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August 10, 2011

6

Meetin.gs – Simply Effortless Meetings

5 Awards. All Awardees Selected. No Awards Remaining.

Meeting.gs - startup featured on StartUpLift

Meetin.gs enables you to organize meetings effortlessly over organizational boundaries.

Target Audience: People who organize and participate in business meetings regularly.
Website URL: http://www.meetin.gs


Feedback sought:

  • Visit http://www.meetin.gs. Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on the home page. What do you think the site is about?
  • Now go back to the site and comment on various elements of the site.
  • Sign up for the service. You will receive your free private beta invitation the next day.
  • Once you are logged in, what do you think of the sign up process?
  • Check out the “getting started” guide. You can find a link on the bottom or during the sign up process. What do you think of the guide?
  • Create your first meeting. Then upload materials, edit the agenda, add a few notes, and if possible, invite some friends to participate.
  • What do you find bothersome? What do you like?
  • How do you think the site compares to other similar sites/competitors like doodle.com and yamlabs.com?
  • Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have.

About Meetin.gs:

No passwords, no registrations, and no downloads. Meetin.gs creates a shared online space for meeting collaboration, including files, shared documents, notes, and agenda.

Meetin.gs has superb email integration. Every meeting related email includes latest updates, ashort email address (@mtn.gs), and a short link for sending in meeting related material and notes.

Participants can use their existing tools and virtual solutions such as tablet, smartphone, and desktop applications. All content is embedded in-browser for quick preview of presentations, documents, multimedia, and spreadsheets. Integrates with MS Outlook, Lotus Notes, and Google Calendar for quick setup.

 

       
6
  1. [1]
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    Points: 10877
    Rank: Level 14
    Has Helped 216 Startups
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    Aug 10 2011
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    Feedback sought: Visit http://www.meetin.gs. Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on the home page. What do you…
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

  2. [2]
    Teemu Arina
    Aug 10 2011
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    Dear Zack: The service has a delay in sending the invitations during the private beta. We have now enabled to send the invtations out instantly during this competition. You will receive your access in a moment. Love to hear your thoughts once you have received access.

  3. [3]
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    Points: 10877
    Rank: Level 14
    Has Helped 216 Startups
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    Aug 10 2011
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    After clicking beta test link - I scheduled a test meeting. Now it says to setup the meeting, schedule the…
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

  4. [4]
    Lostness
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    Points: 3082
    Rank: Level 11
    Has Helped 7 Startups
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    Aug 10 2011
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    Test done after beta revamp (instant access to beta version) Feedback sought: Visit http://www.meetin.gs. Spend no more than…
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

  5. [5]
    Teemu Arina
    Aug 10 2011
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    Zack, excellent questions. I will answer them in separate messages:

    1) How do you offer a service that is not already offered by the millions of time management software already in existence. It is much easier to just go ahead and use my Microsoft Outlook.

    Time management and scheduling is eady inside organizations with solutions such as Outlook. Also sharing material is easy if the organization has an online collaboration space. We all know email is not a very good collaboration tool if files are involed.

    But when you move outside an organization to have meetings between people from different organizations, people will have different calendaring solutions that are not compatible with each other. Therefore email exchange is needed to find a suitable time. This is a waste of time. This a problem we want to solve, but so do Doodle and others.

    However, once you have the meeting setup you need to share files, create meeting minutes & notes, use ipads and other portable devices, communicate next actions with the back office, have an online conferencing room etc.

    Time management software doesn’t solve the collaboration problem over oranizational boundaries. You either need to go back to email or setup a separate online collaboration space for everyone, usually involving passwords, complicated manuals and hard to remember URLs.

    We firmly believe email has 100% user approval, but in meeting collaboration it is a source of lost productivity (in addition to inproductive meetings themselves). This is a problem we want to address. We want people to be able to stick to email, but still have a shared space for the meeting. We also aim to make it so that every merting you organize automatically includes a meeting specific email address, teleconference number and real-time collaboration space. The learning curve should be low and it should interface with familiar systems (email, outlook, google calendar etc). We want to interface with backoffice systems (such as sharepoint) to make meeting results available to employees.

    We are still in private beta and improving the product towards this goal.

    Your feedback well underlines this confusion of understanding the exact value of this service early on. We will improve both the site and simplify the software further in the upcoming weeks to highlight the benefits today. Thanks!

  6. [6]
    sbutler23
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    Points: 125
    Rank: Level 4
    Has Helped 3 Startups
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    Aug 10 2011
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    Visit http://www.meetin.gs. Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on the home page. What do you think the site is about?…
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

  7. [7]
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    Points: 10877
    Rank: Level 14
    Has Helped 216 Startups
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    Aug 10 2011
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    I think you should clearly define what you offer in a tagline (which is typically found beneath or near your…
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

  8. [8]
    KovacsPeter
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    Points: 601
    Rank: Level 7
    Has Helped 10 Startups
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    Aug 10 2011
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    Visit http://www.meetin.gs. Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on the home page. What do you think the site is about?…
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

  9. [9]
    Teemu Arina
    Aug 10 2011
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    Excellent points once again, Zack, thank you very much. I like your clear example, something that human beings would understand.

    I will give you a bit of context how we see our positioning compared to the rest of the market place. This gives an idea on the problem on the market place we aim to solve.

    As I see it now, we have 5 major categories of competitors:

    Real-Time Virtual Conferencing
    Problem: virtual conferencing providers do a great job in providing a real-time collaboration space for online meetings. Email is still needed for organizing and sharing files/notes/recording. We see virtual conferencing providers as our partners for integration, as we do not want to compete with their already superb offerings but rather tap into areas before and after meetings where meeting communication is still cumbersome.

    Feature-Packed Meeting Collaboration Spaces
    Problem: full-blown meeting collaboration spaces I’ve tried are too complex, have too many features and easily compete with the existing virtual conferencing providers that companies might use. Providers who try to include tools for running meetings (such as mind maps, SWOT tools etc.) risk being average on every area and competing with existing tools that people might already have.

    Meeting Scheduling Services
    Problem: takes care of scheduling, but files, notes etc. still move through email. Doodle etc. are useful tools and perform one function very well. We however believe it is important to take care of the meeting related communication all the way through.

    Agenda and Notes Taking Focused Services
    Problem: not all meetings are agenda or action focused. Some more creative or informal meetings do not need to be highly structured.

    Company-specific Collaboration Spaces
    Problem: if you organize an online space for cross-organizational collaboration, participants often need a manual, a user account, a specific web address, and access through firewalls. Tools are often focused on other things such as project management and are not necessarily designed from the point of view of running meetings. Not to mention that it is a lot of work for the organizer to take care of, including user accounts – a meetin.gs space is ready in a few minutes.

    So how I see it is this: there is a spectrum of highly complex and highly structured collaboration tools that are either too hard, have high management overhead or are too structured to be effective for cross-organizational collaboration. Then there are very simple tools that help you to schedule a time but do not help you with the rest of the communication challenges before, during and after the meetings.

    Our sweet spot is right in the middle by creating an easy-to-use interface for meeting collaboration as an alternative to email exchange (still work to do), interfacing with various email and calendaring solutions that have 100% user approval, enable people to use readily available meeting-related solutions (such as virtual conferencing and mobile applications, both features currently under development) and integrate the file management to back-office collaboration tools (Dropbox, Sharepoint etc.).

    In this way we wouldn’t be stepping on the toes of existing collaboration platforms, calendars or virtual conferencing solutions that companies might already be using, but rather would be solving the very problem of finding a suitable time, keeping everyone updated and making it easier to collaborate on notes and files – neither without the communication overhead provided by email nor the problems involved in typical cross-organizational collaboration situation.

    Would appreciate your view on this in terms of making the value proposition even more appealing and simple to understand.

  10. [10]
    Teemu Arina
    Aug 10 2011
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    Thank you for your excellent observations. It is true that ipads dominate, making one even perhaps to get an early impression that this is a mobile application of some sorts.
    It is now obvious that the getting started guide needs to be provided in a much better and clearer HTML format primarily and PDF as a secondary download option for those who need a paper copy.
    Visual customization is coming very soon, it is on the development schedule. HTTPS login is already in place, full HTTPS service is coming soon too.
    Facebook integration will be improved by allowing you to invite people who are your facebook friends. This is something we also look to work with for example Google, so that you can invite people directly from your Google address book and also see your own availability integrated with Google calendar.
    Showing something about a meeting the side of Facebook feels a bit separate now, as this is not a public community: maybe the ability to use Facebook’s internal messaging for meeting requests and approvals could work. This is however a bit unreliable as it requires all your meeting participants then to accept to use a Meetin.gs facebook app, which I believe is not a very easy thing to persuade people to do. It would also be great to have meetings appear as private Facebook events, but this is still beyond my wildest dreams in terms of technical implementation.
     

  11. [11]
    Teemu Arina
    Aug 10 2011
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    Live meeting support and HTTPS is coming soon. We aim to integrate various live meeting solutions, as there are excellent options already on the market but most of them do not do a good job (if any at all) in terms of email communication and file sharing, so there is an obvious win-win situation to be found by combining various solutions.
    We are already investigating deeper integration with google and outlook during scheduling. We also look into introducing a meetin.gs plugin for these solutions.

  12. [12]
    Teemu Arina
    Aug 10 2011
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    Wow, thank you KovacsPeter for the attention to detail.
    Clock with ready options for setting the time quickly is on our todo list. It is certainly interesting to make use of a calendar integration here to pick available times.
    We are currently thinking of separating the shared notes section and drop the three column view in favor of two columns and a Facebook-style foldable chat that would act as shared notes. This makes the page simpler, increases screen estate for material content and allows the chat to remain visible at all times. Not to mention clear separation from material comments.
    Excellent observation on opening the document editing immediately after naming a shared document. Also the order of new documents in the material list. We are also looking into drag & drop ordering the materials to your liking but new documents should appear always on the bottom.
    If you email a file with a note in the text body, the text content of your email will appear as the comment of the uploaded file. This is not mentioned in the email text.
    Regarding cross-meeting interaction: you can currently add material from a previous meeting. Other similar features are in the plans, including a more visual way to browse meetings as sort of “projects”. Many meetings are inside a continuum and there is currently no way to see the relationship between multiple meetings.
    We will improve the “wizard” that shows you what to do by having more interaction with the items in the list, such as closing items already completed.
    Once again, thanks!
     
     
     

  13. [13]
    Latasha
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    Points: 8628
    Rank: Level 13
    Has Helped 171 Startups
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    Aug 11 2011
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    Visit http://www.meetin.gs. Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on the home page. What do you think the site is about?…
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

  14. [14]
    KovacsPeter
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    Points: 601
    Rank: Level 7
    Has Helped 10 Startups
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    Aug 12 2011
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    Just a tiny addition: I've got the emails about my meetings (which is nice), so I checked back to see…
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

  15. [15]
    Teemu Arina
    Aug 12 2011
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    There actually is an indicator, and it is color of the calendar icon:
    blue: past
    green: upcoming
    pink: current
    gray: unknown
    This color coding of course is not immediately obvious. Maybe a legend could be added somewhere. Thanks for the input!

  16. [16]
    StartUpLift
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    Points: 5265
    Rank: Level 12
    Has Helped 1062 Startups
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    Aug 13 2011
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    Zack Love has been selected as an awardee.
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

  17. [17]
    StartUpLift
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    Points: 5265
    Rank: Level 12
    Has Helped 1062 Startups
    ------------------
    Aug 13 2011
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    Zack Love has been awarded for follow up feedback.
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

  18. [18]
    StartUpLift
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    Points: 5265
    Rank: Level 12
    Has Helped 1062 Startups
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    Aug 13 2011
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    KovacsPeter has been awarded.
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

  19. [19]
    StartUpLift
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    Points: 5265
    Rank: Level 12
    Has Helped 1062 Startups
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    Aug 13 2011
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    Lostness has been selected as an awardee.
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

  20. [20]
    StartUpLift
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    Points: 5265
    Rank: Level 12
    Has Helped 1062 Startups
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    Aug 13 2011
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    Latasha has been awarded.
     

    Only authorized users may view the content of this feedback.

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