The Workplace of the Future is Here

Good morning Everybody my name is Eric brond and I'm Uh from catm Tech and I'm here to tell You a little bit about something we've Been building for the last 3 years um It's an exciting day for us I think There's roughly 10 people from katm here Uh is our first day first time on stage Presenting our company in America that We exist so uh I just want to thank my Team for sticking with me for the last 3 Years uh in submarine mode and thank Everybody here for coming to take a look At what we're up To so we've had an interesting 3 years Building a technology and the technology I'm going to show you today and the next Piece of that journey is taking that Technology and turning it into products And bringing those products to Market And getting users and this is the fun Stage of our company today uh we really Like to Benchmark ourselves saying the Thing we're doing here right now all of Us sitting together in a room uh in real Life IRL is the preferred method of Talking getting to know each other Making eye contact with each other you Know the spontaneity of being together Um then on the other end of the spectrum With the remote work change is meetings And meeting software so we got IRL here And we have meeting software over here And meeting

Software saved the world in the pandemic In my view it kept us all moving it kept The global economy moving um but meeting Software very specifically is a Scheduled meeting at a time and a place With a finite group of people that were Invited to that meeting right and we Think about what was great about the Office you know camaraderie being Together uh mentorship opportunities to Kind of sit in on other interactions Just the the things that are spontane Spontaneous and the things that build Culture about being together and so Rewind three years ago and I've I've got This rag tag team of really like-minded Smart folks with a really interesting Big Idea and we're in 10 hours of time zones So we're from Alaska I'm in New York to The Netherlands and we're talking about How we going to how we going to work Together on this technology idea that we Have and it's kind of well I tell you What how about if you log in and I log In and we'll be there together and it's Kind of an open line of communication And we tried that and then we added more People to the team and before know it There's 10 of us and we're kind of Working in an office inside of our Engine we're building an engine and what The engine does is it combines audio and Video into 3D environments serves them

Up easily on your web browser so there's No headset there's no cartoonish Avatar Of you it's just you we want to Celebrate it's you and it's the hardware That you have so we found ourselves Building a Company functioning like we were Together and one day I was like oh we Have an office Product I think no we do we have an Office product and and and and we get to We've been operating our company for Three years fully remote um in our Software in our Product and we think about this Conversation of work from home and the Raging argument about return to work Return to office RTO and I'm here to tell you that uh I Think those can be the same thing I Think that work from home and work from And return to office can coexist and it Doesn't have to mean we're all packing Up and commuting into the into the Office I think the article on Monday That came out that said there's actually A provable 50% reduction in your carbon Offsets by not leaving your house to go To the office and that's important That's an important piece of Information so so what catm has brought Us as a company as a fully remote Company is culture is togetherness it Really has harnessed togetherness

Virtually and there's an interesting Kind of start and stop to the workday That happens it's not this Ongoing workday it's like hey I log in I Go to a place I can interact with my Team and I log out and I leave so what I'm going to do now is take you into our Virtual headquarters into our Office so I'm just in uh the Chrome Browser here I'm logged in this is a first-person Experience the video in the upper right There is just the confidence monitor That's I can see you know how's my hair Better than normal because someone just Touched it up for Me um I don't necessarily want to look At myself especially from this view Right here but now I can hide that and I Don't have to look at myself now I'm Focused on who am I with Who Am I who am I engaging with and what am I doing um I'm right now in a conference room so I'm going to open the door of that Conference room and I'm going to start Driving around and so you're going to See bubbles of People these are our cat my team this is Hey James oh wait am I on mute I might Be on hello Eric oh I'm on mute so okay Interesting J James you wouldn't happen To be on the other side of that wall Right there would you you can tell from My background I'm right here at Tech

Crunch James is not in New Jersey he's Uh he's on the other side of that wall But he is in our office right now um I'm Going to James we we'll come back after They should come to the booth when they Leave okay I'll be I'll be them the Booth is right outside we'd invite you To come take a try yourself it's just Here it's just right here so here let's Go say hi to Wes and Grace and Liam so Right there Wes and Grace and Liam they See me as a disc they see me as a video And a disc and they see me jumping up And Down that is honestly that's our love Language in catm that's the like hey I'm Here do you mind if I come in so do you Mind if I barge in not at all get out of Here all right so we've got Grace Liam And Wes we've got California New Jersey And California those three people were In a meeting and this is not staged this Is this is our office this is how our Office works i' I've just entered the Office and barged in on a meeting um you See in the lower right there of our Screen where it says there's four Participants that's who can hear me so That's a list they have that list too I Show up on their list as well so if I Back out of that zone um right now tc4 Can hear me that's that's Tech crunch That's James cuz he's floating around There he is oh you

Again so I'm back in this thing and I Say you know what I want to close the Door because I really don't want James To hear what we're going to say about Him even if it bounces off that wall and He can hear it out there no no it's it's It signals hey we're in a we're in a Conversation now uh much like in real Life you would close the door and that Means hey I'm here but I'm in the middle Of something I'm in a conversation um Why don't you guys demonstrate what that Looks like from the outside so I'll Leave here so if those three are in a Meeting and they really don't want to be Bothered I can't I literally can't Navigate in There but please Please and now I'm back in and we can Would you mind demonstrating a screen Share for me maybe one or two of you and So we have it also there's an Interesting challenge that happens so Again we really Benchmark ourselves Against uh in real life so we we speak In terms like hey meet me over here and It's really about being here together or With people in a place so right now what I would say is we're having a meeting There's four of us having a meeting and In the 3D World it could be hard to see Everyone in an easy way so we have this Nifty little feature that just says hey I'm in a meeting now and whoever's in

The zone gets placed so it's an easy to See Kind of arrangement there and I could See okay Grace has got a little promo Going here showing our Website do we want to know what Liam's Up to all right he's uh he's at ESPN Wes are you still car shopping all Right I guess Wes is getting a record Deal So and now uh thank you three for Letting me burdge in so when I leave This Zone you'll see those screens Disappear they can still all see them But but I'm not in the own so I don't Have permission to see those um I can Drive around the rest of the office here And see I see there's Jason and bad Having a meeting two of our software Engineers Jason I'm going to go I'm GNA Grab Jason Jason good morning bad good Morning morning Jason I want you to know I just got a big yawn on like a 40 foot TV sorry oh yawning oh yeah yeah I'm Getting up too early and and what's What's what's great about this is so I Worked with bad for maybe eight months And I got to meet bad in California for The first time a few days ago and it was Such a wonderful like you know he and I Don't interact every single day in catm But we work together in a place and we Have shared experiences through our Co-workers because we share a place to

Be throughout the day right gentlemen Nice to see you see you Later there's Frank Frank's over there He's one of our devops Engineers oh here We go let's let's barge in on Ryan and Dane Ryan and Dane say hi to Tech crunch Hey Eric hi tech Crunch so Ryan's using one of our Features here where it's a little bit More immersive with Ryan he's uh he's Got his background cut out so it Actually kind of feels like he's just Sitting there on the couch and one of The things that our our customers and Our users tell us is it just feels Different like having a meeting in Catmine just feels different and we Don't call ourselves meeting software we We are a virtual office uh we are this Product here is a SAS product it's a you Know per month per seat zth Product but we're in a meeting we've Just now had I think four meetings and They were quick meetings and they were Unscheduled meetings we have scheduled Meetings still we have the rec you know The recurring calendar of meetings and And we don't even put where is the Meeting because it's obvious it's just In our office so me drive around here a Little bit More and so the way the workday runs for Us and then this is used different ways But the way it kind of operates

Is you're at home we have a shared set Of hours that's kind of the general work Day which is East Coast time most of us Are on the east Coast and then you'll see you know Michael who's here I'm going to call him Out Michael lives on a sailboat he has Lived on a sailboat for the over two Years that he's been at Cby Michael has been with us in a in an Office for 2 years also and like like he He he described to me Once we're going to work on The Branding Of this but it was like the end of the Week it's like I left the metaverse and I'm back in the meat verse I'm back in Real life now I've left this place right But it always made me laugh because it Is a feeling that happens of you sit Down you crack your laptop open and you Open your browser and you go to a place With people that you work with and you You have you like look around and see What time of day is it who's here and Throughout the day so up here you see There's 25 people here you know catm is Roughly I think we have 32 full-time Employees at catm and you'll see this Number kind of grow and dip over the day Because we have all these time zones and We know you know the gentleman that's in The Netherlands we have access to him For the first 3 hours a day but I have Access to the gentleman in the

Netherlands 3 hours a day in our office If we want to have spontaneous Conversations could also fly to the Netherlands and spend some time with him Which I've done but that cost me a week And we got a good experience out of it But like it cost me a week of my life to Go do that and so we really just go back To this notion Of return to office doesn't have to mean Return to the large in-person office Building um we've we've battle tested This now for three years as our own Company and now we have customers and We're we're in a closed beta but we have Virtual Office customers and we're Learning how they're using it and some Of them are in the predicted ways and Some of them are in different ways that We didn't expect and what's what gets Exciting about that is we know that People like using this thing when they Start inviting in other People and we know that people like Using this thing when they invite in Maybe a potential customer we've gotten Feedback that having a virtual office Helped close business they liked the way We worked they liked our forward Thinking they liked how we could Interact with each other so so it's We're you know seeing these interesting Trends around the companies that are Using this

Um and it's just a very exciting time For us Because this country specifically is in The middle of this raging debate about Return to work and work from home and Work from anywhere and we're kind of Here to say we think that we think you Can work from home and work from Anywhere and we think that you can do it In a technology that we've built and a Product that we've built that's served With A experience that you click a link in a Browser and it loads there's nothing to Download there's nothing to Install uh the ease of use is There and then now if I need to check my Email and I need to work at other Applications I still have this open I go Park in an office see if I could find an Empty office I'll park myself in a Conference room just to give you an Example here and if I don't want to be Disturbed I can close the door and I'm Here I'm on the Telephone uh I'm replying to an Email heaven forbid I'm on a different Meeting software uh but I'm still here And everyone else that's at cat my Understands that I'm here now what's Very important for us to think about is We don't think about this as like big Brother or spy tech software to like Clock in and clock out and keep track of

Your staff it's kind of the opposite way We think of this as like shoulder time Like what were what were companies Trying to get back even with a hybrid Schedule shoulder time we're here Together we can bump into each other we Can have some mentorship opportunities We can do this um but by the way if you Don't come back to the office we're Going to check your your records and We're going to we're going to put that In your performance review um I know a Gentleman that lives Upstate New York Where I live and he drives down to Manhattan 3 days a week and he clocks in And then he drives back Home I'm not kidding so we don't really Want to get into that part of you know This isn't to monitor your staff this is To have access to your staff this isn't To uh be monitored by an employer this Is to have access to your peers and be Collaborative and creative and feel like You have culture and community and Togetherness like one of the most Interesting things that we've Experienced starting fully remote like We didn't all meet for 2 years and we Finally met and it was not like meeting For the first time it was like meeting An old friend like it truly gives you That So one of the reasons we wanted to Participate at Tech Crunch and be here

Is cuz I think that there's a lot of Companies here starting Businesses that fit this ICP perfectly It's like oh we work in Tech and maybe We don't want to sign a lease I looked At a lease in M Manhattan just for the Heck of it and it was $144,000 a month For something not much bigger than my Apartment I just said we don't need it But like now we really don't need it and As a startup that's important for us to Be responsible with how are we spending Our Money Um the last bit that I'd really like To emphasize Is this is about connecting people and Celebrating you and from a from a we Work together and we're doing business And We're in a professional Environment the Cartoon Avatar for many People doesn't cut it or me doesn't feel Professional let's say right but by Grabbing the existing Hardware you've Got you've got the camera on your phone Or your tablet or your desktop we all Have it now and it just presenting you In a Place says hey this is us and it just is A different level of connection and it's Not a a Brady Bunch grid of Squares it's it's not a it's not a Meeting it's a it's a place to be it's a

Place to exist together there are Friendships that are formed we've gotten A report that there was a first in Office relationship that happened from One of our customers you know people Have been hired in catm some of the Feedback we get is part of the reason I Want to work here is because I liked I Like the interview process in here I got To just come in and spontaneously meet People we think that's very interesting So we're in a stage of of learn oh what What does this guy want out here I'm Being I'm being Bothered can I can I help you J Hello so you could also have very Distracting Co-workers goodbye Goodbye sorry we we love James I'm G give you one more Introduction to to someone else here and Then we'll we'll wrap this up Chris how You doing James how you doing hey how Are you hey how's it going Eric so I Mentioned we're from Alaska to the Netherlands Chris is Chris is part two Of Alaska so he actually lives in Alaska But I met him in Alaska where I grew up Uh that's where the name cat my comes From and it's been really fascinating I I put a call out three years ago on a Social media site of like a really vague Does anyone work in XYZ sort of language And then the response was an emoji of a

Hand and Chris and I knew each other but Not really like we knew we didn't go to The same high school or anything and Like I've developed such a like intense Working relationship and friendship Through a webcam with Chris in this Dynamic way of like midnight oh just Meet me in the office we we'll talk oh Hey you in you still in the office and And you know Pete who's in the audience Here or creative Director Pete and I were the night owls For probably two and a half years and You're more likely to find either of us In our HQ than you are to reach us on our Telephones or to reach us on slack it's Like you want to find us meet us in the Office so I'd really like to thank Everyone for their time today and coming To think about another way to return to The office we think there's a return to The Virtual Office uh we think that it Has the the benefits of being together But the uh the real nice part about Working from home or working from Anywhere so please do stop by our booth Right over there and thank you very much For your time Today


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