Moving To Google Hangouts

I saw that Brad Feld has been making the shift from Skype to Google Hangouts. I've been meaning to do that myself. Skype is the only piece of desktop software I have on my various machines other than a slew of web browsers.

But my decision last year to leave the world of files and apps and get to the cloud has been incredibly liberating. I want to finish it off. And so Google Hangouts here I come.

For those of you who have been using Hangouts, is there anyting I need to know? Does it work for multi-party videos? Does it work in all browsers? Does it work all around the world? Any reason why I should not do this?


Comments (Archived):

  1. Lombear

    It times out after an hour and a half – even if voice is still being used – very annoying – However, there are a number of people trying to get this changed

    1. fredwilson

      whoa. that’s a big negative. thanks for letting me know. guess i’ll stay with skype for board calls and such

      1. Joel Valdez

        I think you should try, and try and try Hangouts for a little time, while keeping your Skype alive, and let us know what is your experience with it! ūüôā

        1. Lombear

          I should add that it does pop up a little “Are you still there?” question box in the hangout window – however if your focus is elsewhere you can miss it – there is no audio flag for the question popping up – just the sound when you are¬†unceremoniously¬†kicked

        2. Donna Murdoch

          Are you sure this is right? ¬†I have been a part of hangouts during “live blogging” news events and I think they were more than 1 1/2 hours. ¬†+Mike Elgan is your expert to ask about this – holds “Flying Circles” on Cult of Mac. ¬† You can see info on his blog.

      2. bfeld

        I haven’t had the time out issue at all. I’ve had a number of hangouts that went “board call length” just fine.

        1. fredwilson

          hmm. that’s a relief.

    2. Chris Mottes

      can you use Google Hangouts without having a gmail account?

      1. Guest

        Yes, you just need to have a Google+ account. 

  2. tyronerubin

    Lets do a test google+ hangout, that will be wonderful!

    1. Matt A. Myers

      That means I’d have to put some clothes on…

      1. fredwilson


      2. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Fake G is already in the hot-tub, waiting for us, with his WD40 cocktail and iPad ūüôā

        1. RichardF

          I think FG could be busy plotting to terrorise SXSW

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK

            NOT COULD, IS.

        2. Matt A. Myers

          Hahaha. I hope someone illustrates this.. it would go up on my wall.

          1. panterosa,

            I while back I drew and posted Dino Brew and Dino Roast for FG beer and FG coffee brands.Not sure if I would manage the FG hot tub, but could try…

          2. Matt A. Myers

            I’m sure many would appreciate the effort! ūüôā

          3. panterosa,

            Since I got no love on the other two logos, I let them sit.FG is in hot tub with Jessica Rabbit, and Ariel (same look but tamer) is trying get attention. My daughter, youngest AVCer by proximity agrees.

          4. Matt A. Myers

            Hahahaha. I love the girth commentary at the beginning…And wow. The creativity in the other posters.. Grimerest.. Grim and Teller.. LOLWow. I want a book of these. I hope he actually does make a copy of them.

          5. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            I feel for the big guy! I offered him my assistance for free; but it seems that everyone believes that those of us with OPERATIONAL experience are useless dinosaurs!I actually carry a cloth tape measure with me where ever I go…had the thing for over 10 years now!Yep, changing the world and never once considered number of posters and the size of the tube…I would love to take him across a plant floor…. :)I can imagine by now, with all the experience of rolling up posters as tight as he could he could probably roll one really awesome joint…..

          6. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          7. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            FG….Next time you have a production problem, anything involving a process or steps then call me!

          8. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            I believe you mentioned on Twitter that you were shipping tee shirts, then go to Uline and check out their multi depth boxes that is if you are shipping six or more to one person (since you are shipping regular sized shirts the 8 by 8 by 8 should work, but measure a folded shirt first – we use the 13 by 13) they also have a poly mailer that expands (… it holds a maximum of 5 of our shirts….

          9. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          10. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            You are giving them posters AND tee shirts? What a softee!

          11. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          12. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            Its probably wise that you go back to coding…as an artist you would probably starve the way you give away posters and tee shirts! ūüôā

          13. panterosa,

            SHIPPING BLOWS. #disruptshippingstupitiesI got a minion to sort mine out for short term. For long term I get expert.

        3. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          2. Mark Essel

            :(I’m dismayed.

      3. Rohan

        I half thought Fred would pop up with a reminder that this is a PG rated blog..¬†ūüėČ

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I don’t imagine Fred’s for censorship. ūüėČ

      4. ShanaC

        And I would have to wash my hair :p

        1. Matt A. Myers

          No way — you and I, we can start a new trend..

          1. panterosa,

            People wash their hair?I have a business partner and we joke we make everything in our sweats and our kids say we work in pajamas. Home businesses of moms, with unwashed hair.

  3. Rohan

    Nice move, Fred, I’m 2 months into testing this for various calls and I’ve found it pretty reliable and good overall.¬†I find utility in it primarily for multi party video. I haven’t tested for quality yet. Most of the folks I’ve used it with have been on Chrome. So hard to say about the other browsers..Few issues I’ve got with it — It focuses on 1 person at a time. If it had a tiled interface that tokbox used to have or that tinychat has that splits the screen space among everyone, that would be much better..- It sometimes unnecessary asks for installation of plugins when not needed..¬†– The screenshare is not as simple as Skype. It only does one object at a time vs just the entire screen- No skype like ability to call in normal phone numbers into a conference yet (outside the US atleast.. not sure if Google voice solves this)¬†– I’m not sure what the limit is on number of videos – I think it’s 10? Will test this soon enough.. :)Rest is good. Testing it more. Liking it lots.

    1. Joel Valdez

      Only 9 videos, including the organizer/host at the same time. After that, people can Join, but without video.There are a couple of companies that may have access to more than 9 video functionality, but this requires extra white-listing from Google.

    2. Signupforandy

      You can screen share three entire screen by selecting “desktop.”

  4. Dave W Baldwin

    Thanks for the heads up!Also a thank you for allowing me to post regarding the problem in Florida.  Turns out State Senator Hays has pulled the bill and will be visiting the Atocha team to learn more from the experts. If only Congress would have done something similar via the Tech world regarding SOPA/PIPA.

  5. William Mougayar

    I don’t think it will replace Skype. It’s an alternative.¬†We used it a couple of weeks ago with 3 people, and it worked nicely on my iPhone.¬†What it has that Skype doesn’t is full integration into the social media stuff, but I think Skype is putting hooks in Facebook at least.¬†Actually, I just upgraded my Skype with a US online number.¬†What Hangout needs is the ability to tie a Google number to it. But in the future, there may not be tel numbers anymore, just user names.¬†

    1. Joel Valdez

      The problem with Skype/Facebook integration is that Facebook is mainly a close network. Where you usually have Friends.And very, very sure that is just a matter of time for Google to integrate Google Voice into Hangouts.But, since is not there yet, as you said, this may be an alternative now.

      1. William Mougayar

        Yes, but you originate calls to friends, so that’s fine for FB, right?I might switch if it integrates with Google Voice seamlessly.Sometime soon, we can ditch the 3G/4G wireless networks for voice & go to Skype or G Voice numbers.I’m traveling in the US for 3 days now & relying only on my Skype number & a Verizon Mi-Fi service, and it was a lot more economical than getting a new US cell number.

        1. awaldstein

          So voip through wifi on the mifi.¬†Slick…what’s the cost?¬†Unfortunately no such solution in Mexico for me next week.

          1. William Mougayar

            $50/ month 4GB. It’s great. No more hotel wi-fi charges too.Where you are going, you should turn everything off ;

          2. awaldstein

            No charge for skype number then?Tulum…

          3. William Mougayar

            I forgot. Skype # is about $6/month.

          4. fredwilson

            I love tulumI don’t love getting thereI don’t fly private but tulum makes me want to

          5. Chris Mottes

            Hi William, I’m on my way to SXSW, so that would be a good soln. for me too. Working well? Did yohave to pay with a US credit card? I’m in Denmark

          6. William Mougayar

            You have to sign an agreement with Verizon and have a US SSN and/or credit card. I think T-Mobile sells monthly/weekly passes, you can check it out.

  6. Carl J. Mistlebauer

    Right now I have stacks of paper all over my office, mountains of paper, all waiting for me to go through and clean up. ¬†I am redoing my filing cabinets…..I also have a scanner as I plan on leaving the world of paper and filing cabinets once and for all.Just made the decision to switch from cable to Boxee, that happens next month.Then in May I am installing a new server and all new workstations, going with Apple…I am sick and tired of have rows of filing cabinets and thousands of computer files and no one is ever able to find a thing in a timely manner….Skype/Hangout is just going to have to wait another six months.FAKE GRIMLOCK is not a real dinosaur, I am a real dinosaur!

    1. John Revay

      HUMM,Like where you are going w/ this…up in until you said ‘installing a new server” full tilt would say no server and using a cloud file share system, may be to pricey for the amount of data you want to store?

      1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        Actually, I use the term “server” because that is my mindset, its how I am accustomed to viewing the IT infrastructure. ¬†Actually I am looking at Numecent as an alternative.http://www.businessinsider….¬†We do store a lot of data, with customer records (consumers and retailers) along with orders, pick tickets, inventory, and invoices. ¬†But with so much of our activity being on the road, remote, and in foreign countries, and with time changes that are dramatic, the idea of cloud computing really makes sense from a theoretical perspective.I just do not know enough about it at this point, thus I say “server and computer network”¬†

        1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

          Continued,Its why I also initially sought out funding so that I could create a board of directors with expertise in areas I have none, like the web and technology, but everyone was chasing Bonobos, Mod Cloth, and Cafe Press and no one thought that tee shirts for big and tall/plus size was all that exciting and besides they probably were intimidated by a 6’10” old guy who was excited (probably thought they were going to get mugged).So I am stuck trying to figure things out myself.Oh, and techies and VC/Angel investors have absolutely no sense of humor! ¬†Its fun laying down an 8X tee shirt on a conference table and watching their response! ¬†I probably need to quit entertaining myself at the expense of other people! ¬†ūüôā

          1. Dave Pinsen

            ¬†Maybe you should contact the same angels online, posing as someone younger — maybe a son or grandson looking to take his family’s business into ‘social’, Gary V-style. See if you get a different response.It’s possible there’s age discrimination, though if that’s the case — and if the discrimination is irrational — it should present opportunities for angel investors willing to invest in older entrepreneurs.¬†

          2. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            Dave,I seriously thought about bringing in a front to represent me but you know I can’t give up on the philosophy that, “I am who I am.” My hair started turning white back when I was 18, so what does that tell you about anyone?I know that I have been “innovating” “disrupting” and “creating” long before most of the folks I deal with were ever born; in fact I have a group of coders who think I am “awesome to work for.”I am not asking anyone to invest in my age, but rather in my vision (and visions are timeless).Steve Jobs and “ashrams and LSD” well been there done that. Buddhism? Well, I have a big teak spirit house in my living room (to ward off baptists!) Stood in front of a tank in the Philippines when Marcos was trying to hold on to his dictatorship. Loved the full moon parties and brownies in Kathmandu. I gave gay partners benefits back in 1990.Yeah, send Angels and VC’s a deck and they invite you in then you walk in and they get all quiet….whoops, its an old guy…That’s THEIR problem not mine. I don’t have to check my preconceived notions THEY do.I paid a high price for the “wisdom” and “experience” I have gained and I refuse to hide it behind a front man.You are right, that is exactly what I need to do; I need to lead with the young techies that work for me but the problem would be that they would always have to refer to me.Sorry, I am too old to change, and I have always refused to let the world change me, but rather I demand that the world change…With the web and technology I feel like I am a kid in a candy store….I realize that my inability to adapt, like learning to play golf, has always made my way tougher and I because of that I work 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. I even jump out of bed at odd hours of the night with ideas that I just have to explore…I LOVE my life and my way of doing things and I have a whole bunch of folks who enjoy coming to work for me.Discrimination, in any shape or form, is their loss not mine and how could I respect Angel investors or VC’s who fell for a front man?

          3. Dave Pinsen

            Well, since you run a profitable business already, you don’t need their money. Do your own thing.Worth remembering that New York’s mayor and entrepreneur-in-chief was mostly self-funded when he started his business (with some help from his first major client). As a result, he still owns 85% of it today. Not too shabby.

          4. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            Dave, the only trouble is I want a board of directors, I want people who have “skin in the game” to broaden my perspective and give me expertise in areas I have none, such as exit strategies….One thing I have learned from experience is that you can lose a lot of money in a small business if you get too attached and don’t plan to exit. I did one stint in a “start up” that grew and was successful, but had no exit strategy and that was ugly. I don’t want to make the same mistake twice.I am a very confident person, but I will be the first one to acknowledge what my weaknesses are and I am constantly one to seek out opinions different than my own…Besides, self funding requires patience and there is only so much you can do until you got money in the bank; at least this way, no one can ever accuse me of being an overnight success! ūüôā

          5. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            In case you didn’t recognize it that is not only my philosophy but also my anthem; As I tell my team, “…if you think I am full of shit then tell me, you won’t get anywhere here by going along….”

    2. fredwilson

      The Fujitsu Scansnap 1500 is an amazing scanner. Possibly the best piece of computing equipment I own. It is life changing

      1. Aaron Klein

        I was just about to reply the same thing. The ScanSnap + Evernote have given me a filing cabinet in the cloud and an almost completely paperless office. Love it.

      2. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        Will get one this afternoon!

        1. LE

          Carl – I have one of those also.¬†They are great for low volume.¬†If you have file cabinets of paper this isn’t the right solution.¬†

      3. John

        +1 my Scansnap 1500 is on its last legs with no maintenance at all for the last 3 years and I have run 82,000 pages through the little engine that could!

      4. panterosa,

        I have an Epson Artisan but I am all mac. The document feeder and pdf function are vital.Have been scanning and shredding everything. Better than losing 5 pounds!

      5. Eric

        Just bought the mac version 1500M — what are you scanning to? Evernote or Google, other?

        1. fredwilson

          emaili’m not kidding

    3. baba12

      Get rid of the scanner too, use your camera on your phone, better resolution and save space.

      1. John Revay

        two words = auto feedtwo more words = two sided

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          @baba12:disqus¬†@tao69:disqus¬†For some reason, I see something to do with the cover for a tablet folding around reverse.¬† May sound crazy, but doing a variation would improve doing one side scan smaller scale…

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          Have to place this here because ‘reply’ ran out on your “across the plant floor” comment.¬†If the younger have lost respect for those who can run the line, total shame.

      2. LE

        Have you ever scanned any quantity of paper? If so you would quickly find that using your camera phone isn’t a viable solution.

        1. baba12

          Well I don’t let it become a pile. I just take a snapshot and I store it in the cloud. I guess if you are trying to 100 pages maybe it becomes cumbersome but then again unless your have a automatic document feeding system with the scanner you have to do it manually.¬†My comment was based on the need for a dedicated scanner for most people is not needed.¬†

    4. LE

      I went on a scanner buying kick when I moved my office. I have about 100 boxes of paper records that are now in storage (costing about $100/m) that I am going to use the high volume scanners for.¬†I bought more than I needed though. I have a super fast heavy duty Canon DR-X10C (about 15k new) and a Canon 7550c (think it’s like 5-6k approx if I remember correctly).…Bottom line: If you are replacing file cabinets you need a volume machine. A office style light duty machine simply isn’t practical.I never even took the smaller unit out of the box. I will end up selling it on ebay I guess when I can find the time to list it.This is a Kodak that I bought and sold on ebay that wasn’t needed either:

      1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        Right now I am just doing my home office (all my personal stuff, legal and corporate) but I am trying to get a grasp of everything that is involved and learn from taking baby steps because I absolutely totally want to go paperless in the office and basically be paperless in everything we do.



      1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        One of the things that I realize from reading AVC is that being a “start up” is a lot easier than being a “small company.” Especially if one is an “old economy” small company. How do you change from a B2C company when you have been a B2B company for 20 years? How do you totally change your operations to incorporate technology where ever possible to maximize ones efficiencies when you are operating everyday? That is why I decided to STOP and PIVOT. It could take 5 to 7 years to evolve and that is if one stays committed and doesn’t get sidetracked….and I want to change NOW!

  7. JimHirshfield

    Some of guys I know are using, a seedcamp portfolio company. (I’m not affiliated)Web based. No desktop app needed.

    1. William Mougayar

      Tell us more. You like it? Is it like Skype or Hangouts.

      1. JimHirshfield

        It’s basically skype without using a desktop app. I’m still using Skype because the people I have to speak with use Skype. So, I’m not well versed in, but I keep meaning to check it out.

        1. Humberto

          I’ve been using too. Kind of a front end Twillio.- people can call you by typing an address- fast and great quality- dirty cheap- integrates with US and international numberbest voice app ever.

      2. tomazstolfa

        @JimHirshfield:disqus – thanks for mentioning us.@wmoug:disqus – is a bit different from the existing players.Among other things we allow calls without any “permanent” connections required between users; you just need their email.One of our most used features for business communication are calls, where you just create a link, share it via email, FB or Twitter and get called back by the other person (they don’t need to sing up or connect with you beforehand). A bit more on –

        1. ShanaC

          Hmmmm, that seems interesting

        2. Dave W Baldwin

          Will definately check you out in the near future when I get time.  That sounds like a great platform!

        3. William Mougayar

          Thanks. I will check it out.

  8. Yalim K. Gerger

    And as a celebration of throwing out one more client application, are you doing an open office special for your international audience on Google Hangout? If yes, count me registered! ūüôā

    1. fredwilson

      Neat idea

      1. Yalim K. Gerger

        I’ll take that as a yes. ūüôā

  9. Emi Gal

    Fred, I’ve seen you mentioning this a few times. Are you really not using any desktop apps (eg: Excel, Keynote / Powerpoint, Microsoft Word)? How do you manage document reviews or play around with complicated budgets that GDocs Spreadsheet app doesn’t support?¬†

    1. fredwilson

      It is very rare that I get an attachment that Google docs can’t render The spreadsheets I look at just aren’t that complicatedWhen it happens (roughly once a month) I forward to someone and ask them to print it for me

      1. bfeld

        Totally agree. I’ve still got the Microsoft stuff on my Mac but I almost never use it. The only piece of client software I’m using at this point for writing is Scrivner (for my books).

  10. thorsten luettger

    we are using it for our stand-ups. it happens time by time that the quality with skype is definitely better. so we are using skype as fall-back.

  11. Carl J. Mistlebauer

    Does anyone have any knowledge or experience with this company:http://www.businessinsider….¬†

    1. fredwilson

      Nope. Seems like another approach to virtualization

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        – pre-compiles¬†paged(segmented)¬†virtual-MMU¬†versions¬†of all applications to be served up to its client Virtual-App-Player- uses local code execution via installed Virtual-App-Player- optimized loading of Virtual-App¬†segments(cloud paging)¬†into the client’s sandboxed¬†Virtual-App-Player¬†for fast/smart locally buffered startup- runs full speed when offline once all cloud-paged virtualized segments have been loaded- very low server load due to local execution- server control over persistence of the local instantiation (1hr-1day-whatever)-¬†server control over the level of sandboxed isolation applied to the client’s system resources including client hardware resources- server control over App-library¬†licensing policies for lending/reuse by the client’s¬†Virtual-App-Players- And just for you Fred they have a video demo where they use an Android phone as a pocketable Virtual-App-Server dishing out Virtual-Apps to a local PC client over Wi-Fi- A tablet¬†based¬†client running atop a LAN App-Server over Wi-Fi auto translates/injects touch control into the the tablet’s client¬†version.- Windows / Linux / Android – basedTheir whole video-demo / brag-sheet looks good on paper?Given the plummeting price of local memory/storage as well as transparently easy auto-updating and cloud file-backup/sync the main advantage would seem to be¬†App-library¬†license lending/reuse¬†cost savings. One has to wonder how long App vendors would take to rewrite those rules if this got any real traction?

  12. RichardF

    I’ll be interested to know how you get on. ¬†I love Skype, I couldn’t care about the software thing, it’s on my laptop, mobile and tablet and does what it says on the tin. ¬†I have a US subscription, UK and US numbers, a wireless dual skype and conventional phone in the house and a Skype handset on my desk. ¬†Skype also saves me a fortune when I travel in calling costs.I’m trying to use the mantra that sometimes if something works well it’s good enough rather than looking for the next shiny new thing. ¬†Having hunted around for an app to manage a to do list I actually came to the conclusion that for getting something done in the day a handwritten list is most effective for me. ¬†Even though it goes against the grain for me to physically write anything!¬†

    1. JamesHRH

      Richard Рgreat post. I am the same way on the To Do list. It goes against the grain for me to write things down, which is why I remember to do them, I think!Skype works for me too. These networks are going to turn into a power trip, where people try to display dominance over others by getting them to connect through a preferred platform!

      1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        James,I think too! ¬†But its the remembering part that is a problem…. ūüôā

      2. RichardF

        that’s why hopefully, phone numbers and email addresses are still what the “normals” will be relying on for a while yet, at least that’s what I’m banking on ūüėČ

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          “phone numbers and email addresses”Those silly old things still retain a vestige of the now depreciated federated-architecture bias of a bygone era.A¬†bygone¬†era when government interference and public expectations¬†countenanced¬†the idea that¬†interoperability within¬†public communication systems serviced some globally beneficial purpose even within a primitive society largely unaware of Metcalfe’s law.But here in the future where¬†Metcalfe’s law is a bedrock information-age meme it has never nevertheless been subjugated to a widespread internet land-grab panic as everyone scrambles to secure longterm profits via network lock in.Hopefully, in the long run,¬†Metcalfe’s law will assert enough of a¬†substrate-undertow¬†gradient to restore some semblance of symmetry between network-economy profits, the long term public good and the inescapable¬†underlying¬†realities of organic network-process literacy.

    2. fredwilson

      I’m on a mission

      1. RichardF

        I know, so am I, which is why I’m now adopting a good enough approach to anything that’s not core to it ūüėČ

      2. ShanaC

        Do you think there will be places long term for stand alone apps? 

        1. fredwilson

          desktop apps – nomobile apps – maybe

          1. nymindbodysoul

            just curious Рwhere do you stand on desktop apps like Spotify? 

          2. fredwilson

            i won’t use spotify because its a desktop appi use rdio, rhapsody, and mog and have paid subscriptions to all of them if spotify offered a web based version, i’d be a customer of their service too

          3. ShanaC

            Not even heavy interaction/specific industry stuff like looking at MRI images better?

          4. AS


          5. Chris Woods

            Technically, Hangouts is a desktop app, not a browser app. It downloads native code and runs on your PC or Mac.

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK

          YES.THE CLOUD.

    3. awaldstein

      My list is a sticky note on the mac desktop. Rule…no more than three. Nothing rolls over. If it doesn’t get done, I didn’t need it on the list.

      1. PaulKogan

        The ideal to do list is: a Google Doc.I’ve been using that for 3 years and don’t know how I’d live without it. Unstuctured formatting, edit from any device, ever present, cloud-saved.¬† And if your task is a call, adding the phone number is one-click on the iPhone.And to Fred’s point, just another tab in your browser dashboard: Gmail, Google Cal, Google Contacts, To-Do List.Your work day in 4 tabs.

        1. Kreigh Williams

          I personally like Each task is a card. You can use labels, due dates, etc. Its extremely easy to use. Its meant to be used by teams but I use it for my own personal use. I use it online but there are also apps for iphone/ipad.

        2. awaldstein

          Thanks PaulI’ve used Google docs mostly for collaborative projects for awhile. For my own thing, felt like overkill.You make a strong care. I can always internalize another tab in my workday. I’ll give it a try.

    4. Rohan

      I love Microsoft One Note. It’s not the traditional app.Brilliant for to do lists. I just make ’em on OneNote, print them out (1 per day) and scratch and scribble all over them….

      1. RichardF

        now you are tempting me to look at something else Rohan (I must resist, I must resist)

        1. Rohan

          Haha. It depends on your style.¬†I love simplicity and that’s why all these traditional todo apps never worked (rememberthemilk etc etc).¬†I went back to notepad and then switched to one note.The reason I like it online is because I have a ‘template’ of sorts in terms of repeatable activities. And that’s what I print out.Then write all the non repeatable daily stuff.. ūüôā¬†Worth a shot. ūüėČ Do let me know how I can help!

      2. nymindbodysoul

        Agreed! One note is the best. It lacks Evernote’s connectivity, but makes up for it with easy formatting and more features.¬†

        1. Pradeep Kumar Mishra

          You do have onenote for iphone. So you can have one note synced across devices

    5. ShanaC

      You’re the picture of satisficing. ¬†What would cause you to switch to something different?

      1. RichardF

        ¬†holographic communication ūüėČ

    6. K_Berger

      Totally agree about to do lists.  I probably have over a dozen apps on my Android, none of them beats paper.

    7. sigmaalgebra

      In a kitchen you don’t want a special gadget for each little task. E.g., you don’t want a dedicated onion chopper. In a kitchen the best tools are a good chef’s knife and a good cutting board.I have an old Sabatier French chef’s knife, with a carbon steel blade, but at Sam’s Club bought two (2) French chef’s knives, in one package, in plastic on cardboard, stainless steel, for $15. They were made in Brazil. They’re terrific, net, better than the Sabatier.To sharpen, get some sheets of wet-dry sandpaper at a hardware store, put a sheet flat, maybe with some water to hold it in place without putting a hand at risk, hold the blade at about 10 degrees from the horizontal, and sharpen away.For a cutting board, the white plastic ones are the most practical. Cheap and good — tough to beat.Best kitchen equipment — French chef’s knife and cutting board.> Having hunted around for an app to manage a to do list I actually came to the conclusion that for getting something done in the day a handwritten list is most effective for me.For computing the equivalent of a French chef’s knife and cutting board is a good text editor. Emacs is the classic. A lot of people like vi. I use KEdit. It has a terrific macro language and, thus, is very powerful. It’s my most important tool in computing or anything else. I do nearly all my typing into KEdit.Spreadsheet? Heck no; too crude and slow. I type Rexx code into KEdit, get the text output, and look at it with KEdit. E.g., I did in fairly good detail a program on auto acceleration. The output is huge. But each line has one variable value with a name. So a simple KEdit statement ‘selects’ the desired lines. Then it’s easy to put the numbers into a file, suck into Excel, and get a graph. Using Excel for the calculation is silly. Eventually I will get a simple graphing program or just write one.KEdit can do simple arithmetic with one keystroke, e.g.,100 * 64,323,336,000 / ( ( 1 / 6.943 ) * 2.2 * 1000 * 10**6 * 2,245 * (12 / 44 ) * ( 184 / (12 * 13) ) ) = 28.1which shows that can get all the carbon needed for all the Diesel for the US from 28.1% of the CO2 emitted in the US for generating electric power. How ’bout that!Address envelopes? Sure, KEdit will drive my old daisy wheel printer. If I work at it, KEdit and that printer will type multi-part shipping forms.A TODO list? Sure: I do them lots of ways with KEdit. Also do the typing for high quality word whacking, including for math, letters, papers, foils, business cards, with KEdit and then into Knuth’s TeX. Code: I type all my software into KEdit. A GUI IDE? NOT a chance! KEdit’s MUCH better.It’s always good to slap a time and date stamp on work; there’s a guy at Yale who takes this seriously. Well, I have a little KEdit macro that does that:Modified at 17:18:45 on Tuesday, March 6th, 2012.It does different versions for different file types so inserts such stamps as comments in code — Rexx, Fortran, PL/I, C, C++, Visual Basic .NET, HTML, ASP, T-SQL, Kexx, etc.Commonly in my code I put as a comment a tree name on my disk of relevant documentation, often of some of the thousands of Web pages of documentation I have. So, one keystroke in KEdit, and a browser, or KEdit as appropriate, displays the file.When I return to the old e-mail software I wrote, then one keystroke on an e-mail date line, e.g.,Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 14:50:29 -0500will display the e-mail. So, can put such date lines anywhere in my work and use it as a ‘link’ to e-mail. Eat your heart out, Outlook!Log of system management actions? Sure, KEdit.Project planning? Right: Type into KEdit. E-mail, most posts to fora, recipes, general, personal database (one of the most important data collections I have), bibliography of books and papers I have, inventory of packing boxes, dialing phone numbers, manging files and directories, notes of wide variety, medical records, shopping lists, and much more. Actually I can find things fairly easily!Log files from my Web site and output from SQL Server? Sure: Slice, dice, sort, select, manipulate, and view it with KEdit.Options input for my main software? Sure, simple text files done with KEdit.The general idea is to have the largest fraction of information reasonable in simple text files and then use KEdit or other software to create or process the text.I recommend having a good text editor. Like with a chef’s knife and cutting board, there are some startup costs.An app for a TODO list? GOTTA be kidding! That’s worse than an onion chopper!Off to get dinner ready: Dice an onion, mince some garlic, slice some carrots and Haricot Vert — right, all with chef’s knife and cutting board!Yes, KEdit doesn’t do spell checking, but I have a nearly ‘seamless’ connection between KEdit and the excellent spell checker (English, French, Spanish, German, and more) Aspell. Maintain the Aspell addendum dictionary? Sure, KEdit! Search all the words in the English language for matches such as for Scrabble — yup, KEdit.Keyboards haven’t improved much in decades, and the best target for keyboard output is a good text editor. They will pry my favorite text editor, likely KEdit, from my cold, dead fingers!Note: I greatly admire the people whose work led to KEdit, but I have no financial interest or other connections with that work or those people or related companies. I just like a good text editor!

    8. Matthew Lenhard

      A lot of times you waste more time trying to figure out a “better” way to do something than just buckling down and getting it done the way you always have.I’m the same way when it comes to writing out a list. Writing out your to do list is¬†definitely¬†the best way to do it. Nothing feels more satisfying than being able to cross something off it once your done

    9. rick gregory

      I use the online equivalent.…

  13. Bala

    The only reason is that not everyone is using it… I believe it will change.

  14. jason wright

    You can’t square every corner.

  15. mikenolan99

    My wife and I switched to Google Video Chat (Needs a “verb” for a name… we ended up texting each other – want to skype over google?)My wife works in the schools in Belize for months at a time… and their national phone system blocks Skype to preserve outlandishly high long distance rates.Our experience was great – clear picture, few drops.¬†

  16. jonathan hegranes

    Combination of Skype crashing (particularly during video / screen shares) and Brad’s blog led me to start trying hangouts… ¬†Love it for multi-way video and screen sharing functionality is flawless. ¬†Unlike Skype, I didn’t even have to search for that button in a terribly designed UI.I’m on the board of @pressinstitute, and they just started using hangouts for global editorial meetings. ¬†They’ve been having calls with U.S., Africa, and Nepal on the line and no complaints so far. ¬†Those are pretty low-bandwidth places, so speaks to what Google is doing for both voice and video.

    1. fredwilson

      Feld is influential!

  17. Luke Chamberlin

    Not a fan of Google+ but hangouts has worked very well for me, with the exception of the slightly unintuitive way in which you start or join a hangout. Much better than the Skype video chat. There is a noticeable performance difference in Chrome.

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t use google+ eitherBut hangouts seems great

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        I assumed – a dangerous thing, I know – the two were intertwined, so skipped on it – will give it a try, now.Terrible product name, regardless! ūüėČ

    2. bfeld

      Agree – Chrome is the right browser to use with hangouts. No question there.

      1. Jason Gelman

        Yea, G+ Hangouts regularly crash / freeze when I use it with Safari, and sometimes in Firefox. ¬†Chrome is the way to go.The one performance issue I get is, the longer the hangout, the more likely it slows down or freezes. ¬†When I do a hangout with 3 or 4 people, it’s smooth sailing for the first ~20 minutes. ¬†Usually when I start going up towards 30 or 40 mins, some wonky stuff happens. ¬†Individuals freeze, the sound starts echoing or repeating, stuff like that.¬†Other than that, Hangouts are great. ¬†

  18. markslater

    hangout as an app is great. + is the problem. I feel like i have to use one to use the other and for me + is a fail

  19. Lee Blaylock

    With so many new apps and technologies that solve business problems that haven’t been touch yet, or at least not well, I choose not to be dogmatic on how the tech is delivered if the incumbent is a quality product.¬† Skype is not perfect, but it is a solid product.¬† It will be interesting to see what MSFT does with it.¬† Given their history of acquisitions, I’d short it though. ¬†That said, 2 new apps I’ve tried do rock.¬† I really like as an alternative to WebEx or GoToMeeting.¬† It is more simple and requires NO download for the viewer + it is free making the price right.¬† I even used it with a senior exec at Cisco after their WebEx session froze and it shined.¬† The other is Tungle for calendaring. It does require a plug in but it is the best app i’ve seen to fix the time consuming problem of scheduling meetings.¬† Once you select the times you want to grant the other person and they pick it, it automatically shows up on your calendar and you get an email confirm you can automatically generate a rule for and not have to see it in your inbox. ¬†I have zero vested interest in or tungle.¬† Just sharing 2 high quality apps that are either superior to the desk top app (Fred‚Äôs original premise of moving Google Hangouts) or a plug in that saves a ton of time.

  20. Shawn Cohen

    Interesting timing, our company is phasing out of Skype for phone calling in favor of something more professional. But our inter-staff communication still lives and dies by video conference. It’ll be fun to check out hangouts now.

  21. Ricardo Diz

    Very interesting follow-up on Brad Feld’s thoughts on Skype vs Google Hangouts.I have to say that, overall, I like Skype:(1) it has a simple interface(2) I haven’t had major performance issues (although USA <- > Portugal call do seem to be losing quality lately)(3) I have my contact list organized, which I can’t say I do with my Google account (hmm.. as I’m writing, I wonder: is this actually a relevant thing?)I confess I haven’t compared the QoS between the two services. To me, the biggest argument regarding Google Hangouts is the shift for a cloud-only platform, an idea I pretty much love.¬†On the cons side, I still have the impression that Skype is more cross-platform. For example, people that use yahoo/Mac/corporate email accounts might not have a Google account (yep, not everyone does!).¬†Almost everyone I know have a Skype account though… Oh, and I’m under the impression that a bridge to mobile/fixed land phones only works in the US/Canada, and not in Europe. I might be wrong here though.Your post made me think about this for a bit. Thanks. The pros are good enough so that I’ll give Google Hangouts a try next time I need it…¬†

  22. Andy Rosenberg

    That Google NBA spot made me really think about taking the leap, except I would hate hanging out with Bill Walton.  Replace him with Charles Barkley and we have a deal.

  23. Matt Davio

    Not sure why its taken folks so long to just Hang out!

  24. Matt Davio

    Hangout works great on my Droid HTC, much better than skype!

  25. Joshua Cyr

    The one limit I found when I last used it was that it was limited to 10 attendees. ¬†Not a bad limit for most uses, but for mini conferences, etc. it simply won’t work.That said I see a lot of opportunity for its use if that limitation goes away.

    1. Michael Tucker

      The limitation set to 10 people is more a social one than anything else. The software can cope with more connections than that. People talking over the top of one another.For conferences the best method is to live-video stream the hangout, so that the speakers can share their ideas while the onlookers can observe what is being said. Given that, Google are rolling out the “Hangouts On Air” feature on a whitelist basis. Soon everyone will have the opportunity to record their conversations to YouTube.

  26. Ben Apple

    China seems to be making every effort to “ban the cloud”- Can’t use Google Docs, cloud storage sites are banned, and I’m fairly certain Google Hangouts won’t work either… ¬†Any reason to video chat with China? ¬†And do you have any thoughts on China (anything that doesn’t immediately jump into your mind) and their stifling nature in regards to technology? ¬†I live here but I’m not involved in a tech scene here and I’m not sure what kind of innovation goes on around me. ¬†

    1. fredwilson

      all the more reason to move the cloudif they don’t like it, i do

  27. LIAD

    to be free of software & apps necessitates becoming increasingly reliant on a single app, namely the browser. #creative-destruction. #gatekeeper.

    1. fredwilson

      but i have a slew of themfirefox, chrome, safarii could add a few more if i need to

      1. LIAD

        For sure. just saying that to free yourself of one thing, end up embracing another.Trend has been away from the browser towards apps, but ‘cloud’ actually reverses that.

  28. matthughes

    Does anyone have tips on recording video and or audio Hangout calls?

  29. yurigitahy

    My definitive tool for online calls and collaboration: http://pligus.comLooks like Hangout, but it’s way better for a variety of reasons.

    1. rick gregory

      Signed up… the concept’s intriguing…¬†

  30. kenberger

    Great move. I already use gtalk in-browser or with iChat every time instead of Skype. No complaints.I’m on a plane right now using gogo and just made a skype video call and a gtalk video call successfully*. But often times, ISP’s overseas will attempt to block voip packets (if they can detect them). Skype is most often blocked (since it’s the #1 service) and i’ve used other software to get around this. I’m not sure whether google is more, or less susceptible. Something to consider for the use case of connecting from hotels and cafes while traveling.*yes, policies state they’d rather I didn’t do that.

  31. Matt A. Myers

    Google Hangouts’ potential is of epic proportions and Google was really the only company positioned to launch it.However Google will have to be smart about making sure they create dominance in the where the services they can be anchored into.That’s usually where Google fails – they just create something and hope the magic they see possible will just happen on its own.It’s similar to the idea where API-based services generally succeed once they pay developers to build tools, then they start to get created / integrated / anchored into many things.Google could fuck it up. I hope they don’t. It would just benefit everyone if there was only one highly successful platform like Hangout. They’ll have to be okay with sharing..

  32. Mark Essel

    I’ve had success using Google Hangouts in both Firefox and Chromium (open source version of Chrome). It works as well as Skype (voice and video quality are good). It functions better than Skype for group conversations. And the hangout creator can record and push hangouts to youtube for public sharing. Members who join are aware of the public level of hangouts although I don’t recall exactly how at the moment.Google Hangouts didn’t work as smoothly as Skype on my iPhone 4, and I haven’t tried them on my tablet since it’s an original iPad (no front facing camera).

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I’ve not had time to play with it at all – and I’m afraid too it’ll give me too many ideas and I need my mental energy for other stuff right now. ūüėõ

  33. Guest

    I have a Google Chromebook. It has everything I need. HDMI port, 2 USB ports, audio/mic jacks, SD card reader. I do everything in the Chrome browser. ALL HAIL GOOGLE CHROME. it is the best browser, from Gmail to Google Docs, Calender to social media, and even development apps like Cloud9. The only thing that I’m missing out on is Games. There is work currently being done to enable in-browser gaming.Google+ is getting better. Give it time so that improvements can be made to it, especially once their API gets finalized. For example, via Ifttt, I can post my tweets to G+ through Google Voice SMS and the “post by sms” feature. Eventually there will be a plug-in that seamlessly integrate with other platforms, so that it becomes the center of the Social Media Spectrum:”One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them”If you don’t want to buy a $300 Acer chromebook, just wait for transformer android tablets (clamshell design with connecting keyboard that acts as a secondary battery) to improve. There is a beta version of Google Chrome for Android ICS¬†available.

  34. davidnotik

    FWIW, some great features to note are the ability to call someone’s phone to include them in the hangout, the ability to easily share your screen or just a specific window, and the ability to look at a Google Doc together. ¬†As well, the Hangouts API means lots more capabilities are forthcoming, which further cements Google+ and Hangouts specifically as a tool for rich collaboration.That said, I still need to be on Skype because everyone uses it especially the folks I work with outside the US, and it has some great features that are missing from G+ like the ability to easily create and discard conversations that include any number of people, making it easy to have temporary or ongoing conversations with certain groups, and making it easy to call them or videochat them in an instant. ¬†You can set Skype to only notify you when your name is mentioned in a conversation (we are in the habit of pinging each other w/ e.g. @Dave) so that you aren’t bugged everytime there’s activity in an ongoing conversation. ¬†In this way, Skype is the superior product for my daily conversations, but I hope to see G+ improve to where we can fully replace Skype.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      “I still need to be on Skype because everyone uses it especially the folks I work with outside the US…”All in time, all in time… just like why Facebook still maintains relevance but people want a better alternate/alternates.

  35. Humberto

    # there was already a mention of bellow. sorry@fredwilson:disqus You should try Kind of a front end Twillio.- people can call you by typing an address- fast and great quality- dirty cheap- integrates with US and international numberbest voice app ever.

  36. Victor Morandini Stabile

    Does it work all around the world? Not really, it won’t work in China. Maybe it’s not a big deal for you, but I had to build my startup around Skype as we basically offer online Mandarin private classes. It’s sad the lack of options in this field, specially web based with friendly APIs.

  37. Yoni Bloch

    After trying really hard to move to Google Hangouts, I came back to Skype group video. Just because it’s better, technically. Better when someone in the group has a slow connection, better sound levels, less crashes.Google Hangouts on the other hand has cool docs integration and YouTube integration.Hope it will get better soon!

    1. fredwilson

      Yoni Bloch in the house!Oh yeahNice to hear from youWhere are you living these days?

  38. Gustavo Scanferla

    My startup offers multi-party videos, up to 20 simultaneous broadcasts. It also offers¬†real-time collaboration apps (notes and screen sharing for now) within the same interface. It runs in the browser and it’s free.Our goal is to enable people to work together as if they were in the same room.It’s dead simple to join and invite people. And you have a list with your permanent workspaces / rooms:¬†It would be very nice if you guys could give me any feedback, positive or negative :)Thanks in advance!

  39. Carl J. Mistlebauer

    For all you people who code apps:Exactly what is the difference between stalking and “ambient social networking?”…¬†

  40. Andrew K Kirk

    Would you people have a problem holding business calls on what is considered a social network?

  41. Alison Richards

    Google hangouts is fantastic. We hold conferences between Canada and S Africa regularly and due to low bandwidth availability Skype often crashed. We have much better quality and less dropped calls on Google and it’s better for sharing docs and desktops.

  42. Scott McMillan

    Google hangouts has worked better for me to do smartphone to smartphone calls.  Much easier to set up between my wife and I.  Still use Skype since people ask to skype.  

  43. Patrick Morris

    Definitely like having a web app for everything. Just transitioned to Workflowy to build to-do list, and really enjoy it. Really powerful for putting a lot of stuff down and being able to organize it. I think everyone working on a group project needs to be connect to a web-based cloud app. I think Google Hangouts are a really cool idea, and are a great time saving since you can collaborate on docs at the same time. I wrote a post about using all these apps for college students. Group projects in school were always full of wasted time, and have gotten worse with everyone bringing their computers. 

  44. Nick

    Google Hangouts is excellent. Because everyone is routed through Google servers (rather than directly connect to each others’ computers a la Skype), the connection is far more robust and less likely to cut out.It also requires less bandwidth when using multi-party video conferencing.A win on all fronts!

    1. ollidotcom

      I agree, I am based in the UK and have a team in Uzbekistan. Hangouts is the only feasible way of communicating voice/video wise – everything else, including Skype, just isn’t up to the job.I guess they are using their own dark fibre network..

  45. bogorad

    But what do you do about (the lack of) logs in hangouts? Skype keeps log of each conversation (if allowed) and if someone joins your chat later she can at least see all the links and the text component of the chat.¬†One could create a new document each time a hangout is created but switching back-and-forth between video and the document is¬†inconvenient¬†at best. The chat component of a hangout isn’t saved. Bummer.¬†It’s actually the only thing that keeps me from moving all our company communications to hangouts.



    1. fredwilson

      Why not?



        1. jason wright

          Dar…wins every time. When the environment changes adapt or die.

        2. fredwilson

          hmm. i think you can just use it with your google login

        3. Ellie Kesselman

          Here’s a work-around @FakeGrimlock Sign up for a Google account, using this nameGYRWYNLOCKEor even the more streamlined “Gywn Loch”. You’ll be the Welsh (Gaelic?) FAKEGRIMLOCK! Won’t compromise your ROBOTIC moral integrity that way. I know how important it is to you. As long as you keep caps lock on, we’ll all know that you’re still our same FAKEGRIMLOCK from Chicago!

  47. mydigitalself

    Fred I’m interested to understand your conceptual difference between a desktop app and a plug-in. You have to install something for Hangouts to work, so effectively it’s just a desktop app but using the browser as your UI.¬†As you get the same Skype experience/data on your mobile, iPad & Desktop, it’s effectively in the Cloud too, so I’m still struggling to understand.

    1. fredwilson

      I want to treat my browser as my operating systen

      1. mydigitalself

        That’s what I thought, it was a leading question…What features of your operating system do you miss in your BOS?¬†Personally I find a couple of things frustrating, e.g. switching “apps” in tabs is not as manageable in the browser. Operating systems, in particular the Mac, have become pretty mature at dealing with the UI of multitasking, from Alt-Tab to Expose. Even just Alt-Tab is more intelligent, if you’re constantly working between two desktop applications, Alt-Tab will always switch between the most recent whereas, certainly Chrome, only ever has linear tab switching.The other thing that frustrates me, and is very relevant to Skype/FB/Gmail is notification, or the lack thereof in the browser.

      2. Donna Murdoch

        Brad Feld gave me that idea when he switched over and talked about it on his blog – my little Air is all I use now (and my iPad.) ¬†Almost nothing installed, just browsers and a bunch of icons for DropBox, Evernote, DropMark etc. ¬†Oh, I installed iBooks Author because I had to see it. ¬†Bookmarklets in browser. ¬†And Mendeley. ¬†But they are all just entries to cloud based services. ¬†It’s great, isn’t it?

      3. Guillaume

        Same here, I don’t understand why ChromeOS don’t get too much spotlights recently. I think it is the most interesting project for the next years.

  48. Dustin Curzon

    We’ve been using Hangouts for a few weeks now to do weekly demos with our remote engineering staff. It’s been great except it crashes occasionally on Chrome for Mac. Also, although it has nothing to do with Google, my 11″ MacBook Air struggles with 4 simultaneous video streams.

  49. Donna Murdoch

    Fred it’s awesome. ¬†Worth investing in a high quality HD webcam but I have regularly scheduled hangouts with people in my field 2x/month and it is almost flawless. ¬†Highly recommend!

  50. Andy Shannon

    Have you tried ? Interesting startup out of London Рin browser Skype type tool. I could see you finding the single use call link feature beneficial.

  51. Paul Baranowski

    Google hangouts is awesome.¬† It’s the killer feature of Google Plus.¬† I’ve been using it every day for months for checkin meetings between North America and Europe.¬† There is a max number of participants, I think it is 8.¬† Occasionally it messes up, but not any more than Skype does.¬† Highly recommended.

  52. michael_eshoo

    How have folks¬†dealt with a work google apps account and a personal google account? Just pick one? Have both? I’ve struggled when I got invited to “hangout” via my work account and attempted to join via my personal account.

  53. Yaniv Tal

    Wow.. Nobody answered your question! I’m heading a start up with 2 co-founders and we have to communicate long distance. We use Skype premium and it works great. We tried using Google Hangouts twice and it was a disaster. Every two minutes somebody would get disconnected and we’d have to leave the page, wait for them to show up, and add them back to the hangout.If everybody has a great internet connection, I imagine it would work fine. I think that Google just hasn’t figured out how to deal with latency issues for group videos without dropping out. For now, we’re sticking to Skype.