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6/8/2020

Open Beta Product Launch: Meeting Town, Q&A meetings that matter

Today, I am excited to announce the open beta for Meeting Town.

The mission of the product is to facilitate open and transparent communication to encourage continuous collaboration and understanding between people who run and attend everyday meetings with an initial focus on helping teams run Q&A meetings that matter.

I wrote the original version of Meeting Town 6 years ago over the weekend while I was Sr. Director of Engineering at eBay. At the time, my team members were dealing with significant uncertainty, and I knew they had questions that kept them up at night. I realized that while I didn’t have all the answers to their worries, I didn’t even know what the specific concerns were and how many people felt similarly? While I had developed strong relationships on the foundation of trust with some team members, it was challenging to build those bonds with everyone. Yet, deep down, I knew their concerns were valid. To solve these problems, I wrote a tool that allowed my team to ask questions anonymously while simultaneously providing them with the transparency of seeing all other questions asked. For those questions that were particularly relevant, participants could vote up questions.  

When I deployed the app at my next team meeting, I was shocked to discover what I didn’t know! Yet, it was gratifying that I could provide some level of transparency to the conversation. While it was uncomfortable to see pointed questions being asked from time to time, it offered an opportunity for me to foster trust. It showed that I wasn’t afraid to confront the tough questions, and importantly, I wanted the team to trust me because I didn’t have anything to hide. For the rest of my time at eBay, it became a critical tool that I used at every meeting up until the dissolution of the organization itself when PayPal and eBay split.

In the years since I’ve used the tool in several venues. Notably, it was a critical tool for my time at Upwork, where I lead over 350+ engineers across 40 countries in the world for years. With such a large team across many timezones, providing context and exercising servant leadership proved to be incredibly challenging. Using Meeting Town, I felt that I always had some sense of what the team’s concerns were, even if I wasn’t able to address them in one-on-one conversations. I’m proud of my work at Upwork, and I credit some of my success to this tool because it helped me focus on the most pressing concerns of my team.

Given the current environment, leaders need to lead with an empathy mindset. My sincere hope is that by using Meeting Town, you can build stronger relationships with your teams and the community at large. To help you on your journey, we are offering the tool for free during the open beta. I encourage you to use the tool freely regardless of how large or small your next meeting is. You might just improve communication with your team!

The production version of Meeting Town has several features my original solution never had including:

  • The platform allows organizers to create a persistent workspace that they can use to store a record of past meetings that are accessible by all participants. Unlike platforms focused on large events, Meeting Town emphasizes continuous discussion.
  • The platform enables organizers to solicit feedback and helps them understand if the meeting was well-received. We calculate an NPS score so you know how well you did. Because the data collection is numeric, your participants can give you honest feedback without fear of losing their anonymity. We believe that organizers need feedback on how well they run meetings so they can improve. Feedback forms can cause anxiety because they lack anonymity, which is why we use an NPS approach to encourage anonymous and objective feedback built into the platform.
  • The platform allows organizers to create multiple owners for workspaces to help them delegate administrative tasks.
  • The platform is mobile-web-friendly, having been tested on various phones, tablets, and browsers.
  • The platform allows users to login either with their Google or Microsoft account in addition to plain email.
  • The platform supports authenticated questions, as well as one-off anonymous questions, in addition to fully anonymous events and questions.
  • The platform allows organizers to moderate questions such as flagging questions that organizers will answer offline.

How does Meeting Town differ from PollEverywhere and Slido?

Our two main competitors are Poll Everywhere and Slido. They are both excellent products who’ve been around for many years, but we feel their audience is different from the audience we’re building for on Meeting Town. Both products tend to be focused on “events” where the buyer includes event coordinators whereas Meeting Town is designed for operators like you and me.

Critically, unlike our competitors, Meeting Town features Slack-like workspaces where users can ask questions and vote on questions for current meetings, review past meetings, and automate collecting feedback meetings all the while making it transparent to all. Our focus is on making continuous collaboration and understanding part of your culture between people that run and attend everyday meetings.

In the next two months, we’re focused on tuning the user experience, such as:

  • Making it easier to create recurring events.
  • Integrating with calendars so that it is easier to access the portal from the calendar.
  • Integrating with Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom so that audiences can participate in the collaboration tools they use most.
  • Building marketing collateral so that search engines can discover Meeting Town
  • Building backlinks and relationships with influencers and customers to use Meeting Town

My ask of you

  • Give Meeting Town a try! It’s free to use, and if it doesn’t work well, I want to know why. Please email me at hyuan@postpclabs.com.
  • Consider using our competitor solutions as well, specifically Slido and Poll Everywhere. What do you love about these solutions? We want to know so that we can build a better mousetrap.
  • Help us build social proof that Meeting Town is useful to you by allowing us to feature your logo on our homepage. In exchange, we will give you our broadest license for up to 1-year after we introduce paid plans in the Fall.
  • If you love what the product stands for, share this article with your network and tell your friends to try it.

About Post-PC Labs, LLC

Post-PC Labs, LLC is a single-person incubator founded by me and powered by freelancers around the world. We’re investing in the following areas for our first projects:

  • Wellness
  • Productivity
  • Consumer fraud
  • Small business solutions

Please reach out to me at hyuan@postpclabs.com and let me know how I can be of assistance.

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