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Have a bath on us, and a rubber duck

Posted on 31 Jan, 2014 by in Collaboration & productivity | 2 comments

I honesty don’t remember what my work life looked like before Huddle both the life before I began doing marketing for this company and before I started using Huddle as a productivity tool. Six years (two weeks from today) is a long time in the technology industry.

If you’re an avid Facebook user, try to imagine how different it was to interact with your friends before you discovered a chronologically organized News Feed and instant photo sharing. Can you even recall those times?

What Facebook’s value to you?

Jemima Kiss, of the Guardian newspaper in the UK, recently asked her followers on Twitter, “How has Facebook changed your life? And is it for better or for worse?”

Her question made me question our own struggle with qualifying the impact of Huddle on people’s working lives. Our mission, not so dissimilar from Facebook’s—to help people connect and work better together.

Can you put a value on the benefits of Facebook? One response to Jemima’s question read: “FB has saved me money, in that I no longer need to tend a reunion to find out what happened to my classmates.” Monetary value for the win!

What’s Huddle worth to you?

I know for a fact that using Huddle saves workers on average 104.7 minutes a week. On that basis, we could, naturally, extrapolate the total savings per organization. Subtract the monies you have to pay Huddle for the product and support, and it will leave you a nice chunk of your IT budget to play with. Our sales guys can run these numbers for you. No brainer, right?

However, the recent study by IBM discovered IT and business decision-makers are less concerned about cost savings than they are about creating a substantial competitive advantage. We are told that the leading enterprises who have the competitive advantage achieve it by “collaborating more effectively through social business tools”.

I don’t know about you, but collaborating, effectively, social business tools, these are the words that largely diminish my desire to get up in the morning and run to the office. I spend 8+ hours here every day and I need leverage not a headache.

The rise of priceless software

Going back to Jemima’s question posed on Twitter, the majority of comments didn’t quantify how Facebook changed their lives for the better. People talked about being connected to friends and family and how it eliminates the sense of isolation and loneliness. You can’t put a price on that.

Imagine if Facebook disappeared all of a sudden—taken away from you. Are you starting to sweat a bit? That’s exactly how I feel about Huddle. Once I’ve experienced what my work life can be like, I can’t possibly ever go back.

I’m not alone. One of our customers, Monitise, feels the same way about Huddle.

Monitise told us, “we approached people to ask what they thought of Huddle, and they panicked thinking we were taking it away from them. I think that shows how much we love it.”

And this does make me wonder: why can’t a piece of software not only make our work lives easier and help us get the job done faster, but also make us feel good inside, more connected to other people, in short keep us happy in the workplace? Surely, happy workers sell?

Huddle is not like Facebook for business

We have always steered away from selling Huddle as Facebook for the enterprise. In the earlier years of the social software revolution, every Tom, Dick, and Harry was building the “Facebook for business”. It ultimately became synonymous with software that was more about chatting than doing. The social business software pioneer, Jive, has taken a few years to distance itself from the very moniker it had created. After Yammer got acquired by Microsoft, productivity was in—social was not exactly out—but all the fun associated with it was gone. The Facebook analogy was just too much fun for some.

If you look closely, sure, there are some similarities. There’s a News Feed for all the work that’s happening across your team and company not just chatter, but documents, projects, and conversations. There are quick and easy ways of sharing stuff you’re working on with anyone your heart desires whether they’re on your corporate network or not. Let me repeat this, so it sinks in anyone can work with anyone just as easily as if they were emailing them. And if there’s a Facebook app for your mobile or iPad, there certainly is one for Huddle.

We are infinitely more obsessive about your privacy and the security of your data. With our closed security model in place—which means you have to explicitly invite people into your workspace—you can also dictate how they can interact with the content you post. And there’s also a clever algorithm that resurfaces all the documents and projects you’re interested in no need for sifting through your News Feed.

But Huddle is not Facebook for business.

Have a bath on us, and a rubber duck

So what is the ultimate benefit of Huddle? Is it thousands of dollars saved in extra IT budget, or a clear advantage over your competitors, because you get your work and products to market faster?

Or perhaps a hot bath duly earned after a hard-day’s work. Incidentally, I’m told it takes about 20 minutes to take a bath, which is exactly how long Huddle saves you a day.

Maybe it’s just as simple as Huddle giving you back some time to soak your weary body, reflect, relax, and feel happy about your job and working with your colleagues. What’s not to like? And I’ll throw in a rubber duck.

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2 Comments

  1. Richard

    January 31, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I do not question Huddle’s effectiveness but I have to pull you up on your assertion that you know for a fact that “using Huddle saves workers on average 104.7 minutes a week.” – the only fact is that a small survey of self-selecting respondents believe (correctly or incorrectly) that they indiviudally have saved a certain amount of time.

  2. Zuzanna Pasierbinska-Wilson

    February 4, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Hi Richard,
    I’m glad that you’ve brought it up. I guess I have not put my point accurately enough. I position ‘productivity gains’ against this ‘je ne sais quoi’ feeling that you get when you start using a piece of software that changes your life, when no longer you can imagine your work life without it. I am convinced that our customers feel the same, even if they can’t work out exactly what the ROI on Huddle is. As a sociologist I recognize that our sample is rather small, but as a marketer it gives me an opportunity to provide some commentary on the subject. Hope you won’t hold it against me.

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