Getting Disruptive With Calendars

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  • Getting Disruptive With Calendars

One of the most disruptive trends in technology in the last few decades has been the leveraging and (pardon the fancy talk) disintermediation of the old ways that made the wheels of commerce go round. That means that new technologies that are labor saving and disrupting of the status quo cause big changes. Here’s an old-fashioned example: Long before there was MS Word there were typewriters. These days, typewriters are an antique collector’s pride and joy, more than objects of any functional uses. For previous generations the typewriter was a labor saving essential for the workplace. Companies had entire typing pools devoted to writing documents.Antique Typewriter

Disruptive technologies, like the word processor change the point at which a business becomes viable. That means that you can do much more with a lot less resources. Technology is increasingly about ideas and innovation, and less about deep pockets. I like to think that Gym Insight is a disruptive technology in the same way as the word processor. Insight makes it possible to operate a small gym 24/7 remotely and coordinate the activities and administration functions single handedly. The disruptive part is that you can compete with corporate-owned gyms, without having to have the same deep pockets as the big guys.

How Many Pictures Is A Calendar Worth?

The key to success in the modern world is time management. I am pretty certain that this is something that is going to be crucial to the success of businesses now and into the future. There are applications that allow you to do things today on your smart-phone that, ten years ago, or even less, would have required a complicated custom designed software package and one that was hugely expensive.

Graphical representation of data is one of the things that made it worth having one of the first personal computers. There is something about laying out a spread of information in two dimensions that makes it just soak right into your eyes. That is why the initial spreadsheet applications became so popular. Remember VisiCalc? It was the source of all spreadsheets and it was a revolution when it was first released back in the Eighties. It arranged your information in a Cartesian array that made it so much more readable, like a map.

Calendar features in software have been a great modern invention. Just being able to update your schedule, using applications like Lotus and, more recently, applications like MS Outlook, is something that puts a flexible structure in place and enables you to handle elaborate lists of scheduled activities. That was another step forward and it has been perfected in MS Outlook. Now, calendars are shared collaboratively, in the cloud. When it comes to applications that include calendars they are basically spreadsheets that show your information in a time based two-dimensional array.

The Baby Steps of Beta Testing

The ability to coordinate scheduling and the actions of your gym management team are important Insight features. Wouldn’t it be great if the members could join in and work with your system directly? These days, It is essential that a software system can do this, and even better if the schedule can be displayed as a calendar. That’s why I have released an online calendar feature for beta testing. I’ll eventually have it where gym members can reserve their spot online, and pay for the class as well. This kind of interaction will reinforce the community that you build up around your gym and help you to provide even more value to members than you do now.

Scheduling’s a complicated task. There are different features and levels that have to mesh without conflicts. A calendar application for gym managers has to allow staffing schedules, appointment schedules for training and activities to support the business. That must be integrated with a client-facing calendar that relates relevant information about classes and training sessions, without breaching your security. A service based industry like fitness is all about getting people together in the right place at the right time. Insight will continue to develop ways to make organizing easier and more disruptive towards the old guard of big-box gym ownership.

Bibliography

Fagan, Lawrence. Class Scheduling. 2014. http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=e3a864b6a275726db7f374880&id=63fe4eb8c2 (accessed August 1, 2014).

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