Solveig Kjartansdottir: Polling Application to Assist People in Finding the Best Time for a Group of People To Meet

WhenAvailable is a polling application to assist people in finding the best time for a group of people to meet. It is simple to use and takes away the back-and-forth email hassle when scheduling a group gathering.

It is ideal for planning anything from a dinner party, hiking with friends, to a board meeting. We focus on clean design and offer fun themes to make the user’s poll stand out. WhenAvailable is available on iOS, Android, and the web.

Tell us about yourself?

I earned an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and worked in the automotive industry before switching gears to a full stack developer.

I worked as a front-end developer at YouTube and later Google/Alphabet. After juggling a full-time job with a family I needed more flexibility and decided to leave my corporate job and start my own business.

The idea of WhenAvailable had been brewing in my head for years as I was often the coordinator for various group gatherings. Although there are other scheduling tools out there, I wanted to offer an alternative that was open to everyone, ads-free, modern, and super simple to use.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Not putting as much effort into social media as the return from that is minimal for my business. There is a lot of both noise and competition in that space, and our presence on social media didn’t move the needle for my business much.

What problem does your business solve?

WhenAvailable makes it simple to find the best time for a group to meet. It takes away the hassle of the back-and-forth email chains and presents everyone’s availability in real-time in an easy-to-read format.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

I am often coordinating group gatherings and in the past, I would send an email to all participants to find out when they were available. Some people would “reply-all” to give me their feedback, while others would reply to just me or even send me their reply in a phone message.

I’d then need to compile the answers from multiple email threads and sources and make sure that everyone was in the loop. That was both tedious and time-consuming. I wanted a system that could handle this better which became the inspiration for WhenAvailable.

What is your magic sauce?

Simple – simple – simple. WhenAvailable solves one thing–finding the best time for a group of people to meet. We are not trying to offer multiple services but instead, we are focused on doing this one job well. The simplicity and clean design make it easy for users to create a poll and reply to one.

The vote count updates in real-time so the users always have the latest tally. We offer fun background templates which the organizer can use to make the poll stand out. There are no strings attached and the organizer’s guests do not need to sign in or create an account to participate in a poll.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We are always striving to make the platform better and want to provide our users with the best experience. We pay great attention to customer feedback and are constantly working to improve the system. In the next 5 years, I’d like to continue seeing healthy usage growth with a significant portion of users adopting the mobile iOS or Android app.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

When Covid-19 first hit along with all its social limitations, we experienced a big usage dip. However, with shifting our marketing to being more online-meeting focused, we managed to recover. People slowly started planning more and more online gatherings.

Now we have a mix of both as social limitations have eased and people are increasingly planning in-person meetings. But getting the word out and strengthening brand awareness is probably the biggest challenge overall.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Plan your next group gathering with WhenAvailable either on or with our iOS/Android app and see for yourself how easy it becomes to find the best date and time for your meeting.

Written by Mark Smith

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