Sep 22, 2020 | Updated: 11:04 PM EDT

Gregg D. Fienberg, Executive Producer, HBO's "True Blood" (interview)

Mar 12, 2014 11:31 AM EDT


Gregg Fienberg, Executive Producer of True Blood , was frustrated trying to manage his calls for years. Spreadsheets, texts, emails, more texts and call reminders from his assistant were all part of a hot mess system to keep his calls up to date. Fienberg assumed there was a better way and asked Gabe Hobson, his assistant, to search for a solution to aid in their call management nightmare. Gabe came up with nothing. Sure there were call log apps and to do lists – but no real two-way communication solution so a boss and an assistant could manage and track calls in real-time.

So Gregg took matters into his own hands and created CallPlease - the first-of-its-kind communication hub to manage and track calls in real-time across all devices. Users can see their call history on their phone like an email thread. Most apps already do calendaring, schedule calls or to-do lists, which is great for scheduling a call, but what happens after the call is done? Where is it tracked? CallPlease syncs the entire process, from start to finish.  Droid Report recently interviewed Gregg about his current role discussing mobile app insights.

Gregg D. Fienberg

Droid Report: Hello Gregg, you are known as the Executive Producer for HBO's "True Blood." Could you tell us more about your current role as CEO of CallPlease and your initiatives for 2014?

Gregg Fienberg: I'm like any CEO of a start-up, juggling all facets of the business to keep it on track and grow our user base. 2014 is really a year of awareness. We spent the last few years perfecting CallPlease all by listening to user feedback. Now, it's about letting professionals, who currently are frustrated with their call management, know that there's simply a better way. Our product works for the single user, boss/assistant duo and an actual team of boss and assistants.  It's important we get the word out there.

Droid Report: How has your app been received so far in the Hollywood community?

Gregg Fienberg: At first, we were just trying to solve a problem for ourselves.  I had no idea what we were sitting on.  My friends and colleagues, like Independence Day producer Dean Devlin, started using CallPlease and would call me telling me how much they loved it. Then entertainment companies like TVLand started using CallPlease. But what I found out quickly is that other industries need CallPlease just as much as Hollywood does. Business professionals from all industries—teachers, real estate agents, lawyers, and even cardinals use CallPlease. Yes, we have a cardinal using it. Call management is a business problem, not an industry one.  

Droid Report: How does CallPlease stand out when it comes to its competition?

Gregg Fienberg: I think it’s how you look at it.  Some people might say they use Outlook or a calendaring app to manage calls. They all do a function in the call management process. But what happens when the call ends? Business doesn’t end when a call does. CallPlease does all the functions a calendaring app or scheduler might do but we pick up where most apps end.  We track the call from start to finish completing the communication cycle, giving the “boss” an opportunity to see all his or her calls and its status in one place – like an email thread. We believe our shared platform –the ability for an assistant and boss to manage and track calls in real-time across devices – is the first of its kind.

Droid Report: What are your personal thoughts on technology, the future of mobility and applications?

Gregg Fienberg: There are a lot of problems out there in our daily professional lives.  Our day has become so cluttered with all different types of technologies; I believe companies that think about all the other apps/tools I use and seamlessly integrate will win.  For example, I really like Tempo for calendaring. It’s an app that thinks one step ahead of me.  I think that’s the name of the game.  You make technology too difficult to use, and it will fall flat.

Droid Report: Is there anything else you feel Android users and the Android market should know?

Gregg Fienberg: Well since you asked, I do want to point out three features - exclusive to Android - that actually made me stand up and dance when I saw what our developers were able to create. In no particular order…

1. CallPlease is a natural extension to your phone.  This means that it seamlessly integrates with your address book, phone's dialer or CallPlease itself so everything is tied together.  You make a call, CallPlease will prompt you on what    to do. It’s so cool!

2. If you have multiple contacts with the same number, CallPlease will ask you whom you talked to so that it can best handle your call.  The phone's natural call log does not do this and we are very proud of this!

3.  On CallPlease, there is a holding area so you can go back and organize any call you’ve missed or need to track on CallPlease

With technology constantly taking over our everyday tasks, keeping it all together and in sync is a never-ending challenge. It is critical to be able to rapidly find and consolidate information in order to take proper action. We believe software should be continuously harnessed in ways that improve our daily existence and help us stay competitive. That's why we've made it our mission to create world-class innovative software products designed to make the task of managing our lives simpler and easier. We will always listen to the needs of our customers and are constantly striving to improve so that we may accomplish our mission.

We would like to thank Gregg Fienberg for taking the time for this discussion and CallPlease.

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