It took a tech-savvy surfer to discover the elixir to one of life’s great questions. How do we achieve work-life balance in the technological age? Adam Ginsberg drank from that elixir fountain and lucky for us survived to share the love and knowledge.
Adam Ginsburg, computer science wiz, formerly of IBM and tech-company self-starter saw a gap in the market for an app that could integrate our personal life schedules with professional life schedules. He developed Buzzy- Buzz , for smart phones and computers via email so we could take the interactive aspects of our complex lives, formerly exclusively dealt via text or email, everywhere we go.
Adam discovered the added complication parenthood brings, kids grow up and join sport teams and dance groups and the correspondence between parents and organisers is a flood of the Noah and the Ark magnitude. Once kids start school the flood tides rise, classes and families regularly meet up, make group present payments, organise fete or bbq rosters and everything in between. Managing communications is a very common problem for parents, even communication between co-workers can easily become tangled. Quite often people were so muddled with back and forth emails they asked themselves – where was that email John sent me?”.
Adam set about to answer this question, “I wanted to improve the way people interact online, in the way we communicate, collaborate with each other and pay for things, so I asked myself, What if we put all the information into one place?“.
Buzzy-buzz (or Buzzy as it’s affectionately known), started with very simple life situations, staff schedules, team sports, book club communication and holiday planning. It gained great strides with extra-curriculum activity platforms where team managers needed to constantly convey bits of information about games and sporting fixtures, finding excellent audiences in netball, surf life saving and basketball in Australia.
Buzzy’s versatility allows it to be taken up in the corporate sector in companies working on collaborative projects. Commuicating between architects, foreign and sub-contracting staff in the building industry or anywhere sales personnel or technicians deal with customers reached by the organisation. “Buzzy does this really well, it’s really flexible in the type of information captured” he says.
The value in the product IS the versatility, a Buzzy user could sit at a park bench and mobilise a sales team, check their staff schedules and communication about who called in sick, they can organise a team sport or a group wedding present without leaving the app, or leave the sunshine, for that matter.
Users can see who has received their message, cutting confusion over whether messages are received.
Travel agents and travel companies can stay in touch directly with customers and get feedback on travel services, important in this era of ultra-competivity. Adam visualised “A single buzz centralising the travel information, itineraries, conversations about the trip and payments in the one place as opposed to a bunch of email threads or SMS messages”. In this travel context Buzzy becomes more of a coordination and communication tool than being just about feedback. Buzzy becomes the platform trip members use to stay in touch by sharing photos and comments long after the luggage has been packed away.
The payment system Buzzy uses is Stripe, the ultra-secure payment gateway with bank level security, the bank security system preferred by Twitter and Pinterest. It allows Buzzy participants to pay anyone, which pays directly into their bank.
It’s not ALL about the ‘hand held’ device. Buzzy is available through the app store as an iOS and android but Adam assures potential users it is accessible straight from desk top computer as well as ‘reply and respond’ email if sectors of Buzzy participants aren’t au fait with quick app usage and prefer old-school computer/ email formats. “Surfing NSW are on board using Buzzy to stay in touch with competitors, staff and event volunteers. When you’re dealing with a large age range or geographical range, computer, handheld device or email-based versatility is key”.
Do you want less separation between home and work? The answer to that is it’s a little too late to go back in time, work and personal life are inextricably linked. We live in a world where people get cranky if replies aren’t within the hour and it’s not just work-related. Instead of fighting it, the best way forward is to find great solutions to bridge the gaps where problems arise. Buzzy helps very particular problems, all from the comfort of your happy place.
To sit on a beach or sideline of a football match and receive real time feeds straight into you hand about your child’s class or a social get together or team, know when band practice has been cancelled or check your work roster for the week ahead. Now, that’s living. No…don’t bother getting up and head back to work, there’s nothing urgent that needs doing.