We first met in 2011 at a co-working space in Vancouver called Hack Hut.
I had just graduated University, and trying to build a startup.
Kalv was working on some cool projects. He had recently moved to Vancouver from London and was quickly developing a reputation as a leader in Vancouver’s tech community.
Since Hack Hut he went on to build Vancouver’s finest product development agency. Brewhouse worked with clients like Unbounce & Mobify, and assisted in forming great startups like Contractually, Loft47, and RetargetLinks.
We stayed close — I was lucky enough to share an office space with Kalv for a few years, and grateful he trusted a 25 year old with keys to the best rooftop patio in Gastown.
A few months back over beers, Kalv told me about a new thing he was building. It was simple.
“It’s a Slack add-on that automatically detects what state of work you’re in and updates your status. So basically, if you’re in the flow it’ll update your status to let your team know not to bug you.”
I immediately saw the value for my team. As a remote organization with staff in multiple timezones, I struggle with keeping the team aligned and focused.
Without an office it’s hard to know
- when someone is busy
- if someone is available to talk
There are no physical queues or context around communication.
We’re limited to assuming someone wants to hear from us if they are available in Slack. Because of that, I typically just send a message whenever I think of something — which interrupts my team and gets us both stuck in half-conversations that last an entire day.
Likewise, my entire day is filled with interruptions from people asking me questions or pulling me into channels.
THERE’S GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY!
We think so.
Holopod is a Mac + Slack app that automatically updates your status based on your work state. It integrates with apps you already use (literally everything), and syncs with your calendar to update your Slack status.
Beyond statuses, it allows teams to queue up messages to be sent at more convenient times. So instead of being interrupted by my random question when he’s in the flow, Kalv will receive my message when he’s not focused on something important.
It’s simple, but the result is cool.
I can still send some notes, thoughts or questions to someone when it’s fresh in my mind without forgetting about it later.
I spend more time doing deep work, and try to optimize my day for it.
I have more video conversations and calls, but when it’s convenient.
When I shut my laptop down for the day I feel better about getting good work done and feel more connected to my team.
I’m biased, but so far other distributed teams using Holopod are happy.
The added visibility helps teams feel more connected, and is especially impactful for a mixed team of remotes and in-office staff.
We’ve got a lot of work to do
We’re excited to launch Holopod and help more remote teams do their best work. If your team is interested in trying it out please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or sign up on our website.
Not sure how it works? Visit our holopod.com or watch the video below.
Thanks for reading.
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