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Notes from TechCrunch: Stratsys Disrupt Adventures

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One doesn’t need to be an investor or tech geek to have heard about TechCrunch—the American publication bringing people across the world up to speed with latest technology trends and innovations.

This past September, the RunYourMeeting team attended TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco to present our technology. As it was our first time attending, we also aimed to ask a lot of questions, play with new VR, and meet all kinds of fun and talented people.

Here is our retrospective of our time in the Bay Area, a collection of thoughts and reflections from introducing RunYourMeeting to people who’ve “seen it all.” 

 

A familiar agony: unproductive meetings

In all honesty, we were a little nervous about presenting in such an impressive atmosphere.

The fear of not being high-tech enough was real, but we stuck to our biggest assetthe idea that startup entrepreneurs, developers and investors all have something in common. Everyone can relate to the agony of unproductive meetings. Simplicity can very well disrupt the way meetings are conducted.

We were really encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive reactions people had to our product.

Our interface received tons of great feedback. At the end of the day, though, it had to be the relevance of the problem we’re solving that drew people in.

In the wide and increasingly saturated market of workplace collaboration tools, it can be risky to present a tool that does one thing (but does it well). As it turns out, though, our biggest fear turned to out to be our biggest advantage.  

Big, bad, scary AI....or is it, really?

If there were nominees for buzzword of the year, at the top of the roster would definitely be AI and machine learning. The collective hype about these concepts is ablaze across tech magazines, conferences and videos. Yet the thought leaders at TechCrunch Disrupt had a whole different take on the emerging technology trends.

While it’s common to hear various apocalyptic scenarios of a world run by an army of machines that have exceeded the brain power of humans, many within the tech industry feel that less dramatization and more appreciation should be the norm. 

At one of the fireside chats, John Giannandrea, chief of AI at Google, talked about how media enjoys coming up with worst-case scenarios when reporting about AI when instead, society should focus more on positive effects that AI and machine learning can and will bring.

This was an inspirational vein of thought for us, one that encourages our ambitions in exciting areas like using machine learning and voice recognition for better meetings.

 

Google - the West Coast colossus

It is almost impossible to avoid the presence of Google at TechCrunch. Not only physically, but in meetings, pitches, presentations and personal conversations. The vast majority of people in San Francisco are fans of the G Suite and use it in combination with various other productivity tools. While this differs as you move further east to New York and on over to Europe, Google is hands-down the cool kid on the West Coast block.

Luckily enough, we were already aware of Google's popularity in the Bay Area, and during our first day at TechCrunch Disrupt we introduced a Google registration and login feature for RunYourMeeting. If not for the login, would our pitching have been as successful? I’d like to believe that the tool itself would have been greatly appreciated, but the new login feature makes it so much easier to appeal to the needs of everyone. It certainly played a big part in our nine-hour long day, as we presented and showcased the app on repeat.

In the mission to become best of the breed, full integration with most internet services is crucial. We’re so glad to have taken the first steps of realizing the incredibly capacity of collaboration between Google and Stratsys.  If you have a Google account, you can see for yourself how easy it is to sign up and start running more effective and productive meetings. Try it out here.

And do let us know what you think! While it’s a cool experience to hear from the high-flying techies of the Bay Area, it’s even more valuable to hear from you.

 

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