Meet Do.com’s Master of Meetings

The saviour of meetings, Jason Shah, CEO chats to CRF about the two year journey that has seen 1.5 million people adopt Do.com into their daily lives

Future of Work

Within one year of launching Do.com Jason Shah CEO and his team have seen over 1.5 million employees within some of the world’s coolest brands boost productivity by adopting the app into their everyday lives. The saviour of meetings, Jason Shah, CEO chats to CRF about the journey…

So now over 100,000 meetings are scheduled through Do.com every month. It’s such a relied upon service within companies, what was the impetus for it?

I was working with Yammer over and beyond the course of the Microsoft acquisition. There were a lot of meetings, meetings about having future meetings. Often there would be twenty people all in a room, all those people away from their desks for indeterminate periods of time and the meetings often led to nothing constructive.

Literally after one of these meetings ended I walked to my manager and I left there and then. I was just so frustrated; nothing worthwhile was being achieved and in the meantime the task-list at my desk was just mounting up.

So that was the big-bang, lightbulb moment…

Yes. Absolutely. I was literally determined to fix meetings.

What was your ideal scenario?

If you think about meetings in a positive way, they should be an enjoyable opportunity to collaborate within a team. I wanted to somehow create a world with less meetings and for the meetings themselves to be shorter and more concise. That was November 2013. Two years on and Do.com is doing just that.

How have you funded the concept?

We have raised seed capital from Salesforce, Sherpa Ventures, NEA, and other top investors. 

Were you working by yourself?

The first version was designed and built between myself and a former Yammer colleague who had also quit to join me, initially it was just us in a 10×10 room working away on the idea.

Do.com rose to exponential success, how did you spread the growth across the globe?

For us it was very organic – but the product lends itself to being that way. Every person going to a meeting from different organisations would be introduced to it in a logical manner, the tool is very easy to use and very social and so the more people that used us, the more people heard about us. The fact that they kept using Do after each initial meeting is testimony to the fact that we developed an intuitive product.

Everything you do revolves around human behaviour, individually and in teams. What is your process for predicting how people will perform and react better?

My background is in computer science and sociology and my whole mindset is human orientated. I think everyone who has come on board with our team is naturally very curious about the human mind and its processes. I am always thinking about it and questioning it.. Our culture in the team backs this up as we have rigourously honest approach to what works, what can be adapted and what doesn’t.

How would you define Do’s culture?

Our culture is very innovative and people based – in the team sense and the users of our product sense. I would describe our culture as a balance of intellectual rigour and rational thinking.

Yes it’s a constant process of reviewing the systems and finding which tools work best for individuals and your team. On that note which systems do you find work best within Do.com at the moment?

Absolutely. We use Trello for our marketing work flow, Get Hub for tracking engineering tasks and emails and Slack for tasks. My inbox is still my #1 task list.

What’s your opinion on #noemail?

I can’t see emails becoming obselete; we’re always going to need to communicate and I think we just need to monitor the tools we use and how we use them to find the very best tool for the job. Emails internally can be completely abused, yet externally they are a useful communication tool.

How do you envisage the future of work?

A huge topic but primarily I think we’re mainly going to see an increase in machine/human powered workspaces where tech automatically functions for us.

With lower costs of creating software and hardware or doing tasks that we as humans forget to do. Everyday monotonous tasks, I can see these being taking over by API’s that can talk to each other and forge updates to tech naturally that way the humans can focus their energy on the design and building of new products.

Manual labour will decrease on repetitive jobs and instead create a job opening for specialists to train and configure these devices.

What areas do you want to explore with Do in 2016?

I would love Do to grow and be implemented to help many more companies.

I know our team will uphold our ethos of always being mindful to evolve product execution and ensuring that it adapts to the world and helps our users. We’ve recently launched automated productivity within the Do framework, so you can send pre-approved messages without any typing, just one-tap and it’s gone. It saves time on smaller tasks and aids communication.

We’re evolving Do to make it more realistic to cope with life and really refine the nature of the proposed interaction thereby delivering more value to our customers with very little effort on their part.

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