For the past three or four years, I have been trying to reduce my air travel for a host of reasons (wellness, reducing carbon footprint, increasing productivity, etc) and I would say that this effort has largely been successful.
The main tool that I have used to accomplish this is videoconferencing and although I use whatever videoconferencing software that the other side wants to use, it turns out that I am mostly Zooming these days.
We use Zoom at USV for all of our team meetings and for many of the pitches we receive over video (which has increased significantly in the last few years).
And the vast majority of our portfolio companies use Zoom too.
There are many days when I will be on Zoom for three, four, five hours and I can get a lot done that way.
We had a board meeting yesterday that was one of the best meetings that the company has had and everybody was on Zoom.
I will say that video works better when everyone knows each other well (like the USV team) and the benefits of body language are less.
But without a doubt, videoconferencing has arrived and it can and should reduce your need for air travel. We can’t fully replace the in-person, face to face experience, but we are pretty close to it now. And so we should leverage that to improve our lives, our effectiveness, and our business.