What Is 30Boxes?


In case you were wondering why I did not go to the Steve Jobs Show yesterday, let me tell you the reason: I was meeting with 83 Degrees co-founders Julie Davidson, Nick Wilder and Narendra Rocherolle, the Webshots trio, that are working on an online calendar called 30 Boxes. 30 days 30 boxes. Scoble had mentioned the company on his blog earlier, following a dinner all of us had in my favorite curry joint in San Francisco. Was it worth staying back? Absolutely! They showed me their early early alpha, and it is safe to say 30 Boxes will be to calendars what GMail was to Email.

Narendra RocherolleThe trio were tight lipped about their plans, but beta will come soon sometime. They are mum, because the threat of a Google calendar has everyone worried. Clearly, calendar space is getting hot. Silicon Beat had reported that another online calendar company, Trumba, had raised $8 million in funding, joining the ranks of Zimbra and AirSet. I like what all these guys are doing: trying to make the magic happen in a category that till recently seen little innovation. I loved Nick’s comment: “You don’t need millions to build a great web application.” If what I saw was any indication, then well, he is spot on.


Saket Kumar

I like this calendar application but couldn’t find anything more interesting to stick to it. May be I’m missing something. But, to other user, I have some advise:

To be very frank, 30 boxes login mechanism is very primitive. They send the username and password in clear text. This may work well in home environment. But in office env., anyone with good sniffer software can get your password. It’s not about getting your password and accessing critical information, it’s about guessing your password too. They can guess pattern of your password.

There are so many easy way to hash password and then send it.

Personally, I don’t like any service which send the password in clear text. You can lavel me password paranoid but in new internet world, we should atleast get password protection.

Just my 2 Cents!!

  • Saket
Himanshu Jain

I joined the beta today and was stunned by its simplicity.. simply type the details and it takes care of the rest. the neat interface is also adorable. tags, marking as star, adding notes, sharing with buddies, live content from flickr and others.. i couldn’t have asked for more..


Going along with Brian from http://www.Airset.com above, I prefer Airset as it allows me to create multiple calendars that I can see all at once, separately, or in various combinations. My family shares one account with a calendar each for mom at work, dad at work, mom at home, son at home/school, and “fyi/maybe.” I have it set up so I can see all the “at home” calendars at once and when I’m at work, I can view my work calendar and my personal calendar only. (But I can also view any calendar or even ALL calendars by clicking on different tabs.) The possibilities are endless. PLUS, Airset offers a blog, contacts, tasks lists for each calendar. (Another Airset-using mom has her son’s homework assignments emailed to his cell phone while he’s on the bus going home from school.) Furthermore, I can send reminders or share any calendar even with people who are not Airset users.


I have to agree with (the other) Brian’s post above. I also think there are lots of different groups with different demands, and it will be quite challenging to try and meet them all in one app. In our case (MyHomePoint.com) we recognized early on that there would be many players trying to dominate the groupware sharing/publishing/etc. space (30boxes apparently, AirSet, Trumba, ahem–Microsoft, etc.) so we chose the family unit as our primary focus. We believe that there will be many moms and dads whose primary social network (for scheduling purposes) is their family, plain and simple, and we strive to make it trivially easy to connect within that circle. (And we have lots of stuff outside of just calendar…) It won’t satisfy everyone, but we’re not really attempting to. Yes, we are also working on being buzzword-compliant (RSS, iCal, tagging, blah, blah) but really, that stuff is not what we think our audience most cares about.

Again echoing Brian’s sentiment, if you have your social calendar in Upcoming, your tags in Delicious, your photos in Flickr, and you (for some reason) want them all in one place, then 30boxes sounds pretty cool. If you have a bunch of wired groups and want everything on your phone, then AirSet sounds pretty cool. If you are a non-geeked-out family who just wants a shared calendar without all the fuss, then we might sound pretty cool. It all depends on what you want — hopefully there’s room for different solutions to meet different demands. Good luck to all!


Great discussion. As one of founders of a pokemon corp :-) — Airena the developers of airset — referenced above. I couldn’t resist chiming in. I think calendars are a very individual thing and there is no “one ring” to rule them all solution. Guess what, lots of people love the Outlook Calendar or even if they don’t love it they are forced to use it because their company is standardized on it. We spend a lot of time supporting sync to Outlook – not because we want to – but because lots of our users have demanded it. Our product is designed for people who lead hectic lives with lots of different groups (or sets of people) demanding their time and attention (work, family, sports teams, church groups, etc.). We are trying to help our users manage all of the different groups in their lives in one place and then get the contact and calendar data from all of those groups down into their mobile phone. If you fall into this category of user, you know that the different groups in your life have their own unique calendaring solutions, we’re not arrogant enough to think we can get all of those groups to switch over to AirSet for group management so we support sync to Outlook and Palm and subscribing to iCal compatible calendars so that our users can pull the different group calendars they might be using into one place and finally be able to see their full schedule.

If you don’t have this multiple group management problem, you don’t need our service. I am sure lots of people just want a simple online calendar solution and 30 boxes might perfectly fit the need. I wish the 30 boxes folks all the best, I am sure they will find their niche. I just hope they support iCal so that if one of our users needs to see the schedule of one of their users or vice-a-versa we’ll play nice together.


I’m curious to see it but like all the companies in this space I hope they understand that to monetize this stuff it has to scale and have zero downtime/zero chance of data loss. That’s because people’s calendars, like email, manage their lives. Lose that data and the wrath of the users will be horrendous…

Christoph Janz

Very interesting posting, Om, and I’m curious to learn more about the event-planning apps that you’re planning.

As far as the GMail of calendars is concerned, you may not have to wait for 30 Boxes. Did you already try CalendarHub? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Full disclosure: I’m an angel investor at the company.

Best regards


garam chai

it is safe to say 30 Boxes will be to calendars what GMail was to Email

I am assuming you mean the coolness factor GMail started out with. Numbers-wise, though, I hope 30boxes will be what Yahoo! Mail is to free web-based mail.


Do people really use calendars? I hardly ever use the one in my Lotus Notes. In fact, I use the one in my mobile more often.


So, let’s see, 30 boxes…does that mean I can’t book any meetings on the 31st of a month? And, I guess February is going to be a real toughie.


OK, I gotta ask; what is your favourite curry joint in San Francisco?



I thought we would win praise for differentiation from what I call the pokemoncorps: zimbra, trumba, renkoo, skobee, bloomba, airena, seraja. And these are just in the calendar/event space! :-)

I explain how we arrived at the corp and product names in the trackback above.

Om Malik

Hey i agree, enough with the digit start-ups, but still, guys this one is something worth enthusing about, given that these guys did not raise a mountain of VC cash, and did all this the old fashioned way.

Owen Thomas

Om, let’s join together and declare a moratorium on all startups with numbers in their name. Back in the 1990s, there was a plethora of startups with colors and nouns — RedCart, Red Gorilla, PurpleTie, et cetera. I called them colornouns. These new startups are just a bunch of numberthings as far as I’m concerned!


What’s with the name? 83 Degreess is “37 Signal”ish and 30 Boxes is “43Folders”ish.

Om Malik


thanks for the message… would love to get together and take a look at your app. i am sure it will be impressive.

Noam Lovinsky

Om – the space is most certainly heating up. I met Narendra at When 2.0 and he was a pleasure to be around.

There are also a few apps being built to help you plan the events before they make their way into your calendar. We’re working on one such app. :)

I’d love to give you a demo and see what you think. Let me know if you’re interested…

Oskar Syahbana

Will there be a beta any time soon? Or will they first go through the route of closed beta with the invitation-based system?

I’m kinda tired of all these new products that are using random invitation system to register to their service(s)… Geez…

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