eHub Interviews Kiko

Posted by Emily Chang on Friday, October 7th, 2005. Filed under: eHub Interviews
Visit Kiko, originally added to eHub on Mar 22, 06.

imageThanks to Justin Kan, Founder and Emmett Shear, Co-founder of Kiko for this email interview posted October 6, 2005.

This interview is available in Japanese thanks to Ryutaro Kamitsu.

eHub: What is your web application/service about?

Kiko: Kiko is about making the personal calendar an easy enough tool that anyone can (and will want to) use it. Soon it will also be about finding new useful ways to share calendars and integrate meta data with personal schedules.

eHub: Why did you start this project?

Kiko: A while ago we started using Gmail, and we thought “Someone should make a good web calendar!” The idea developed from there…

eHub: How much time do you devote to its growth?  Do you have a day job?

Kiko: A lot. After we graduated from school this year we started working on Kiko full time instead of getting “real” jobs.

eHub: How large is your team and what are your backgrounds?

imageKiko: Our team: myself (Justin Kan) and my co-founder (Emmett Shear). We’re both originally from Capitol Hill in Seattle, and we’ve known each other since the second grade. We both graduated from Yale in May: Emmett in CS and myself in Physics. Our aggregate working experience includes a lot of internships and a few months at Kiko Software Incorporated.

eHub: What is your design philosophy?

Kiko: Our meta-design philosophy is not to get trapped in any one design philosophy. We aren’t afraid to change our user interface if we think we made mistakes or find a better, more intuitive way to do something. That being said, what we have right now has been created with the goal of making something that feels more like a desktop app, lets you do most things from a single page, and allows users to do more actions by clicking things and dragging things (pretty standard AJAX fare).

eHub: What technologies are you currently using?

Kiko: Right now we’re using PostgreSQL on the backend, a Java servlet running in Tomcat as a passthrough layer to the database, JSON as our interchange format, and Javascript/CSS/DHTML on the client. Some of this will be changing in the upcoming months.

eHub: If your project is live, what are the most requested features from your users/community?

Kiko: Without a doubt: Import/export and API access. They are on the way, don’t worry!

eHub: Does your user base reside in a primary geographic location or is it distributed?

Kiko: When we first launched the site we were surprised to find that almost immediately there were a large number of international users (guess that’s why they call it the world wide web, har har). Anyways, I think our user base is pretty much distributed all over every where.

eHub: Where do you see the project heading in the next 6 months?  The next 2 years?

Kiko: In the next six months there will be increasing integration with different communication methods and an emphasis on encouraging third-party development. We’ll tell you about the next two years in six months.

eHub: What is the greatest challenge to your success?

Kiko: Making Kiko distinct from the plethora of web calendars that are being released as I write this…

eHub: What is the one thing you need to get to the next phase of the project?

Kiko: Time to sit down and hack. $$$ to hire more hackers wouldn’t hurt either.

eHub: Do you have a business model?  If so, what is it?

Kiko: Make something people want. Pay for it through useful advertising or a premium service with an extended feature set.

eHub: If you’re able to disclose this information, how much traffic or usage do you see on an average day?

Kiko: Decline to say…

eHub: What is the one thing you’re most proud of about the project?

Kiko: The other day Emmett’s mother started using Kiko (without any prompting from us). Everyone should make something his or her own mother will use!

eHub: How would you describe the shift that’s occurring with the web right now to future generations?

Kiko: Meta data is important now!

eHub: What site(s) do you visit everyday other than your own?

Kiko:,, Slashdot, bloglines, Gmail, boingboing, Gizmodo, Penny Arcade, Ajaxian, TechCrunch, Signal vs. Noise, O’Reilly Radar, tadalist, digitallyimported or, and, of course, google.

eHub: How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Kiko: We probably average 6-8 a night. I work until 4am, and Emmett gets up and starts working at 6 am, so at most times of the day someone is probably working on Kiko!

Thanks to Justin Kan, Founder and Emmett Shear, Co-founder of Kiko for this email interview posted October 6, 2005.

This interview is available in Japanese thanks to Ryutaro Kamitsu.

UPDATE: Kiko was sold in August 2006 for $258,100.

UPDATE:  March 2007 – Justin and Emmett have now launched

Visit Kiko
Originally added to eHub on Mar 22, 06