Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Greeting from new MerchantCircle CTO Yori Nelken

Hello MerchantCircle Community,

I wanted to send out a note to you all to introduce myself and let you know how excited I am to be on board with such an amazing company. You probably read that MerchantCircle recently announced they had acquired my company, TimeBridge, and I have decided to stay aboard with MerchantCircle assuming the role of Chief Technology Officer. This will allow me to keep TimeBridge running smoothly for the 600,000 plus existing users as well as engineer the integration with MerchantCircle.

A few years ago, I founded TimeBridge while an entrepreneur in residence at Mayfield, a venture capital firm, determined to help make the lives of busy professionals better by streamlining their scheduling process. At that time, the world was almost completely on Microsoft Outlook. Google Calendar hadn't been launched. Macs still ran on PowerPC processors-- no Windows software ran on them. There were no iPhones nor Androids. Seems like decades ago right?

Well, the landscape changed a lot since then and we changed with it. We chucked our investment in the product we launched at Web 2.0--- a thick Outlook client. We redesigned it to rely less on Outlook (which is tricky) and capitalize on an increasingly complex calendaring environment and a more web oriented world. So we hunkered down and built a new version of our application that tapped into Google Calendar and the increasing use of Macs in the workplace. That confluence was a natural extension of our service--- and one that held great promise for growth. We built a product, technology and a business that I'm very proud of, but as with many things in life we found need to evolve further. Enter MerchantCircle.

Ben Smith and I have been friends for many years and I’ve long admired the incredible network he has built for small business owners and the tools that have helped enable those merchants to spread their message. One of the key components that MerchantCircle had not made available to its network yet was scheduling. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of running any business, organizing your customer’s appointments or even better, providing your customers an online mechanism for them to schedule themselves. And that’s the vision for our unification, to build that interface that both merchant and consumer can use to book their hair appointments, tire service or house cleanings, all through your MerchantCircle listing.

We have a new opportunity to take what we've built as a calendar assistance to professionals, to a broader audience and extend our platform in brand new ways. The MerchantCircle team has taken on a bold vision to power local merchants' business--- acquiring TimeBridge is part of that. I’m excited to be part of the MerchantCircle team and know that together my vision for TimeBridge will now come to fruition but with an exciting added twist helping to power an even greater community.

Best Regards,


Yori Nelken

Chief Technology Officer


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