Seth Godin’s Akimbo: The Zoom Revolution, Part 2

In his Akimbo podcast, Seth Godin teaches us how to adopt a posture of possibility, change the culture, and choose to make a difference. Here are my takeaways from the episode.

In this podcast, Seth discusses 17 changes that videoconferencing has influenced the way we work and live, compared to the traditional meetings. We need to be aware of the changes and perhaps even learn how to leverage the trend to our advantage.

Adding the ideas from numbers nine and ten, we will have number 11, which is transcription. Transcription means that we can automatically have a written record of everything that was discussed. We can go back over, figure out the intent, and make sure we are doing things right.

Number 12 is the idea of making meetings more computer aware. With our meetings now being digitized, we can now add more computing capabilities to our discussion. This idea is a big frontier because we could not find much use for getting computers involved in the traditional, analog-based meetings.

Number 13 is the idea of triggers. Video conferencing enables new changes and also make some old traditions optional. We are talking about a world where real estate is valued very differently. Commuting to the office for a meeting is becoming a choice, rather than mandatory. Meetings are getting shorter because people get called into discussions for the right reasons and asked to leave for the right reasons—many more triggers to come.

The number 14 is the idea of gamification. We play games with many things every day. Gamification is about status. Video conferencing allows us to gather measurements and statistics throughout the meeting. If we can figure out the proper metrics, why can we not make video conferencing a meaningful experience? Why would we not want to know that this will change the way we talk to each other professionally.

Number 16 is that it is always on. When we are in the office, the ability to have a meeting is confined to office hours. This idea of checking in with one another on an ad-hoc basis can boost productivity if used properly. There is nothing about computer video conferencing that makes that idea a difficult one.

Number 17 is the idea of scale and network effect. With the help of private enterprises and the Internet, video conferencing is free to get started. Once it is free, it is widely adopted. Once it is widely adopted, the network effect becomes ever more powerful. We are beginning to discover this significant impact on the way people are given a voice and how information flows.

Finally, number 18 is Chris Anderson’s idea of The Long Tail. Up until recently, we might only get to interact with a small group of people who are in our circle. Right now, we can interact with many more using video conferencing, and we have little in common with most of them. The long tail means we can get pockets of people who share something in common, regardless of their geographical locations. They do not even get a paycheck from the same company, but they desperately need to be connected.

This pandemic has brought a lot of damage, but one thing it has done is that it accelerated the arrival of the future. It moved the adoption of videoconferencing by three to five years ahead easily, and video conferencing will cause massive disruption in real estate, transport, and retail, to name a few areas.

If used properly, video conferencing can create so many opportunities for people to speak up, go outside their comfort zone, be heard, and be connected with the people they need to be associated with. We can certainly do more in figuring out how to create a platform for others to be great at it in this new frontier.