is a phone too hard to use?

Working at Mozilla, I get to see a lot of great things.  One of them is collaborating with my team (as we are almost all remoties) and I have been doing that for almost 6 years.  Sometime around 3 years ago we switch to using Vidyo as a way to communicate in meetings.  This is great, we can see and hear each other.  Unfortunately heartbleed came out and affects Mozilla’s Vidyo servers.  So yesterday and today we have been without Vidyo.

Now I am getting meeting cancellation notices, why are we cancelling meetings?  Did meetings not happen 3 years ago?  Mozilla actually creates an operating system for a … phone.  In fact our old teleconferencing system is still in place.  I thought about this earlier today and wondered why we are cancelling meetings.  Personally I always put Vidyo in the background during meetings and keep IRC in the foreground.  Am I a minority?

I am not advocating for scrapping Vidyo, instead I would like to attend meetings, and if we find they cannot be held without Vidyo, we should cancel them (and not reschedule them). 

Meetings existed before Vidyo and Open Source existed before GitHub, we don’t need the latest and greatest things to function in life. Pick up a phone and discuss what needs to be discussed.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “is a phone too hard to use?

  1. I view this a little differently. I think this is a great opportunity to reevaluate the need for many meetings. If you can skip them this week, why not next? We’ve become even more global in the past couple of years and it’s impossible to hold meetings in a way that doesn’t suck for at least one timezone. We should be replacing them with asynchronous communication wherever possible.

  2. Tyler

    I agree with Ben, I think that we as a company often have too many large, relatively unproductive meetings. I feed e-mails, IRC, or smaller, focused meetings are much more productive than larger meetings most of the time. Meeting just for the purpose of meeting is a waste of time.

  3. elvis314

    Agreed guys. I have enjoyed the trend the last 9 months of bi-weekly meetings (instead of weekly). When I do have meetings, irc/etherpad is very effective, although nothing replaces in person meetings for me.

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