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TimeDoctor.com: A Time Tracking and Time Management Software that Helps you to Get a Lot More Done Each Day

TimeDoctor.com: A Time Tracking and Time Management Software that Helps you to Get a Lot More Done Each Day

Time Doctor is designed to track time worked exactly and to help eliminate distractions during the work day. It is especially useful for remote working teams.

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We had a very interesting and fruitful interview with Mr. ‘Robert Rawson‘; Co-Founder of the US (Nevada)-based start-up “http://www.TimeDoctor.com” regarding his Company.

“TimeDoctor.com” is a Time Tracking and Time Management Software that is accurate and helps you to get a lot more done each day.

Below is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. Rawson regarding his start-up “TimeDoctor.com”;

1. What is it exactly that you do and what “TimeDoctor.com” is all about?

Many people waste a lot of time during their work day, perhaps distracted by Facebook or sports scores on CNN. Time Doctor is designed to track time worked exactly and to help eliminate distractions during the work day.

It is especially useful for remote working teams. Remote work is becoming a lot more popular and this software gives companies the comfort to know that their team members are working effectively even when working from home.

2. When has “TimeDoctor.com” been founded? And what stage is “TimeDoctor.com” currently at?

We started building the software over a year ago and we launched in April 2012.


3. What is “TimeDoctor.com”’s business model and how does it work?

We’re a software as a service business. We charge customers monthly for our software product.

4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?

We have 10 developers and some other team members in several different countries including: Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Philippines, Bulgaria, Romania. Our co-founders met in SXSW Austin and are from Australia and Canada originally.

5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?

Surprising as it might sound there is no software that actually tracks exactly how many hours are worked each day. There is other software which gives you an idea of hours worked, but does not provide the same level of accuracy.

This is a fundamental aspect to the product that we enable you to see what is really going on, how much time was tracked at the computer and away from the computer. And when at the computer how much time was spent on websites, applications and different activities.

6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has “TimeDoctor.com” achieved so far?

A little early to say, but it looks like we’re growing 20% per month for the first couple of months. We’re now live and accepting paying customers.

7. Who are your competitors? And what is “TimeDoctor.com”’s competitive advantage over them?

Rescue time – great product but not as accurate when it comes to knowing exactly what the person is working on. It’s not possible to know if a person is working just from the fact that they are sitting at their computer, you need to have multiple methods of confirming working time.

Toggl – nice simple time tracker, but also not as accurate and no way to confirm worked time. 

Pretty much all time trackers are easy to game. In fact most of the time you can say “I was working from 3-8pm”, and there is no way for a manager to confirm if this is true or false or perhaps slightly inaccurate (perhaps it was really 3:30pm to 7:30pm). Time Doctor has multiple ways to confirm that time worked was accurate.

8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?

Many obstacles in developing the product. We have a global team building the software which is a challenge in itself. However it’s a challenge that we have overcome with various communication tools such as Jing project, Jira, and of course our own tool Time Doctor.

9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?

There is a general acceptance of the way things are, in that there is not a culture of tracking how much time is worked in an organization. In my view it’s an obvious thing to do. Why wouldn’t you want to know exactly how much time you were working and compare how much time you worked on each activity.

How much time on email? Skype chats? How much time speaking with client X and client Y? By analyzing this data you can determine significant issues in efficiency in your business. However the tracking data must be accurate and existing systems are not accurate enough for multiple reasons.

10. Why are you going to succeed?

Absolute determination and persistence. It’s really a matter of finding the market and then persisting at making the product better and better until it is really significantly better than any other product on the market.

11. If “TimeDoctor.com” succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?

We are focused on Time Tracking software but we might expand into task management. We also plan to integrate with various product management software such as: Basecamp, Jira, Asana, Do.com etc.

12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build “TimeDoctor.com” based on?

It’s really based on the problems that we had as a business. We have a business with over 50 staff in 9 different countries, all working from home. It’s very different to a company where everyone works in an office. You need to have a clear idea of who is on a break, who is working today and how much time was worked.

13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?

There is a concept in lean startup which is minimum viable product. It’s an essential concept for any startup. I had read about this concept and thought I understood it, but as it happens I did not implement it.

We could have gone to a paid product 1 year earlier and it would have been a much better strategy if we focussed truly on the minimum that the customer needs to get the job done and then improved the product from that point.

Also more specifically when trying to build a desktop product it’s important to realize that desktop development is at least 5 times more difficult than building for the web. You have to deal with different operating systems and it takes a lot more time and effort.

It’s a much better strategy to stick to web development if possible. In our case this is not possible but we should have pushed as much as possible on the web and minimized our development on the desktop only to what is absolutely needed. We are doing that now, but we did not do that in the beginning.

14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?

We’re re-writing the web application to use Zend framework. Transferring all our code to this new code base and then debugging the application essentially from scratch will be a big challenge. I resisted this change, however I think it is necessary for the long term success of the product.

15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?

Essentially it is increased productivity, getting more done each day. We provide analytics for your work day so you know exactly what you did. We have ways to check if you are distracted and remove distractions (for example notifying you if you visit Facebook or other potentially non work related applications).

16. How did customers/users find out about you?

Our blog has been an initial source of traffic, we get traffic to our blog through specific keyword searches. Also word of mouth.

17. Who are your current customers/users? Who are your target customers/users?

Essentially it is increased productivity, getting more done each day. We provide analytics for your work day so you know exactly what you did. We have ways to check if you are distracted and remove distractions (for example notifying you if you visit Facebook or other potentially non work related applications).

18. Where do new customers/users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?

We have users coming from our blog and word of mouth mostly. We have done a small amount of adwords advertising, but it hasn’t yet been that effective. They try us because they need a solution to increase the productivity of their team or they want to increase their own productivity.

19. What do your customers/users say about your product and/or service?

There are some raving fans who love the product. The main thing that they love is the transparency to know what their team are doing when working remotely.

20. How are you going to scale?

We’re scaling naturally with referrals and our existing traffic and community. We are also doing some strategic alliances with other businesses that have a similar type of customer base but are non-competitive. We’re also planning to build out some successful advertising campaigns.

21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?

We don’t have a task and project management system, which actually fits in nicely with time tracking. It’s something we plan to do, however we’re first making a lot of small improvements to our product before building something new.

22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?

We’re already an international company with customers in over 16 countries. We don’t really see any major distinction except when you need to start translating the site into other languages. We actually have a Russian language version and will be translating to other languages in the next few months.

23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?

Telework is a growing trend, and the ability for a company to have accountability for a person’s working hours when working from home is a massive need, so our goal is to have 100,000 paying customers. We plan to achieve that through building a product that is way ahead of the competition.

24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?

We’re happy with our team at the moment. However we are hiring some team members in the Philippines  through our partner site www.Staff.com. Applicants can go to Staff.com and register there.

25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?

We are not looking for or in need of funding, however we are open to strategic funding where the VC can offer something more than their money. We’re looking for partners who can help us to grow and achieve our goals. They can contact us through the contact us form on Timedoctor.com

26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?

1. Don’t build desktop software unless you have a lot of funding

2. Read everything you can about lean startup

3. Get customers to use your product from the beginning and then get constant feedback on how they actually use your product. Don’t ever build something unless it’s being used by your customer within 2-4 weeks. Don’t build anything that takes longer than 4 weeks to build. Instead build a smaller version of it in 4 weeks, then incrementally improve it.

27. Finally, do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

We’re a company that started with an outsourced team in the Philippines, Russia and all around the world. This is not a common way to start but it’s a realistic alternative (even if it’s hard work in the beginning). I recommend freeing your mind of the concept of having to work in an office. This is a very limited 20th century concept.

If you don’t have an office then do you really need to hire in your city, or even your country? Why not hire from any country around the world? That’s the basis that we are building our business from that it’s possible to hire and work with people in any country. In fact Skype and Digg are two businesses that started with a totally offshore team. This does NOT mean hiring a company to develop your product for you. I recommend against that. Instead it means you hire your team members from any country in the world.

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