|Hello HN! My name is Rohan Pavuluri, and I’m launching an iPhone app called Office Hours (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/get-office-hours/id145648052...). The app lets you hold “office hours” by phone anytime, anywhere. You can think of it as the green Facebook messenger symbol but for calls. In real time, easily let your network know that you’re free to accept calls. And easily find out who in your network is free to accept a call from you.|
I built Office Hours as a side project on the weekends with a friend to address the personal pain I feel scheduling phone calls. I run a nonprofit, and I love having conversations with everyone who reaches out to learn more about our work. But these conversations are generally painful to schedule for two reasons:
1. The back-and-forth email exchange to find a time slot is exhausting.
2. I don’t want to commit to time slots on my calendar because something that takes priority -- aka anything directly work-related -- may come up. Calendly doesn’t solve this.
Given that I have deadtime during grocery shopping, commutes, and other errands, I thought to myself, what if I could easily schedule all of these calls during my deadtime? What if I could just turn “on” my “office hours” and send a notification to “followers” that I’m free to chat? I also wanted to follow my friends and mentors and get notifications when they’re free, so I could eliminate the friction involved with scheduling. That's how I got the idea for Office Hours.
How it works if you have inbound requests for your time: just download the app, add people who want to talk to you as “Followers”, and they’ll get a notification whenever you turn on your Office Hours. Whenever you’re on a call with someone who follows you, your Office Hours automatically close to your other Followers.
How it works if you want to request someone else’s time: just send them a Follow request. If they accept your request, you’ll get a notification when they open up their Office Hours. When you see they’re free, you can give them a call through the app.
I’m looking for any feedback, particularly around potential use cases. Some ideas: professional networking that’s not time-sensitive such as career advice chats, social catch-ups with friends and family, and teachers and students.
In the future, I hope to implement VoIP, so I can make it easier to schedule calls internationally. I also hope to implement end-to-end encryption. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback too.