Meeting Mate

Peter Brown, Cynthia Hsu, Darrell Ehrlich, Swaroop Venkatesh, Todd Egan, Mark Saly

Abstract

We all know that meetings can be a tremendous waste of time, but statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Harvard Business Review help to put this startling loss of productivity into perspective …   

  • Employees spend 14 or more hours per week in meetings rated with 38% of those meetings rated inefficient by participants
  • Senior management spends more time in meetings and ranks 71% of those meetings as inefficient
  • 65% of managers’ report that meetings keep them completing critical tasks and come at the expense of deep thinking
  • There are over 250 million meetings held every month in the US (3 billion per year).  This total is rising with an increasingly mobile/remote workforce 

This data reveals tens of billions of dollars wasted in unproductive meetings and likely many frustrated employees. 

The impact of meeting inefficiency is not lost on Human Resources, but executives from Samsung, VMware and Applied Materials reveal persistent inability to significantly improve either efficiency or satisfaction metrics over the course of years.  Even companies with a strong meeting culture like Intel struggle to maintain that culture within an evolving, increasingly remote workforce.

These businesses are eager to improve employee meeting efficiency and workplace morale. Training is part of the solution, but the impact of training fades when desired behaviors are not nurtured and encouraged.  Software feedback can be used to simplify and sustain the required change in culture, but today’s software tools are not widely adopted because they cannot be integrated into existing workflows.  

We conducted an independent survey of over 120 professionals from multiple companies across the globe and it identified that individuals were very willing to receive feedback about meetings so that they could better improve. 70% of respondents said that they would willingly and regularly provide feedback if a simple process was available, and 80% of respondents would appreciate receiving feedback on presentations and meeting effectiveness.

Our research also shows that software required to motivate improved meeting culture must have the following attributes …

  • Closely integrated into the existing enterprise productivity tools and social landscape from calendaring and video conferencing to messaging, email, and HR systems
  • Enabled by natural and non-intrusive encouragement of desired behaviors with features like meeting cost estimates and pre-populated agenda templates for invites
  • Configurable to company specific culture and cultural initiatives
  • Driven by constructive feedback and metrics collected from attendees  

Our solution is Meeting Mate; a cloud service which enables measurable, high-value transformation of corporate meeting culture. Meeting Mate collects both hard-data from systems (e.g. number of attendees, durations etc.), and connects that with softer metrics such as human generated feedback and smart audio analytics. All of this data is combined, and smart reports are generated that recommend behavioral changes and allow meeting organizers and teams to better organize and run meetings in the future.

We seek a Series A investment of $3.5M for product development, marketing and sales with profitability and positive cash flow of $18M expected in 2024.