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The Startup with Two Pivots: Nook Joins Startup Savants

Getting a handle on an incredibly busy schedule is one of a founder’s top challenges. Chadwick Carlson and Marc Gingras join Startup Savants to talk about their software company Nook, which offers a calendar tool to help users gain more control over their work lives.

  • Startup Savants is a business podcast that tells the stories behind up-and-coming startups.
  • Chadwick Carlson and Marc Gingras join Annaka and Ethan to talk about their software company Nook. 
  • Nook’s calendar tool gives users better control over their schedules by consolidating meetings, day-to-day interactions, and notes in one place. 

From Booking System to Calendar App

Carlson and Gingras first used Nook during the COVID-19 pandemic as a booking system – specifically to book “seats” for employees who needed or wanted to come into the office periodically. Companies could only allow so many employees to come in once, and Nook took care of the scheduling.

Although Nook won several government contracts, it was clear that as the pandemic waned, companies’ needs would change. “We started to figure out that the main problem is actually around coordination, and where coordination happens is around the calendar,” Gingras said during the founders’ interview with Startup Savants. “So then we said, Let’s build a better calendar app for people that work in a remote environment. And that’s where Nook Calendar came to fruition.”Soon, they noticed an even bigger opportunity: Consolidating information contained in myriad other scheduling apps into one place. “People are using so many different applications, and they live with a scattered brain. They’re trying to figure out what’s the most important information, what are my to-dos?” Gingras told the Startup Savants podcast hosts. “And so we’re actually pivoting yet again because of this bigger opportunity. This product is still not out, it’s going to be out in the fall. [We’re] super excited about what we’re working on right now.”

Communication and Interaction Are Key

For the moment, Nook’s calendar app is the company’s primary offering. While there are a lot of similar apps, Gingras and Carlson say Nook is different in a key respect. 

“How it’s different is really around how you communicate and interact with [the] people that you work with the most,” Gingas said during the interview. “So when you think about your organization, whether you’re a small organization or a large organization, you may be working mainly with 10, 15 people at most. And what we focused on when we were building the calendar was, how do you … make those interactions with these 10, 15 people better? Whether it’s knowing where they’re working from, making it easier to schedule meetings with them, [or sharing] your status of what you’re working on.”

Carlson noted that calendar apps have been slow to evolve and thus are ripe for improvement. “On that scheduling piece, that’s a really important component, especially when everyone’s remote,” he said during the interview. “It’s easy to meet, but it’s also too easy to meet at times. So everyone’s schedules are really full and complex.”

To address this problem, Nook features a scheduling page that others can see so they know when you’re available. “We incorporated that directly into the calendar application as opposed to being a sidecar or an additional subscription service to the calendar, because we think it’s evolved to the point where the calendar needs that by default,” Carlson said.

Startup Savants Podcast 

The Startup Savants podcast is a business podcast created by The Really Useful Information Company (TRUiC). Listeners can hear the stories behind startups, as told by their founders, who are in the midst of growing their companies.

Ethan, an entrepreneur, and Annaka, a branding expert, host the Startup Savants podcast. They bring disparate skills and life experiences to their interviews, providing listeners with important business insights and a holistic perspective on the startup ecosystem. 

Hear from a variety of real startup founders from around the globe and with varying backgrounds about making their startup ideas a reality. Learn from experts sharing their industry knowledge on venture capital, securing funding, and more on the Startup Savants podcast. 

Final Thoughts

Chadwick Carlson and Marc Gingras join Annaka and Ethan to talk about Nook, a software company that helps users better control their schedules using the company’s calendar tool.

You can find the Startup Savants podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

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