In an evening MBA program, its often hard to physically meet your teammates after a full day’s work. My team for Econ consisted of two of us from Bay area and one of the team-members was actually residing in San Diego. Even when everyone is in the same location, it’s hard to drive down to a Starbucks 30 miles away at 7:00 pm.
So after our first meeting of debating whether a certain curve was “an inverted bath tub” or a “kind of hockey stick”, we switched to this video-conferencing solution: VSee. And yes its free to download and use, indefinitely!!
Vsee is a peer-2-peer video conferencing solution. It’s really easy to set-up and use. They also provide an integrated audio, document sharing and chat option. Where these guys score over other consumer video-conferencing solution is the low-bandwidth requirement. So people on slower networks also have a pretty good video experience. At cable speed, it’s almost life-like. Yesterday, in a 90-min meeting, the connection dropped only once. So it’s pretty stable. Now instead of describing the curves, we just share them (if you have a soft copy) or show the hard-copy in front of the camera.
Another reason I like it, that compared to a phone conference, video conferencing prevents you from multi-tasking. You have to concentrate on the discussion at hand. I personally think that its useful to be fully engrossed in a meeting than trying to do 3 things in a half-ass way, especially when its a team meeting with 3-4 people where everyone’s input is important. I get more out of these meetings.
Last but not the least, Hrishi is working on this product currently. And I am seeing it grow every week, so it’s pretty personal.
For part-time MBA students or other small disparate teams, I highly recommend video-conferencing. I think there’s a stigma attached because of bad v-con experiences of the early 2000s, but the experience is very different now with the increased network speed. So give it a try…