Introducing Skej

Skej helps you schedule your meetings and get-togethers more effectively. Skej isn’t a calendar app, it’s a service to help you *manage* your calendar.

This sounds trivial, why are you working on this?

Someone asked us this directly the other day. Others probably wonder about it without actually asking. There are really two answers to this question.

1. Thanks, we’re glad you think that! When it works well, it *should* feel like it’s doing something trivial.

We’re working on this because we want to build a product that eases the pain of getting together.

2. It’s not actually trivial. Scheduling is a complex coordination problem that requires making decisions in the face of extreme uncertainty. When people do it without machine assistance, they often a) fail to consider many of the possible times / places that might be convenient for everyone and b) fail to make progress on reaching an agreement. People use very simple heuristics because doing any better would be extraordinarily cumbersome. People also employ different protocols for achieving consensus, which may or may not be compatible with one another.

We’re working on scheduling because there are deeply interesting technical challenges to overcome in order to build a product that works well. Many of the world’s highest functioning individuals have full-time employees for exactly this purpose. Our goal is to both dramatically lower the cost of this service while improving the quality of results an order of magnitude or more.

So what does Skej do exactly?

Skej defines a protocol.

At the lowest level, Skej is built upon a protocol for reaching consensus on an event. The protocol is privacy-preserving in that it doesn’t require individuals to exchange details about their calendar. But it’s intelligent in that it allows agents participating in the protocol to exchange information needed to find an optimal meeting time / place.

We’d be happy if everyone would just agree on using a protocol like this, but in the meantime:

Skej provides you an intelligent agent.

We take it a step further than defining a protocol, we actually give you your own personalized agent running on our servers. Of course, the protocol doesn’t actually require agents to be centrally located, or that Skej be the provider of your agent. But our agents have certain advantages.

Your Skej agent is smart. It learns about you and your schedule. It wants to learn about which people have the highest priority in your calendar, and which events are movable. It learns where you actually go and what are your favorite places to schedule things.

Your Skej agent is always available. It’s ready to schedule meetings for you 24/7. Of course, you always have the final say.

Your Skej agent looks for globally optimal solutions. Skej agents know how to work together to do a near-exhaustive search of all possible appointments, within some constraints.

What next?

Ready to try? Come and join the Skej beta today!

There’s still a ton of work to do to make Skej as awesome as it could be. If these types of challenges appeal to you, maybe you should join us.