“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”
Or so says Peter Drucker, the famous management consultant and one of my favorite business authors.
At The Hustle, we have a handful of remote team members — and it’s taught us that Drucker is absolutely right: face to face communication is far more valuable than email, texting, or phone calls.
So… what’s the next best thing? Video conferencing.
After nearly a year of testing and researching different video conferencing systems, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no PERFECT video conferencing system, but there are a few great ones.
Here’s a list of tools we’ve used, ranked in order of most successful to least:
Highfive: If you can spend a few grand a year, buy this one. Not cheap, but well rounded and a true workhorse and works every time. Rarely has issues, comes with the hardware. Downside is that it’s billed annually. Starts at $99/month.
Zoom: Affordable, but you need your own hardware. Has a free option, so perfect if you can’t spend a bunch.
Sneek: If someone could pull this off, it’d be awesome. Sneek is a video service that takes periodic photos of coworkers, and lets you “pop in” and out of people’s screens to video chat. Kinda creepy, lots of nose picking shots, and really buggy. But does makes ya feel like you’re there with the team. $6 a head per month.
Google Hangouts: Free and ubiquitous. But the video quality is shoddy and it only works half the time. Gets the job done when you’re a small business. Free.