Mind the Calendar
Design goals are important. Most calendar products are designed to "make scheduling meetings easy". That has resulted in the pervasive organizational meeting obesity. However, if these products were designed to "protect your time", we would have a different set of features and a much more productive and fulfilling corporate life. With the "protect your time" design goal, Calendar software would have the following features as first class citizens
Monthly meeting budget: Everyone gets a budget at the beginning of the month. Each meeting you organize reduces your budget by meeting_duration * number_of_participants. When your budget becomes 0, you can no longer schedule meetings that month.
Meeting Karma score: Participants are asked to rate meetings they attend which translates to a score for the organizer. Like ride share, if your score goes below a number, your budget gets set to 0 and you have to attend training before you get to setup meetings.
Meeting type and pre-read: Specifying meeting type (decision making, brainstorming etc.) and attaching pre-reads should be mandatory. Blocks should be placed in all calendars for pre reading. If you can't find pre-read blocks, push the meeting out.
Calendar constraints: Everyone should be able to specify their calendar constraints (% fragmented time, no meeting days, max meeting time each week). The scheduling engine should optimize for these constraints. Often no meeting slot would be found, forcing the organizer to think of alternate means to achieve the same objective.
Pervasive analytics: Insights like (1) where your time is spent (2) person creating max meeting load for you (3) patterns in meetings that you rate the highest etc. should be easily available, so you update your design constraints.
FOMO buster: Randomly remove participants from meetings, so people experience the joy of missing out.
Organizations don't need more collaboration tools. They need existing tools to be designed to enable deep work. Calendar products might seem like a tapped out market but by changing the design goals, one can build a very different product and allow the world to reclaim large swaths of time from an activity that people like the least.
title is a play on mindtheproduct.com, a great resource for product management