Welcome to Dunbar
“Dunbar is the lowest-friction event planning tool.”
I first declared my intention to leave my firm and pursue this goal nearly three years ago. Almost everything has changed since then, but this idea — and the vision behind it — hasn’t. Today, our beta is live. You can try it yourself:
The name “Dunbar” comes from R.I.M. Dunbar, whose research provided a scientific foundation for the idea that we form “tribes” with up to 150 people — Dunbar’s number. My goal with this project is to show that the best things are planned in small groups; sometimes on their own, sometimes as part of a larger event. Dunbar is set up to support both types of users.
I’m also hoping to make some philosophical points about how tools on the internet can work for you, the human being: by not tracking your behavior, by helping you own your data, and by minimizing the time you spend using Dunbar so you can get back to your life.
Dunbar makes it easy to invite anyone through any platform, get on their calendar, and collect RSVPs in a spreadsheet — in fewer than five clicks, without tracking you.
To this end, Dunbar is built entirely on services that I hope you’re already somewhat familiar with: Google Sheets for storing and managing data, and your existing calendar for storing events.
In today’s launch of our Beta, you can make new events, share the event URL however you want, and see the email addresses of people who add your event to their own calendar in a Google Sheet that Dunbar makes for you. When people update their calendar RSVP, you see that in the spreadsheet, too. (We work best with Google Calendar; other platforms have a few known issues.)
In order to keep this tool simple (and low-friction), it’s important we also know — and say — what Dunbar isn’t: Dunbar isn’t a messaging and broadcasting platform. I expect and hope Dunbar links will be shared using all sorts of communication tools; Dunbar’s goal is to be entirely agnostic to them, so you can invite everyone on every platform to your Dunbar-planned events — without worrying whether who’s on Facebook, Insta, WhatsApp, Telegram, or just plain old text and email.
Thanks for giving Dunbar a shot. I’m grateful for any feedback you’re willing to share; please send it however makes sense to you. (firstname.lastname@example.org works great, if you’re unsure.)