Introducing Hera to the world as the most efficient way to capture and export meetings outcomes.
We’re Louise and Bruno, the founders of Hera. We met two years ago and we dared to take the plunge of making meetings great again back in November 2020.
We all know what it takes to conduct a good meeting: prepare the meeting in advance and share an agenda ahead to all participants, define a clear objective and have clear outcomes that can be shared to anyone at the end of the meeting. Nonetheless, ⅔ of employees consider that meetings are unproductive and are holding them back from doing “real work” (source). The best companies have implemented internal processes to regulate meetings. But, those companies remain the exception and tooling to upgrade our meetings has not followed.
Before starting Hera, Bruno and I were working at a French-based healthcare company called Inato in highly collaborative roles (CSM & PM). I consider Inato as being at the cutting edge of productivity. And yet, we were witnessing first hand the problem of inconclusive meetings. We were spending more and more time in meetings but were feeling less and less productive. And, the Covid pandemic had only made things worse…
We are launching Hera to make meetings productive again. Our mission is to unleash companies’ velocity and our vision is that maximal velocity is achieved only when employees have the right context to do their job.
We start by making it easy, playful and seamless to create context during a meeting and then, in 1 click, export it to the tools you already use.
Last 3 months
We resigned from our previous jobs last November. In the past 3 months, we worked part-time on the project to achieve 2 key objectives:
1/ Interviewing 100+ people to clarify the pain points around meetings and define our go-to-market strategy
We have used these interviews to map the problem space and validate hypotheses for an initial solution. To avoid biased discussions, we would let the users tell us what’s their biggest pain at work without telling them we were working on meetings. Fortunately, meetings were for 80% of them their number 1 issue.
Key learning: User interviews are as much a way to understand your problem space than it’s a way to define your target audience. Knowing who is NOT in your target audience is as important as knowing who is in.
2/ Building a working prototype that can be handled to beta testers and on which we will be able to iterate in the coming months
We knew we needed to have a working prototype for several reasons:
- Use the product ourselves and see if addresses the pain we experienced
2. Making things concrete for users and investors
3. Validate the feasibility i.e. we are able to build such product in a reasonable timeframe
Today, Hera is a Mac OS app that helps you capture highlights and next actions during meetings, without interrupting your flow. After the meeting, you can export these outcomes where you’ll use them: Notion or Google Docs for your executive summary, Asana for your next actions, Slack for the highlights.
And because we want to remove every friction to use Hera, we have developed a simple Chrome Extension to let you launch your meetings in one click from your calendar!
Key learning: Don’t jump too quickly on prototyping. Start with specs being challenged by the users, and then move to prototyping when you have a solid first flow. (we were too quick and ended up throwing our first prototype away 😓)
What’s next for 2021
1/ Push the newly created context in meetings to places where impact will be maximal. We want to expand the breadth and depth of integrations with the existing productivity stack of our users.
2/ Enable positive reinforcement loops, where previously captured context leads to faster decisions and actions: smart suggestions to fast-track recurrent meetings & asynchronous preparations.
And much more will follow. We are super excited by this journey and we will keep you posted about our progress, mistakes and learnings along the way.
We’re about to launch a closed beta. If you want to access the product before anyone else and help us shape its next iterations, you can sign up here.
We also have opened positions! Check it out here 📩