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Co-founder Scott Adams Welcomes You to WhenHub

January 2, 2017


Co-founder Scott Adams Welcomes You to WhenHub

I’m Scott Adams, better known as the creator of the Dilbert comic strip. But I’m also a co-founder of WhenHub. Let me tell you about that.

Years ago at a speaking event I met Dan Bricklin, a software designer, best known as the co-creator of VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet. I asked him what it was like to invent the spreadsheet. Did he know at the time it would be such a big deal? What did it feel like?

I also wondered how he described the idea of a computer spreadsheet to people who were hearing the concept for the first time. Spreadsheets are useful for so many applications that I don’t know where one would start to describe its uses. If I told you a spreadsheet was good for making budget projections, but also good for creating simple invoices, or tracking rainfall over time, you really wouldn’t understand the full concept of a spreadsheet. You have to see a lot of different spreadsheet applications before you get it.

We have the same challenge with WhenHub. We think it will become as important as Microsoft’s Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Think of it this way:

MS Word: Tell stories with words.

MS Excel: Tell stories with numbers.

MS PowerPoint: Tell stories with images and bullet points

WhenHub: Tell stories with time.

WhenHub allows you to create impressive, easily-shared, interactive visualizations for any “story” that involves events happening over time, including both historical and future events. You can share these visualizations (we call them Whencasts) on social media, on the WhenHub site itself, or by copy-pasting some simple code to your own blog or website. The Whencasts even work in your Facebook feed.

You can see lots of public examples on the Whenhub Hubs page. But even those examples barely scratch the surface of what the platform does. For example, we can handle a college history lesson just as well as we can handle simple scheduling for a soccer team. How the heck do I describe something so versatile?

We even handle schedules that have variable start dates, such as a fitness training schedule. Let’s say you are a fitness professional and you created a training program that lasts ten weeks. WhenHub lets you publish the training program on social media or your own website – complete with videos, images, links, and text – with a special feature that lets the recipients of the schedule adjust the start or end date and (optionally) sync it to any personal calendar.

Or suppose you are a teacher with a course curriculum. Put the course materials (links, videos, images, text) in WhenHub and share it with your class, on social media, on the WhenHub public hubs page, or on your own website. As things change, the instructor changes the master curriculum and everyone who synced it to their personal calendars sees the change automatically. The next time the instructor teaches the class she can adjust only the start date and the rest of the events will auto-adjust.

Or let’s say you are a large media website owner and you want to show how recent events fit into a larger historical context. You could put a Whencast visualization on your page that shows, for example, climate change data over time.

Or perhaps you want to create a Whencast that tracks major crimes as they happen on a world map. Every time there is a new event, just add it to the existing Whencast so it is always connected to its historical context. WhenHub is ideal for media websites that rely on advertising revenue. The interactive nature of the visualizations invites engagement.

We expect that some businesses will use Whencasts to create free viral ads. For example, you might create an engaging timeline that is both entertaining and relevant to your business. Include a little ad for yourself as one of the events and get free exposure on social media as people share it.

There is also a WhenHub app that stands apart from the features I described above. We like to describe the app as being like the Uber app without the Uber car. Any two or more people can temporarily display their locations on a map as they converge on a meeting spot, so you can see where everyone is without texting back and forth. For privacy the app times-out after use.

To make things even easier, if you have an appointment on your calendar, you can set the app to automatically pop up ahead of the event so you can start to stream your location to the people you will meet. Easy as pie.

If you are wondering how the WhenHub app is related to the WhenHub Studio, both are time visualizations that tell a “story.” The app tells the story of where you are and how long before you arrive. Soon it will become even more integrated with the Whenhub studio. Wait until you see what’s coming.

If I wrote this blog the right way, you should be having the same type of feeling about WhenHub as the folks who heard about Dan Bricklin’s spreadsheet for the first time. At this point you don’t understand all of WhenHub’s uses, but you can already tell it has vast potential.

The startup team has been developing WhenHub for several years. You might have seen our text-only scheduling product called CalendarTree that was launched in 2014 and made life easier for thousands of users. WhenHub is an order of magnitude larger in vision and capability and includes all of the CalendarTree functions as well.

Moments ago I had to refer back to my personal biography, that is already in the form of a Whencast, to check the date that CalendarTree launched so I could include it in this blog post. If you want to know when something happened in the past, or will happen, someday soon the answer will be WhenHub.

We hope you give the WhenHub studio and the WhenHub app a try. If you create any useful or entertaining Whencasts, I would be happy to publish them in this blog or my personal one. Let’s see what you can do!




Scott Adams is the creator of the Dilbert comic strip and WhenHub co-founder. Twitter: @scottadamssays