CEO of FokisOn, Dan Rosenberg, was born and raised in Ohio and started his career by programming some of the first automated teller machines. Later, he spent many years in management consulting, working with companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers before launching FokisOn. Dan now lives in New Jersey with his wife.
We sat down with Dan to find out more about the app’s origin story and what users can look forward to next.
What inspired you to create FokisOn?
I spent many years running complex global projects, where team coordination and collaboration were critical. In recent years, I found myself having more and more difficulty maintaining attention and focus in meetings and calls. In early 2017, it hit me, like a coconut clunked me on the head. Devices were distracting people and they couldn’t seem to put them down. From there, I incubated the idea with Chris Kogler, now our COO and we started FokisOn.
What does it mean to you to create a Moment?
This is interesting because the term “moment” is used so much in society. At FokisOn, we think of moments as meetings, gatherings or events, where people—pun intended—focus on one another to increase understanding, comprehension and make better decisions. A FokisOn Moment can last from minutes to hours and they’re easy to start. Someone, called an organizer, picks an amount of time for a Moment and taps a button. Other people nearby, called joiners, enter the moment with a single tap.
What would you say to people who think it’s ironic to use a smartphone app to encourage productivity?
It does sound counter-intuitive, or even crazy, but we are not trying to prohibit smartphone usage at all. We believe that they’re great tools, and in today’s culture it is impractical or unsafe to block phone usage. Our solution is designed to utilize devices to enhance moments from class time, to study groups, to meeting friends for dinner.
How can college students and professors benefit from using FokisOn?
Participation and attendance, particularly in large classes, is not efficient or even practical in many cases for students as well as professors. With FokisOn, students join a moment started by the instructor. Most clerical work for professors and teaching assistants is eliminated. No more sign-in sheets.
What’s the next big step for you and the company?
We will be testing a reward system so that our members can redeem the points that they earned in their moments for goods and services. The idea is to enhance our member experience, making FokisOn more engaging and fun so that a good experience in the classroom will be an even better experience outside the classroom.