a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: Telepresence and Tech for a Distributed Workforce

Scott Hassan, Shan Sinha, and Craig Walker

Posted December 14, 2015


Telepresence. It’s an ugly, outdated word for an attractive and current/ emerging phenomenon where people can work from anywhere, anytime. It’s technology for the way we work today.

But is it as easy as adding good tech to a constantly evolving problem? What about etiquette? And design uber alles?

And finally … why does telepresence even matter? Well, if you can’t hire talent locally, you can hire them remotely. That constraint is the easier of all the other requirements to relax. Or so argue the guests on this episode of the a16z Podcast:

— Scott Hassan, president and CEO of Suitable Technologies, maker of the popular Beam robots and formerly founder of Willow Garage and eGroups (now Yahoo Groups) as well as key software architect and developer of Google, Alexa Internet, and the Stanford Digital Library;

— Shan Sinha, formerly of DocVerse (acquired by Google) and co-founder and CEO of Highfive, video and web conferencing for everyone; and

— Craig Walker, formerly of Google and Yahoo Voice, now co-founder and CEO of Switch — makers of Uberconference and other products for cloud-based enterprises looking to update their communications.