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Welcome to Assemble

By Nic on 12/02/2019

Hello, and welcome to Assemble!

Assemble was founded in 2019 by a team of top-tier designers and engineers who were sick of bad meetings. We come from a wide range of different industries and backgrounds, but we all experienced one thing in common: meetingsthat didn’t live up to their potential, whether because they were unnecessary, poorly run, too long, or any of a hundred other issues.

We decided to build a solution that will change meetings forever, and we’re doing just that. Assemble is the first and only end-to-end solution for improving meetings. Our vision is to allow hosts and attendees to collaborate and prepare before meetings, help facilitate more effective collaboration and value-creation during meetings in real time, and improve follow up and action-item tracking after meetings.

Before we get further into our solution, however, let’s start by talking about meetings.

What’s the big deal about meetings?

If you’re anything like us or the hundreds of people we’ve spoken with, you run into a variety of issues and problems in your professional life on a monthly or even weekly basis that need fixing, which begs the question; why did we decide to focus on fixing problems with meetings?

The status quo

When we run into problems in our professional lives, we usually try to find a solution to improve whatever it is that isn’t working well. Keeping track of busy schedules is hard, so we use calendar applications. Remembering everything we have to do is practically impossible, so we use task management tools.

What’s surprising about the reality of meetings today is that despite unanimous agreement that they’re inefficient and have the potential to be so much better, as a work culture we’ve accepted the status quo. Bad meetings are just a part of life. Right?

We fundamentally disagree. We saw meetings as a clear opportunity to take on a complex, long-standing and pervasive problem that would have a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of millions of people if we could successfully address it. We believe we can, and our team is committed to achieving that goal.

The value

Another reason we decided to focus on fixing problems with meetings is that meetings are critical to the operations of nearly all companies. The decisions made, the ideas generated, the agreements reached in meetings are where most businesses will succeed or fail. When meetings are done poorly, the entire company suffers, and when meetings are done well, the entire company benefits.

We’re passionate about fixing things that matter, and improving meetings will concretely benefit companies in the area where they are most sensitive and have the highest potential for value-creation: human interaction. As a place where we come together to exchange ideas, solve problems and create value, meetings should be the best and most valuable part of our work days. That’s not a wide-spread reality right now, but we believe it can be.

The cost

Finally, meetings are expensive, plain and simple. They have an extremely high opportunity cost since they involve multiple, often very highly paid people, all attending a meeting instead of doing whatever else they could be doing. Here’s a brief example to illustrate this point.

The average US employee spends 1.5 hours a day in meetings. In a 200 person company, this equates to 75,000 hours spent in meetings by employees per year.* The average US employee makes an hourly wage of $27.98. Thus, the opportunity cost of meetings for an average 200 person company in the US is $2,098,500 per year. In larger companies with more highly paid employees, the annual opportunity cost of meetings crosses the $1,000,000,000 mark very quickly.

The more inefficient meetings are, or the more meetings that take place that didn’t even need to happen, the more time employees spend in meetings. This ends up frustrating employees and wasting a huge amount of money each year. By reducing the number of unnecessary meetings and improving meeting efficiency, we can save companies thousands to millions of dollars every year by improving meeting outcomes and freeing up employees to spend more time doing what they’re paid to do.

Onward and upward

In the next few posts we’ll dig into specific problems with meetings, our proposed solutions, the Assemble platform, meeting analytics, and more.

We hope you’ll join us on our adventure to improve meetings for everyone, forever.