How to make meetings less terrible

I heard this weekend that the average employee checks their email every 6 minutes. I’m not sure how accurate this is… but I know that I used to check my calendar probably 2-3 times before a scheduled meeting just to see when it was starting. I recognize this sounds ridiculous but it is the truth.


Enter: Superpowered

Power through your day without your calendar.


Bold statement right? But after using the product for 1 week I can testify it is true. For some people, their calendar is the worst part of the day. It's can be overwhelming. If people are going wild for Superhuman for email, they should also be going nearly as wild for this new calendar tool. Superpowered has recently been covered by TechCrunch and Product Hunt.


Why is this interesting?

The Superpowered value prop is essentially:

  • Non-invasive education about upcoming events

  • Ease access to see event information

  • Super easy to join virtual meetings

  • Friendly, gentle meeting reminders

From a product perspective, Superpowered is delivering all the benefits (or pain, sorry) of your calendar without actually having to interact with it. The minute a user needs to click to check their upcoming calendar is a chance for distraction regardless of whether your calendar exists in a web browser, notifications panel, or your phone.


The productivity product space is admittedly quite crowded. There are hundreds of different takes on how to squeeze a little more efficiency out of your day. But instead of building a bigger experience, Superpowered has built a smaller one.


I'd argue Superpowered in making meetings less terrible. There is something potentially overwhelming about looking at your stacked calendar of invites. if you don't need to look at the calendar to join your next meeting, perhaps your overall vibe towards meetings might improve.


Pricing

At initial glance, Superpowered might seem overpriced. A monthly subscription goes for $10. And if you had asked me if I would ever pay that, I would have told you no - but after a week of using the tool, I’m leaning more towards yes.


After speaking with one of the founders, I learned that Superpowered based their pricing structure off of Superhuman - which goes for $30/month. While I am not a Superhuman user, I can very much appreciate this logic and I think it is nearly on target.


Best Features

The best part about Superpowered is that you almost don’t even realize that it is not part of your existing operating system. The UX is gentle, but not invisible. I hope they see that as a compliment.


Subtle Placement -

At the highest level, the experience lives in the menu bar. It is immediately clear to the user when the next scheduled event is. Conversely, when you are actively in a meeting the display switches to a countdown. No need to click or over to see any immediately pertinent details.



Joining Meetings

When that meeting is actually starting, you can join with a simple keyboard shortcut. No need to switch to a browser, go to your calendar, just a simple either click of a notification button. Currently, Superpowered only supports Zoom and Google Meet.




Need to see more info?

Also just a quick keyboard shortcut away. Superpowered has built in the ability to operate off of two primary actions: joining a meeting (Command J) or seeing your calendar (Command Y). One click from seeing all the information in the meeting invite.


For users with more than one linked calendar, Superpowered displays different colors.



It will be really interesting to see what the product roadmap looks like for Superpowered.


Who acquires Superpowered

I could see Superpowered getting acquired by a number of different spaces.

  • Apple-- Longer shot? For sure. While I initially would not have said Apple, they did acquire my favorite weather app Dark Sky.

  • Superhuman -- feels like a logical extension and companion to the email solution

  • Friday -- this platform is about remote workplace efficiency. The Superpowered value heavily skews towards remote meetings.

  • Calendly / X.ai - Initially It feels far less likely for other calendar / scheduling companies to seize this feature set. That being said, the companies in those spaces appear to thrive in the remote first, booking space. If you are someone who has a calendar service, you likely have a fair number of meetings and people who have more than 3 invites a day could be a great fit for Superpowered



Full disclosure? I have reached out to Superpowered and talked with one of the founders, Nick. But I was in no way compensated or paid for this article, they have no idea that I was planning on writing it. In fact, they likely had no idea I write articles at all.