After more than a dozen years in the Bay Area, Phil Libin, co-founder and CEO of All Turtles, a mission-driven product studio, and Mmhmm, a video app, packed up and relocated to Arkansas. What began as a temporary adjustment during the pandemic transformed into a new model for work. Now, he wants the rest of the industry to stop idealizing the office and embrace the remote work world. On this week’s episode of CEO Eric Schurenberg’s “The Human Factor,” Libin–who’s probably best known as the co-founder of the note-taking and organization app Evernote–explains why.
“If you give yourself and your team the opportunity to improve their quality of life by figuring out where they want to live, when they want to work, where they want to work from, when they want to spend time with their kids or their friends or health… you demolish the office,” he says. “For knowledge workers, for creative people, that improves their quality of work.”
Libin isn’t stopping at overhauling his own operations. With Mmhmm, which has raised over $100 million in 2021, Libin is designing the tools necessary to make hybrid workforces easier for everyone.
The goal of Mmhmm is making digital communication more engaging by allowing for seamless transitions between synchronous and asynchronous communication. Mmhmm uses a hierarchy of communication methods–a pyramid that ranks in-person meetings, live virtual conversations, and one-way communication like lectures. It provides a simple platform for recording, editing, and creating videos making it simple to host productive and engaging meetings with custom content, and allows users to create a personal style that is often lacking in remote video communication.
“All the way at the very top is when you’re actually in-person with someone, and this is really scarce. So whenever you’re actually there, whenever you’re in-person with someone, it’s precious [time]–you can’t waste it,” Libin says.
All of this comes together to help build trust between team members, avoid burnout, and maximize your most vital resource: time.
“It’s sort of a tragedy, if you ever spend two hours with someone in person sitting in a room, and then you’re like, well, that was a waste of time because none of you are getting good time back,” Libin says.