I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison’s blog about software, marketing, politics, photography and time lapse.

Meeting Defragmenter

Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Meeting Defragmenter

Screw Holacracy, I have an idea that will revolutionize business and drive the next wave of global productivity gains. It’s a simple question of fixing meetings.

My dream week is one where I have two miserable days with back to back meetings and forget lunch, there isn’t even enough time to grab a coffee. Sound miserable? The upside is three uninterrupted days where I can cruise through a ridiculous amount of work.

My real week - meetings dotted throughout each day with half hour breaks in between. And many of these meetings will involve eighteen people shoehorned into a closet because someone booked the big room for a 1:1.

We need a meeting defragmenter.

Let go of picking a time and a room. Just say who you need to meet with and for how long. The meeting defragmenter will pick the best room and group all meetings as close together as possible with a five minute break in between.

Your company can decide if you prefer to load mornings or afternoons, or maybe Mondays and Thursdays. You can set core hours for each team.

Information workers take around twenty minutes to enter a state of flow which is where you need to be to write great code, conduct awe-inspiring analysis or generally do anything of value to your company. A half hour gap in between meetings is just enough time to get back to your desk, dismiss unwelcome interruptions, start to get into a state of mind to tackle some real work and then realize it’s time for another meeting.

Giving more people more blocks of useful time would be an incalculable benefit to their mental health, their businesses and the global economy. This one simple tool could change the world.

As usual if any of my billionaire investor readers are interested, call me.

(Previously)

Baby tech should let everyone sleep

Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Baby tech should let everyone sleep

The range of baby technology now available is astonishing. You can load up with a smart sock, smart diapers, smart pacifier, phone connected scales (doppler, ultrasound...), Nespresso for formula, a cry translator and of course a wide range of ultra-sensitive, night-vision stalking, shrieking / vibrating baby monitoring systems.

But all this innovation is mostly being wasted on paranoid first time parents who need to obsessively check that everything is OK every five seconds (not judging, have been there).

What I need is a baby monitor that does one thing: wait a minute per month of age and see if there is still a problem. Stay silent until this threshold is passed.

As usual, billionaire investor readers please call me.

Earthquake Supply Co.

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Earthquake Supply Co.

The last time we refreshed our earthquake supply kit was because of a smell. It turned out a water container had burst. This rusted most of the cans, and then the became a domestic Superfund Site. 

Given the current subscription commerce trend - get a new belt shipped by FedEx every four hours - I think there's a small business or a very interesting nonprofit here. 

Deliver a 10-day disaster survival kit every couple of years. Pick up the old one a few months before the food expires and donate it to a homeless shelter. Repeat until the next big one strikes and the kit is actually needed. Different levels for different family sizes, pets, special needs, etc. 

As usual any of my billionaire readers who are interested in funding this should drop me a line