Traveling Through Time with SameTimeAs

Today’s guest blog is  by Will Rodenbusch: “I’m from Austin, the greatest rising tech center in the world! I am a 29 year old code monkey who loves the great outdoors, travel, entrepreneurship, and almost anything that involves an element of danger. When I’m not at my desk, you can find me with my wife, Cora.  We are your typical Austin DINKs, out enjoying life.”

Last summer, my wife and I decided to take our lives on the road. I left my position at Solarwinds, an Austin startup success, to try my hand at entrepreneurship while Cora took on a new role at her current company, PGi.com, as resident “Digital Nomad,” traveling and working from PGi’s 30+ global offices. PGi is a virtual meetings company and so extreme remote working was a perfect fit.

While we have traveled for the last 10 months jumping between offices and wonders of the world, we have faced every imaginable remote working challenge. One of the greatest challenges is keeping track of what time it is and what time it will be in the offices of our co-workers and stakeholders.

What I mean is that if you type “What time is it in Austin, when it is 6pm in Kyoto?” into Google, you get some Japanese restaurant reviews and two links to timezone lists. These lists show you the current time but you still have to do the math to get the future time. It gets even more confusing if you want to know the time in multiple places: let’s say for a team meeting. There are other world clocks and schedulers out there but I found it was difficult and time consuming to get to the basic information I needed. So, I built a website to solve our problem: www.sametimeas.com. Here is a link to show you what you get if you ask the question above: http://www.sametimeas.com/at/6pm/in/kyoto/what-is-the-time-in/austin .

I call SameTimeAs my World Clock Time Machine. My goal is to make it painless to find the time in multiple places given the time in one place. The UI leverages some fun interactive components, but the site will happily accept anything that looks like a time and place.

SameTimesAs.com is only a few hours older than this post and this is the first public mention I have made of it. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I have a bunch of ideas about new features but I am also looking for ideas and errata. Please post any thoughts or ideas to http://www.facebook.com/SameTimeAs.

Comments

  1. Ashleigh says:

    This site is super cool and is def going to come in handy when managing remote teams! Awesome idea!

  2. I am a remote Austinite (pun intended), based out of China and working with folks all over. This is a good tool for me, because I usually schedule my meetings by stating “Tuesday 8PM China time, I’ll Skype call you in Chicago Tuesday 7AM,” for example. One little issue though, it doesn’t work behind the Great Firewall.

  3. @ben, thanks for the comment! I was in Beijing for a few days and had the same issue. Do you have any ideas on how to get around that?

  4. I use a VPN to surf the net, and most folks like me also do. Big companies and good universities have access to unrestricted internet, so you’re still actually reaching lots of people.

    But to geting your site working for all of China is kind of a crapshoot, because the CCP isn’t exactly forthcoming about their policies :)

    Chances are that you’re not being harmonized because of the content, so my guess is you’ve got something connecting to a social network that’s causing the Great Firewall to block you. If you haven’t added anything knowingly, it may be something like an analytics script.

    Ben

  5. Yep. I have both. I have links to twitter/facebook and I have google analytics running. I suppose I could build a China friendly version if it ever takes off here. Thanks for your insight.

    Will

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