The big idea
The way we work was changing dramatically long before COVID. The pandemic accelerated the already rapid growth of remote offices, work-from-home, online collaboration, and videoconferencing.
But that's just one of the factors that made us want to launch Stroll.
If you want to know more about our philosophy and goals, read on.
Six big trends
We built Stroll because of six big trends in society and technology:
As we return to work, it won’t be the same. People won’t all be in offices, and some folks will work from home. There’s also a trend towards increased wellness and health, and work/life balance, as a result of having our offices overlap with our homes for 18 months.
Social networks have become disingenuous. When we see thousands of connections on LinkedIn, we assume those connections are tenuous fictions. We don’t trust the relationships we have online.
We lost a lot when we moved online—but we also gained new things. In the event world, speakers and audiences joined from around the world. We found ways to do quick, safe one-on-one networking. Virtual meetings became the norm. As we move back to hybrid and physical work, we’d like to keep some of these benefits.
The gig and creator economies are in full force. Employees are more mercenary; relationships become more transient. The teams we work with on a project come together on Slack or Teams, share Docs and Figma mockups, and move on.
Our history of interactions with others has a semi-permanent memory: We can search our chats and emails, and see what we were discussing. But those interactions lack context and useful details for us to pick up on. Chat doesn’t have actions and references and metadata that could otherwise turn it into an important productivity tool.
We’re all carrying a powerful sensor with us wherever we go that can document and augment what we do if we figure out how to use it wisely. In-person meetings were hard to document; but we’ve all learned that digital interactions had transcripts and chat logs, and histories. There are several companies working on producing notes and tasks from virtual meetings.
The core concept
Stroll lets you take productive walking meetings with people you actually know. It’s both a productivity tool, and a social platform:
Two people meet somewhere and start a walk together.
During the stroll, they can both record selfies, audio clips, text, and reminders of things like books, websites, people, and tasks.
Once the stroll is completed, the participants are connected, and appear in each others’ feeds.
Some important design goals
Technology can be wonderful. But it can also get pretty toxic, and some of the things we’re building into Stroll are trying to fix that.
A mutual consent sharing model. Stroll participants see the information collected during their stroll, such as photos, notes, and other metadata. But each participant decides what they share with the world, and the public record of that stroll in their feed is limited to only what both participants are willing to share. Sharing can be revoked at any time.
There’s a strong proof of work. When you see that two people are connected, you know it’s because they genuinely spent time together.
Who it’s for
Stroll is for anyone who wants to have productive walking meetings. We know that includes event organizers, managers, coaches and advisors, and even friends who want to record rich experiences together that they can share with others.
We're piloting Stroll at select events in the coming months, and learning more about how people use it. If you'd like to be part of testing Stroll, or want to collaborate with us, please get in touch.