Many of us have been completely Zoomed or Teamed or Webexed or … over these past few months. Upon reflection, I have decided that I never want to go back to face-to-face meetings.

No kidding. Here’s 7 reasons why.

  1. Touch up your appearance on the fly – Hey even we dudes can do this in a video call. In a real board meeting – imagine me reaching out for my makeup kit – how weird would that look? I touch up my appearance all day long virtually and you don’t even know it. Unless of course you have a keen eye for flawless skin.
  2. Mute everyone instantlyAs an organizer I could shut all of you up and some tools will not even let you unshutup yourself– take that!. If I were to scream at the top of my voice in a weekly status f2f meeting asking everyone to stop talking, boy would you consider me a whacko.
  3. Virtual background baby – From the Golden Gate bridge to the Taj Mahal, I can switch the backdrop to keep the audience attention intact – you may not like my face but my backdrop is stunning. In a f2f meeting, I would need to physically run from Caesars Palace to Mandalay Bay (we had casino names for conference rooms at a company I worked for) and even so it’s the same boring walls everywhere!
  4. Bring your family to work every hour, every day – Hey, you could be sitting up on your perfect armchair with your cup of coffee and a perfectly positioned bookshelf behind you for that important meeting but you don’t control your dog or kids darting across or your spouse raising her voice at an inopportune moment. In a f2f, it’s the same boring colleagues day in and day out all acting prim and proper – Duh!
  5. Record everything all the time – We have gotten so used to the blinking red button – anything we say, don’t say or the dog darting – will be faithfully recorded and we don’t seem to care (this is not #privacywonk me speaking, just an average Joe). Next time we go to a physical meeting and we have the MC say “Cameras, Lights, Action” before every meeting, I don’t know about you but I will make a beeline for the restroom to touch up my hair (or what’s left of it anyway)
  6. Blame it on the Internet..ISP..router – Hey, if your boss starts to sound like a moron (just this one time), you can jump off the call, do some downward facing Yoga poses or whatever other weird pastimes you may indulge in, jump back on 20 minutes later and blame it on tech. Imagine doing that in a conference room. How many of us get there early to prudently grab the last seat to have the opportunity to slink out and has it ever worked – Yeah right!
  7. I am all ears and eyes (yeah keep dreaming) – I am staring intently at the screen and you think I am paying attention to your drivel but I have another window open for .. Shhh! anyways people are cross eyed on these video calls all the time so you can’t even keep track of my transgression. In a real meeting, that is so hard to do – ignoring you for a whole 60 minutes.

I know the day is not far off when I would have to face the torture of going into a physical meeting room and meeting real people but until that day of reckoning comes I am virtually video killing it baby!



    Empathy, Education, Empowerment

    Mine is a typical Indian immigrant story: an Engineer who became an Engineering Manager, who grew antsy and segued into Product Management then rose to VP and SVP. During those years I fancied I was innovating and experimenting, but in reality I was wearing a corporate straitjacket. Constrained by my industry’s insular mindset, I became a slave to the definition of my job. Inevitably, I ended up dissatisfied. So, I did something unusual for a man in my position: I stopped to reflect. I searched my life and talents for what was fulfilling and had purpose. I discovered I enjoyed storytelling to promote understanding. I loved mentoring and helping people become the best version of themselves. Importantly, I realized I was still passionate about the tech industry, particularly the issues surrounding privacy and ethics. Today, I’m pursuing my passions. I like to think of myself as an accelerator of technology and positivity. I’m the COO of UberKnowledge, bringing cybersecurity awareness and training to demographics that are underrepresented in the industry. I speak at conferences highlighting the need for a sharper focus on the ethics surrounding the technology industry.  I write articles and blog posts using analogy to simplify technology trends and complex topics like AI and IoT. I host podcasts with CISOs and other industry experts. The purpose of these is not to sell snake oil or products but to bridge the chasm between security vendors and customers so that the real problems can be solved to make the world a safer place. Underpinning all of these efforts is my belief that life’s purpose for us all is simply to connect. And the best way to do that is through generous and positive gestures.