed for “red light” scenarios in which drivers may want to send a quick message to a friend or co-worker with details of their whereabouts. Wright said he built the application after running late for meetings on multiple occasions in Seattle and San Francisco.
The app relies on a well organized address book, and works better if phone numbers are assigned to individual’s cell phones rather than work or home numbers.
Wright described TouchBase Calendar as a “get our feet wet project,” allowing the developers to test out their skills with Apple’s iOS.
He and Low are working on another idea currently, not related to calendars.
And that project will be built from the company’s new offices in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood, not from the white sand beaches of Costa Rica.
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