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2014 Is the Year of Online Meetings

Illustration for article titled 2014 Is the Year of Online Meetings

It's typical to waste a ton of time texting, tweeting, and otherwise faux-communicating on our phones, but the thought of using them to make actual calls garners a resounding "meh" — which is sort of not optimal when you work with clients and coworkers from all over the world.


But makes communicating simple. In addition to saving time otherwise spent wrangling your team together for an in-person meeting or conference call, offers a ton of features to help small businesses communicate more efficiently: it records presentations, allows for screen annotation, sharing, and collaborating, and logs meetings so that employees with scheduling conflicts can listen in later.

Studio@Gawker (that's us!) got to test-drive (read about it here), but we're not the only ones wishing death upon inefficient meetings in 2014. We followed up with some previously profiled fans to find out how they plan to improve communication within their companies in the coming year.

Blue Apron delivers original recipes and curated ingredients for $9.99 to customers across the country, which requires massive coordination (you can imagine). They began using last fall, but they're looking forward to growing with it in 2014:

We experienced explosive growth in 2013, expanding nationwide and delivering over 300,000 meals a month. Our goal for 2014 is to continue to build the brand and grow the company, establishing Blue Apron as a household name. has been invaluable for us as we launch new offices and fulfillment centers, train staff, and collaborate with vendors and partners. It improves our communication both internally and externally, and saves us both time and money that would otherwise be spent on flights and hotels.

— Ilia Papas, Founder and CTO of Blue Apron

That brings us to Groove, the customer support company bringing shame to call centers of yore by using live chat, social media, and analytics to encourage client feedback and allow techs to solve problems from anywhere (including their smartphones). We asked Groove what the secret to their growth has been:

The biggest catalyst to our growth, by far, has been our ability to deeply understand our customers. User metrics can only tell you so much, but being able to jump on a meeting and watch customers interact with our product has helped us make huge breakthroughs. We've gotten ideas for new features, found bugs that weren't being reported and learned to better convey the value of Groove to new prospects. has become a critical part of our customer development process.

For example, one of our customers was having a technical issue, but a language barrier made it difficult for us to understand the problem. After much back-and-forth, I simply sent her a link to a meeting and asked her to show me. In less than 30 seconds, it became crystal clear what the issue was, and we were able to get it resolved right away. We don't want communication issues to keep our customers from getting maximum value out of Groove, and with, it's no longer a problem.

— Alex Turnbull, CEO of Groove

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This post is a sponsored collaboration between and Studio@Gawker.