Agave Weekly Update #3
This week we continued to hold many meetings in our virtual office at Agave.com. At some point we’ll double down on coding and product, but for now, we’re having fun getting feedback at this early stage.
Dave and I reached a personal milestone of getting enough joy from this app that we no longer have the desire to return to a physical office. We’ve both worked remotely for years, so we’re not strangers to it. And we’ve also worked in physical offices for years, too. But we strongly wanted some of the old benefits of a physical office space, since we’re now living in a remote world. That itch is gone, which is great!
To summarize what the Agave.com social virtual office is and does:
We make informal conversations easy. I feel overall great about how much progress we’ve made here. In week 1 and 2, my laptop couldn’t even handle the video calls. The fan would spin, battery would drain, and I couldn’t use Facebook Messenger to text while I was on a call. We’ve fixed many performance issues here, and call quality is great.
We help remote teams experience more serendipity. We still have more work to do here, even though the ease of casual introductions is my favorite serendipitous moment while using this app. One of my favorite moments this week was meeting an investor’s wife when he visited the office. It was totally unplanned, and it felt like I was in the same room with both of them. Pro tip: the video quality and latency matters a lot here. On wifi, I have 50ms latency. With a physical cable, it’s 5ms. This is a huge difference. I plug my desktop into my modem directly via a physical cat 6 cable, and I turn off wifi except for when I use airdrop from my phone. I think everyone who works remotely should do this with their desktop. I use this cat 6 cable (long enough to reach my office from my living room).
Major version bump: v1.1.0. 👏 Nice work Dave.
We added a conference room. It’s surprisingly helpful as part of doing an introduction or having a conversation to indicate whether it’s meant to be open or closed.
We’ve added more office relics to our own virtual office, which gives it more culture and personality. As an example, we captured a celebratory moment with a new relic that has a screenshot image attached to it. The moment was the equivalent of “banging the gong” if you work on a sales team, for example.
Do Not Disturb status indicator now appears as a red or green dot next to the avatar’s name. When DND is on, audio/video will not automatically open when walking up next to someone. This is useful for things like bathroom breaks, getting in the zone, taking phone calls and walking around, etc.
Added a Follow Mode so that someone will walk around with you. Activated by pressing “F” on the keyboard.
We diversified our avatars. Previously we only had a single skin tone.
We’ve added plants to the office. Really brightens up the space. No water required (if only real plants worked like that).
Simplified initial visitor experience with a “Start your visit” button that’s more obvious.
We’ve updated our jukebox relic with a collaborative Spotify office playlist.
Relics now appear as a badge in the top right when walking up to them, rather than a modal window that takes over the screen.
More app icons: Signal, Pixelmator, Excel, Reminders, Spotify, Apple Music, NetNewsWire, iTerm.
App icon is now our own custom logo, rather than the default that comes with ToDesktop.
Fixed a crash error that displayed when closing the app when closing the window, rather than quitting the app.
Video bubbles now adjust correctly without needing to resize the app window.
Relics no longer display in DND mode.
“Null” no longer appears as the default app status when downloading the desktop client.
We’ve removed the modal windows that appear when walking up to relics. They were too obtrusive and interfered with the video bubbles.
We no longer link directly to our office from the agave.com landing page. We include our office in every Calendar invite or email we send out.