I’ve become pretty familiar with the sinking feeling that kicks in when I realize I’m going to be late, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. San Francisco startup Twist set out to make those ensuing “Oh man, so sorry, I’m running a little behind” exchanges obsolete when it launched its arrival signaling iOS app in July, and it turns out the company has been working on a few things behind the scenes.
Case in point: the Twist team has just pushed out an iOS 6-friendly update for the app, and announced that Yammer CEO David Sacks has joined the Twist advisory board.
Before we dive into that, here’s a quick refresher in case you haven’t yet heard of Twist. The iOS app (an Android version is currently in the works) allows its users to create journeys called “Twists,” and broadcast their estimated time of arrival to the people they’re supposed to meet. Rather than leaving users to guess how long it’ll take them to arrive, Twist uses its own homebrew algorithm to create an estimated wait time based in part on your mode of transport — after all, a bus ride will take much longer than a jaunt in your car. From there, the app can share your location to those pre-selected people in real-time, doing away with the need to send harried text messages if you get stuck in even more traffic.
Sacks’ addition to the company’s advisory board has already seems to have yielded some concrete benefits — Twist representatives noted in a release that Sacks has had a hand in (among other things) “guiding product strategy” and international expansion. The newly-updated iOS 6 app packs a few new additions like a more intuitive UI that Sacks apparently played an “instrumental role” in crafting, as well as support for Apple Maps and the ability to create Twists from entries in your calendar.
It should come as no surprise then that Twist is making good on its promise to service those abroad. Since its launch nearly four months ago, the service was only available to folks here in the U.S., but this latest update also adds support for the perennially-tardy in Canada, the U.K., and Australia. Twist’s overseas push isn’t likely to end there though — CEO Bill Lee notes that the company has “seen interest from foreign governments that see Twist as a solution to massive problem.”
Twist accurately calculates your estimated time of arrival (ETA) by using proprietary algorithm to weed through traffic and GPS data in record time. Then the app sends your family, friends or colleagues updates on your arrival status. Never leave anyone guessing again.
David O. Sacks is the Founder and CEO of Yammer, Inc. Sacks was previously the COO of PayPal until its acquisition by eBay. Subsequently, he founded Geni.com, a family tree building and networking website. He also produced and financed the hit movie Thank You For Smoking. David recently sold Yammer to Microsoft for $1.2 billion. David holds a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.