Now that a lot of companies are turning to the internet to handle all of their project tracking and hosting needs, we’re now just scratching the surface of how to run a company “in the cloud.” All that phrase really means is that we’re not always in the same place at the same time, but can’t afford to let work halt because of it.
While I’m out and about, I should be able to check in with our team on how our latest mobile apps are going, without missing a single beat. It sounds simple, but it’s really not.
The “easy button” is a myth
Until now, we’ve thought of sharing files as “collaborative.” That’s simply not the case anymore. I’m not sure that I’ve ever witnessed a document create itself out of thin air (but wouldn’t that be nice?). A board deck doesn’t write itself, a Word Doc doesn’t have a personal assistant typing things out (sorry, Clippy) and there’s usually quite a bit of conversation before assets are created. Those conversations take place in person, on Skype, Gchat and every other tool that lets people connect.
The reason why I came to Convo is because I saw the entire vision, the thought that every idea started with a conversation, that every design or offer letter generated by a company had to start somewhere. Naturally, I feel like that “somewhere” for me is Convo. Without a conversation there is no file, without a file there is no project, without a project there is no company.
It all starts with a conversation
Rather than attempt to be the “one size fits all” “collaborative” “enterprise” “end to end solution,” Convo started with a very simple thesis: Allow people to have a conversation no matter where they are, with context that you need to move a project forward. It’s painfully obvious that Skype and/or an IRC chatroom doesn’t get the job done. If you think about what your day-to-day is like, you’re having multiple conversations about multiple things and keeping that context intact so you can catch up and react quickly is key. You can’t do this with email either. It’s just not actionable. Plus, it’s broken. In fact, I really wish every company would ban internal email because the concept is such a mess.
It is extremely difficult to replicate the quintessential team moment of standing in front of a white board while people shout “how about this?” or “how about that!” Those are the moments that shape what your company actually ends up executing. Here’s an example: Google Docs is great, and annotation on a simple doc is pretty cool. However, you can only discuss the actual document that everyone is in at the time. This means that the document, which is probably a part of a bigger project, becomes the hub for chatter, and if not, then yep…back to Email, Skype and Gchat.
The reality is that when you’re planning on say, moving your office to a new location, you all have to be looking at a group of files. This could be a lease, a floorplan, photos, etc. Jumping into one document together, the lease, having a discussion about that, then heading over to another file and chatting about it over Email, and then sharing a bunch of photos of the space somewhere else will give you a headache fast.
But this is exactly what most of us are doing right now.
Since everyone has the cloud hosting and sharing part down, thanks to services like AWS, Dropbox, Box and Drive, we’re left with “what now?” Some of that we’re seeing with acquisitions, features and piece by piece construction of a suite of apps, but at the end of the day, it will always come back to the conversation.
A fast, secure and contextual conversation. In one place. Then let the files flow. And then more conversation…
You get the picture. It’s not an easy problem to solve, but we’re not walking away until we have.
- Drew and Team Convo