Cracking a Crowded Market on Eisenhower’s To Do List

By Conor Rushby |

There are already plenty of solid time management apps available, and breaking into such a crowded market seems at first glance to be an incredibly difficult ask. But the makers of Eisenhower are determined to do just that by simplifying what’s already out there.

The name comes from Eisenhower’s principle: “What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.” A to do list of four quarters, with a maximum of eight items in each one, allows you to prioritise your time, while a self imposed time limit (complete with ticking) motivates you to get your work done.

The creators, Tim Brückmann and Andreas Kwiatkowski met while working at simfy, and hatched the idea when frustrated by the lack of a time management or to do list app that they felt lived up to its billing.

With Brückmann taking care of iOS and backend development and Kwiatkowski handling design and marketing, it has taken ten months of part time work to build and was launched earlier this month. Since then, the app has attracted close to 3,000 users, mostly office workers in the US and UK.

Costing €1.59 or $2, Eisenhower’s chances of success will depend on both making the design motivational enough and carrying enough added value over equivalent, established time management apps.

These include Wunderlist, from Berlin-based 6Wunderkinder, which has over 3 million registered users, and shares many of the same functions. For bootstrapped Eisenhower, the development of iPad and Android versions will also be dependent on generating enough iOS revenue.

But Kwiatkowski is nonetheless confident that Eisenhower can compete by avoiding too much detail, such as dates and labels which “magically add complexity” to doing work. He also points to the viral feature of being able to tweet about your achievements as helping spread the word.

In the long term, the pair are aiming for high volume business to business sales, accompanied by short but comprehensive time management training for employees. A drag and drop function allowing users to shift things between lists is also to be added.

Breaking into the market is always tricky, but as Eisenhower also said; “Plans are nothing, planning is everything.”

Tim Brückmann and Andreas Kwiatkowski