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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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MobileDay – Making Audio Conference Calls Work On Smart Phones

Comments (42)

Each day I do at least two, and sometimes as many as a half dozen, audio conference calls. I make almost all of them from my iPhone when I’m walking somewhere or driving in my car. I find the process of dialing into a conference totally insane, maddening, and archaic. Here’s how it usually goes when I’m in the car.

  1. I go to my calendar on my iPhone at the appointed conference time.
  2. I try to memorize the conference call id. If I’m lucky, the phone number is underlined so I don’t have to remember that.
  3. I dial the number (or it dials automatically). Once the conference bridge answers, I press the keypad (#) icon on the phone.
  4. As I’m driving, I try not to crash into something as I type the conference code.
  5. By this point, I’ve often forgotten the code, press the home button on my iPhone, go back to my calendar, read the code again, press the home button, go back to the phone icon, and try to finish entering the number before it times out. If it times out I get a second chance (usually) and go back to step #4.
  6. Usually I’ll get into the conference. But if I don’t, I go back to step #1, but only after screaming “fuck” at the top of my lungs at my phone.
  7. Once I’m in the conference, I once again go back to concentrating on driving. I usually realize that I’ve paid no attention to the road for the last 30 seconds.
  8. If I’m driving to the Denver airport, I can guarantee that at least one time during the call I will drop and have to start over at step #1.

All I really want is a notification to pop up on my phone when it’s time for a conference call that allows me to have one touch access into any conference call automagically.

This is what MobileDay does. And it’s available now on iPhone and Android. Go try it and give me feedback.

 

It’s an early release so there will be plenty of rough spots, conference call numbers that don’t have the right sequence in their database, and funny iPhone glitches (since Apple locks down a lot of the phone dialing stuff), but I’ve been using it for all scheduled phone calls for the last 30 days and it’s rapidly improving with each release, especially based on user feedback as we learn all the different cases we need to solve for.

The MobileDay team has been quickly adding features like being able to – within the app – send email and SMS messages to meeting participants (for example to tell people I’m running five minutes late) and automatically map locations of meetings from the address block.

I was involved in the creation of reservationless audioconferencing, which was pioneered by Raindance (I was a seed investor) in 1997. Today, reservationless audioconferencing is ubiquitous (and I view it as a platform for communication), but the UX has been relatively unchanged and is still optimized for phones with keypads that don’t have integrated calendars and scraps of papers with numbers scribbled on them. It’s time for a completely new way to interact with this platform and MobileDay is obsessively focused on this. Play around and help us focus on the key things that are needed to make this a completely flawless experience.

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