John Keith

Lucid Meetings co-founder, serial entrepreneur, based in Portland, OR
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Recent Posts

How We Created an Open API (and Added 1,000 New Integrations with Zapier)

Jan 10, 2018 by John Keith in release announcement, meeting technology (6 minute read)

 

Originally Published: July 16, 2016 when Zapier had 500+ Applications!

We began planning our public API implementation in late 2015. We had numerous requests for full Read/Write API access to the data model and were responding to stated customer needs.

By early 2016 we had the first version of the API tested and preview-ready. But an interesting thing happened -- we started hearing that people wanted a "simplicity layer" on top of the programmer-level API. What form would that take, exactly?

We started hearing that people wanted a "simplicity layer" on top of the programmer-level API

Well boy howdy, were we ever glad to find Zapier! Here's the thing, Zapier provides a "point solution"-oriented approach that addresses specific needs that real people in the real word have identified—needs that were outside our direct experience.

The core trigger-action model implemented by Zapier is super easy for non-technical users, and the promise of building a simplicity layer was compelling and real. With Zapier's codeless integrations ("Zaps"), extending Lucid Meetings with workflow automation became easy as pie.

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Topics: release announcement, meeting technology

Making the Switch to Lucid Meetings from Do.com or WorkLife

Mar 9, 2017 by John Keith in meeting technology (7 minute read)

In October 2016, Constellation Research published their ShortListTM for Meeting Management Tools. Since then, two companies on the list have been acquired.

        

WorkLife was acquired by Cisco, and their product is now a free tool called Cisco Spark Meeting Notes. Those already using WorkLife before the merger were invited to come along for the ride.

Do (do.com) was acquired by forces unknown, and recently announced that the service would shut down February 24th, 2017 while they work through the transition. If or when or in what form the service will re-emerge remains a mystery.

If you’ve come to rely on either of these products to help you run better meetings, and especially if you use Do, you may have come to Lucid looking for an alternative.

Is Lucid right for you? Maybe, maybe not!

Today I’ll go over what Do users can expect from a switch to Lucid, including what’s different and what’s the same, so you can determine whether you should start a Lucid trial. WorkLife is similar in many ways to Do, so WorkLife users should find this comparison useful too.

Then at the end, I’ll share some links to a few other meeting management platforms you might want to check into as well.

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Topics: meeting technology

Smarter Meeting Planning: The Process Approach

Aug 18, 2016 by John Keith in meeting technology (2 minute read)

How do you go about scheduling a new meeting with a group of people? David Coleman writes about his research into more than 200 meeting scheduling tools in this August, 2016 CMS Wire article, Smarter Meeting Planning Tools Try to Save You the Headache.

One of the biggest hassles with meetings is actually setting the meeting up, with multiple emails flooding inboxes deciding who could meet, what the meeting is about, and forget about trying to pin down one time when everyone can attend.

David asks: "But what if there was a better way?"  In David's analysis, the approaches for scheduling a meeting can be broken down into four main categories:

  1. Publish and subscribe tools
  2. Calendar scheduling enhancements
  3. Resource management tools
  4. Smart meeting tools

The ordering of that list can be viewed as the evolutionary order of technical solutions to the scheduling problem, with the Smart Meeting Tools section capturing the current AI and Bot zeitgeist. There are quite a few good recommendations in each category, and I think there are some interesting capabilities on the horizon in the smart tools area. Read the full post to get a full sense of David's insight into the scheduling challenge.

The article also talks about Lucid Meetings and our alternative approach based on a holistic view of effective meetings from a complete scheduling, execution, and results orientation.

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Topics: meeting technology

The Lucid Meetings Visual Event Calendar

Jan 18, 2016 by John Keith in meeting technology, release announcement (10 minute read)

My ice storm-induced, "bonus" project during the 2015 end-of-year holiday break was focused on improvements to the Lucid Meetings visual event calendar.

While we've had our visual calendar display for a couple years now, I always intended the calendar to be more fully interactive for people who prefer calendar-style interactions with our meeting platform. With a little time on my hands, it was finally time to tackle this project!

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Topics: meeting technology, release announcement

Key Learnings About Meetings and Meeting Software

Jan 7, 2016 by John Keith in behind the scenes (7 minute read)

The only thing that is constant is change.”

Heraclitus

2015, like all the years before it, was a year of big changes for Lucid Meetings. We've had a very good year. Our platform has become more mature and our customer base has grown. We've met new people and created new cooperative relationships with other companies. Business is good.

But we've all been around long enough to know that these external trappings of success can be fleeting; what we can achieve and how we grow both as a company and as individuals will depend entirely on what we do next.

That's why, when we look back at 2015, we pay special attention to what we've learned. Experience and knowledge gained are the key assets that can't be lost due to a shift in the market or any other whim of fate, and that will inform how we go boldly into 2016.

We asked each member of the Lucid leadership team to reflect on the key lessons they learned in 2015, and share them with you here.

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Topics: behind the scenes

Lucid Integrated Audio: Turbobridge Perfected

Nov 10, 2015 by John Keith in meeting technology, release announcement (13 minute read)

Lucid Meetings is a sophisticated technology platform for running excellent meetings with your (remote) team and clients. The platform addresses three significant pain points for the modern meeting organizer:

  1. How do I create a shared meeting experience when people are not in the same room?
  2. How do I run meetings that consistently get results and favorable reviews?
  3. How do I manage all the audio, video, and screensharing technology needed for online meetings?

We write regularly about "meeting best practices"  that address the first two points, focusing quite a bit on soft skills and organizational methodology. In this post we're taking a different tack by looking deeply at one of the technology issues in point three: managing the conference calling requirements for online meetings.

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Topics: meeting technology, release announcement

Creating a Customer-Focused, Risk-Free Pricing Model

Jun 23, 2015 by John Keith in release announcement (5 minute read)

Pricing is hard.

As a software-as-a-service company, you want pricing that is:   

  • Easy to understand
    So people can quickly figure out what they’d pay.
  • Competitive
    Not too cheap, not too expensive, and easy to match up when comparing alternatives. 
  • Sustainable
    If you aren’t relying on outside investors or advertising, then you need to establish prices that support your business.

We’ve struggled with this! We tried several different approaches to our pricing strategy, seeking one that works for our customers and for us as a business. Each time we made a shift, we felt like we were getting closer, but it still wasn’t right. We just didn’t feel like we’d nailed it.

Until now.

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Topics: release announcement

Meetings as Competitive Sport

May 14, 2015 by John Keith in leadership & facilitation (3 minute read)

Many years ago, I met with Michael Harrington, a public speaking coach and trainer. He described his training approach as that of "taking a competitive sports view" to public speaking.

His view was that you could train people with some very specific skills and thereby teach them to win the day, so to speak.

For some reason, that competitive view of public speaking really worked well for me. The task of public speaking became something I really wanted to master, rather than something to be dreaded and endured.

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Topics: leadership & facilitation

Question of the Day: How do you track meeting results?

Apr 30, 2015 by John Keith in tips & techniques (3 minute read)

Recently we received this question from a Lucid Meetings customer.

What have you found to be the best way to track meeting deliverables and analyze efficiency / value added during meetings?

This is a great question; one that every group should ask themselves. So, we thought it would be valuable to share our answers with everyone here.


Wow, that’s a big question, so here’s a big answer!

Before we get into the specific, let me say up-front that it definitely depends on the kind of projects you run and how meeting-savvy your team is, and we’re always available to meet with people who’d like to talk through their situation.

With that said, here are some general pointers below - hopefully it’s a helpful start!

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Topics: tips & techniques

Improve Meeting and Business Process Efficiencies with "Meet Now"

Jan 21, 2015 by John Keith in release announcement (1 minute read)

Quality Matters, But "Easy" Triumphs

We talk a lot about how to do online virtual meetings well. If you've read our blog, you know our perspective:

  • Prepare an agenda in advance
  • Send the agenda and meeting materials to attendees
  • Think about who you're inviting and the purpose
  • Record the important stuff
  • Send a followup

I know what you're thinking - but I don't always want to do that much work. Can't successful meetings just be easy?

Yes - you can use the "Meet Now" feature and be on your way!

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Topics: release announcement