I am very happy to announce our investment in Owl Labs.
If you were in our Boston conference room a few years ago, you would have seen at least six cameras around the round the room, cables hanging all over the place and a matrix switcher towards the end of the table. Our receptionist would have set you down at a very specific seat and made sure you had your laptop down just so.
I worked the matrix switch. Our meetings in theory looked like “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” — a bunch of talking heads, the active camera is on the active speaker. I would zoom in and out to the room when it made sense, mix in 2 or 3 people to the frame during a discussion. I am surprised that I did not get kicked out of the building for my little experiment that went on for too long.
Video conferencing has been a central part of our daily work at Spark. It became an acute problem, when we added a third office and remote workers. This is the same problem most companies experience every day. I have been on a quest to make it better for us and went to extremes.
Setup and tear down of meetings, connecting laptops to presentations, inviting external users was always a problem. Fortunately Zoom came along just in time.
The much harder problem is to make your co-workers thousands of miles away feel as if they are in the same room with you having a productive conversation. That is the holy grail.
Owl Labs is a dream come true. It is an awesome product that provides an amazing experience across your choice of video conferencing system and so much more. I am looking forward to working with a team of people who felt the same pain I did so much so that they started a company, built an amazing product and already brought much joy to many.