FanBridge finds a way to bridge the gap
If technology can beam Will.i.am into CNN's studios or raise Tupac from the dead, then surely separate offices should be able to communicate without relying on email or I.M. Transcontinental startup FanBridge took the initiative themselves, hacking consumer electronics to better link their offices.
Founded by Spencer Richardson and Noah Dinkin, FanBridge offers brands and celebs a CRM system that enables them to grow, manage, and market to their social networks. The company works with clients as varied as Common, Annoying Orange, and Coca Cola, and operates out of offices in New York, Buenos Aires, and San Francisco.
"Each office has its own identity," Richardson told us. "Buenos Aires, for example, has a ton of holidays - like Friend's Day."
To better foster the unique local cultures, yet still build a close, global team, the team built "Windows on FanBridge." With a stable live-stream from all three offices, the technology can be used to hold team-wide meetings or just to check out what's going on in the Southern Hemisphere.
"On a team hack day," Richardson said, "we built Cisco's $150,000 TelePresence units for $1500. We were able to replicate all the functionality, just by going to Best Buy. It's all about non-verbal communication...that connection of me seeing you as a person in your environment."
It's not quite the holodeck, but it works. (And Friend's Day has become a company-wide holiday.)
Now go forth (and beam in).
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