Remote work used to suck.
Remember the chaos of 2020? We sure do. Like most other companies, our team at All Turtles had to adapt to being fully distributed, all the time. We loved the balance and empowerment that working from anywhere unleashed. Spending all day on video calls? Not so much.
Heads in boxes, stripped of individuality. The awkward dance of sharing slides. Making everyone choose between looking at those slides or seeing the speaker. It wasn’t only tedious; it was ineffective. It sapped the life out of work.
So we made meetings more fun. And useful.
mmhmm started life as a party trick. Being able to move around the screen, switch up backgrounds, or share screen space with our slides was a fun way to liven up a meeting. But the more we played with it, the more we liked it.
Energy increased. Attention and engagement went up. Controlling what was on-screen made it easier to point out the things that mattered. We realized that mmhmm could make online video a better experience for everyone.
A few months later, mmhmm was in beta, with 100,000 people on the waiting list. It turned out lots of folks needed an easier way to present, inform, or entertain over video. And by making mmhmm compatible with the systems they were already using — like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Webex — better meetings were suddenly within everyone’s reach.
But then something amazing happened.
As our distributed team grew, building a tool for smarter, more efficient work led us to reimagine how work should happen. We decided that better meetings and fewer meetings go hand in hand, and some things that are traditionally done face-to-face simply work better on video.
Most meetings are a poor use of valuable time. Why force everyone across multiple time zones to carve out the same hour in their schedules simply to listen to one person talk? Wouldn’t it be better to cancel the meeting and record the presentation as a video? Then everyone can watch at whatever time and speed works best for them.
Today, when we meet in real time, it’s not about information dumps. It’s about action. In-person gatherings, the most precious and expensive time of all, are for building relationships that make us more effective as a team. Thanks to mmhmm, we have more control over our time, have more meaningful meetings, and convey information more efficiently. We haven’t only survived distributed work, we’ve embraced it, permanently.
All that from a party trick.
“Don't try to recreate the old world. Imagine what can be.”
— Phil Libin, CEO & co-founder of mmhmm
Six things we believe
Hybrid work is here to stay. Successful teams can flex from live to asynchronous work and back, seamlessly.
Bad meetings kill good work. It’s hard to say anything (or hear what’s being said) if you’re tired and bored.
Visual communication is more effective, especially when the speaker can literally point at what matters.
Fewer meetings lead to better conversations, shifting the focus to informed decisions and getting things done.
The best way to build a product is in a high-trust culture where everyone has ownership and impact.
It’s time to move from being on video because we have to be, to being on video because we want to be.