Calix Huang
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Hours Is Now Fiveable

A new future.

Feb 01 2022 in #announcements

As of January 31, 2022, Fiveable has officially pivoted to adopt Hours as its new core platform and vision! After much planning, redesigning, and amazing team collaboration across all departments, today we’ve finally launched the new version of Fiveable. Read more about our official announcement here.

Since I started Hours in October 2020 and as of January 2022…

  • 🙌 91k students have signed up to use the platform
  • 🤓 322k study sessions have been created and used
  • ✅ 4.3M tasks were created within study sessions, and 2.5M of them have been completed overall
  • 📧 14.2M messages have been sent between students on Hours
  • 🕗 Hours has facilitated millions of hours of productivity!

When Hours was initially acquired back in May 2021, we had the vision to keep it as a separate, yet supporting platform to Fiveable, and provide the utility of productivity to students just as it had been doing.

The whole idea of this pivot came up in October 2021 when the co-founders of Fiveable pitched it to me. It completely shocked me, and I had many mixed feelings. On paper, this was an amazing opportunity. Not just would our entire time start to focus solely on the crazy idea I had long ago, but we would have all our funding, resources, advisors, and investors backing it. But instead of feeling overjoyed, it felt off. I felt like this wasn’t what I had signed up for when I initially sold Hours, and it was definitely a change that affected my role greatly as a PM.

I expressed this greatly to our leadership. I knew that if we went through with this pivot but nothing changed on my end, I wouldn’t feel good about this entire pivot and feelings of regret would haunt me for a long time. To my luck, Fiveable has one of the best people cultures I’ve ever seen, and generously worked this issue out with me.

As of November 2021, I officially joined Fiveable’s leadership as Head of Special Projects, broadening my scope of work while still remaining very flexible and arbitrary. Working alongside our new Head of Product, we’re looking to make some very big changes to Fiveable to improve the experience for all of our current users, as well as new ones.

Looking back, I never would’ve thought that Hours would grow to what it is today, and what it will be in the future. Even after the acquisition, I would’ve said the same. Hours initially started out as a small brain teaser project that I was planning to abandon after a day or two, but somehow it spiraled into something so much more than that.

I’m so grateful to be leading this new vision alongside everyone at Fiveable and having tremendous support in doing so to help make an impact on millions of students around the world. It’s not the direction I expected, but I’m excited for what’s to come.