Increasing the Production Value of Remote Meetings With Mark Schnittman, Co-Founder and CTO of Owl Labs

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We need to make hybrid meetings as natural and successful as in-person meetings. It just, it has to happen.” 


What good is a hybrid meeting if you are remote and can’t see and hear what’s most important? Mark Schnittman, the Co-Founder and CTO of Owl Labs, breaks down how his company is creating products to help make hybrid meetings more meaningful for all participants. Learn about how Mark landed on the idea of creating a camera that could better capture the in-person meeting experience for remote teammates. 


Key Insights


Can a Low-tech Solution Lead To a Better High-tech Product? (06:42)

In a previous job, when he was a remote worker, Mark shares how one of his colleagues used a swivel chair to point a laptop at whomever was speaking. This was an aha moment for Mark that led to him considering how he could build a camera that could do this rather than a person. It’s curious to think about how a very technical product can be born from an originally more basic solution. 

What’s the Best Way To Get Helpful Feedback From Users? (34:00:)

Mark contends that surveys are helpful to get feedback from customers but there’s value in human to human conversations too. Remembering the power of person-to-person communication is something all of us can take into consideration in our own work. 

“And then the other thing is following up by actually talking to people because people just writing down a sentence or a sentence fragment usually in a survey is one thing, but you really have to ask the questions behind the question.” 

Is It a Builder’s Job To Make Something So Amazing That It Ends up Becoming Common Eventually? (41:15)

 “At first it’s magical and then it becomes completely commonplace and expected. This is the life of technology.”

If You Have Kids, Should You Bring Tech Home From Work for Them To Learn From? (47:33) 

Mark shares how his father brought home computers from his teaching job for him to fiddle with. You never know what a child, or even an adult, may become interested in. Creating access to tools and ideas is the first step and then it’s about allowing creativity to flourish from there. 

About the Guest:

Mark is the Co-founder of Owl Labs and is an engineer at heart. He enjoys using his experience with product development to make everyday products and experiences better for consumers. He came up with the idea for the first Meeting Owl when he found that placing a laptop on a spinning stool provided the best experience when he joined team meetings as the only remote participant. Mark holds 18 patents, a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Brown University, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and robotics from Tufts University.

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Episode 366