Twenty-six million people are telecommunicating these days, and the number is only going to grow as the traditional job market continues to stagnate. The problem with telecommuting for employers, however, is one of the main things that telecommuters love: there’s no one looking over the employee’s shoulder, making sure they’re not just messing around on Facebook all day.
TimeDoctor is a new company that wants to let the boss be there, even if she’s on another continent. Their product allows a remote boss to take screenshots of her employee’s screen and monitor what sites and apps he’s using. It also lets the employee sign out for breaks, so he’s not stuck working ALL day.
The CEO of TimeDoctor, Rob Rawson, agreed to have a little chat with us about his company and how they got going.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
I was looking for something that captures the idea of saving time. So I researched dozens and dozens of names, and went through a systematic process of interviewing people to see which name they like.
Actually, my best test of names is not which one they “like” but which one they remember. I actually have a process where I give a list of potential names, and then see which names the person can remember the next day. I also tell the name to the person verbally and then ask them to write down what they remember. This also tests if the name is easy or difficult to spell.
TimeDoctor.com is pretty easy to remember and to spell.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
We started TimeDoctor.com with one developer initially and the team has now expanded to 10 developers, one tester and one customer support person. This probably seems like a lot of developers for a startup, however I believe it’s necessary for us to make a truly amazing product and stay ahead of the competition.
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowd-funded? Where’d you get the money, man?
It’s self funded from previous successful online ventures. I’ve been playing around with various online ventures for the past eight years and have made enough money to be able to fund this.
What was the biggest mistake you made with this or a past company? Anything you would change?
There is something that you read about with lead startups which is the concept of minimum viable product. I didn’t do that. The main mistake I made is in trying to do a really complicated desktop application which is actually very difficult to do. Instead I should have launched much earlier.
Dogs or cats?
Cats, so cute!
Anything else we should know about what makes you and your company so special?
We’re really very virtual. We have people from 9 different countries working on the Time Doctor project and we do not actually have an office. So we run a very virtual corporation.