Here's an app that pays for 12 iPads the very first time you use it. Buy one iPad for every single chair in your meeting room… like the projector and the table, it's part of the room.
I recently sat through a 17 hour meeting with 40 people in it (there were actually 40 people, but it only felt like 17 hours.). That's a huge waste of attention and resources.
Here's what the app does (I hope someone will build it): (I know some of these features require a lot of work, and some might require preparation before the meeting. Great! Perhaps then the only meetings we have will be meetings worth having, meetings with an intent to produce an outcome). I can dream…
1. There's an agenda, distributed by the host, visible to everyone, with time of start and stop, and it updates as the meeting progresses.
2. There's a timer, keeping things moving because it sits next to the agenda.
3. The host or presenter can push an image or spreadsheet to each device whenever she chooses.
4. There's an internal back channel that the host can turn on, permitting people in the room to chat privately with each other. (And the whole thing works on internal wifi, so no internet surfing to distract!)
5. There's a big red 'bored' button that each attendee can push anonymously. The presenter can see how many red lights are lighting up at any give time.
6. There's a bigger green 'GO!' button that each attendee can push anonymously. It lets the host or presenter see areas where more depth is wanted.
7. There's a queue for asking questions, so they just don't go to the loudest, bravest or most powerful.
8. There's a voting mechanism.
9. There's a whiteboard so anyone can draw an idea and push it to the group.
10. There's a written record of all activity created, so at the end, everyone who attended can get an email digest of what just occurred. Hey, it could even include who participated the most, who asked questions that others thought were useful, who got the most 'boring' button presses while speaking…
11. There's even a way the host can see who isn't using it actively.
Can you imagine how an hour flies by when everyone has one of these in a meeting? How focused and exhausting it would all be?
$500 each, you'll sell 50,000…
PS no one built the first one yet. Sigh.