i3 - November/December 2020 - 35

By Jim Harris

Business

T EC H TACT I C S

Zooming Like a Pro

 I 

Courtesy of Zoom

n December 2019, Zoom had 10 million daily users. In
the second quarter (April, May and June) of 2020,
Zoom's app was downloaded 300 million times: 94 million from Apple's App Store (shattering the previous record of
50 million downloads for a non-gaming application) and more
than 200 million times from Google Play.

During the pandemic, Zoom has become
the go-to video conferencing service -
downloaded at six times the rate of any
other competitor:
According to Gartner, 54% of business
leaders say that poor technology and/or
infrastructure for remote working is the
biggest barrier to effective remote working in their organization.
Given how much people are zooming
from home for work, how can you easily
create a professional setup? Companies
like Google, Spotify and Twitter are giving
employees a budget to get an ergonomic
chair and the tech required to have a professional work from home environment.
Since the IT department cannot drop by
to help you, what peripherals are highquality, easy to set up and simple to use?

Web Cam

The Logitech Brio 4K is amazing. On
C TA . t e c h / i 3

i3_1120_35_Business_TechTactics.indd 35

via a mini jack. Some microphones have
an XLR plug and require a separate
sound mixing board. Unless you are a
musician, audiophile, or a radio show
host, stick with a USB mike.

Helpful Tips

Sit facing a window with your computer
and the web cam in front to achieve optimal lighting.
Think about a backdrop that looks professional. For example, bookcases stocked
with your favorite business books create
an atmosphere conducive to work.
If you want to impress clients put a
monitor in the bookcase hooked up to an
old laptop or computer and display your
client's logo on it. Set the monitor to the
lowest brightness.
Unless you have a perfectly evenly lit
green screen behind you,
forget the virtual backDuring the pan- grounds that Zoom offers.
demic, Zoom has I have watched so many
become the go-to people on Zoom have
video conferenc- parts of their head
disappear during a call -
ing service -
blurring into
downloaded at magically
the background - only
six times the rate to re-appear a minute
of any other
later. It's unnerving and
competitor.
looks unprofessional.

Zoom calls, I always
have the highest resolution video. The images
are so crisp that you can
read the titles on my
bookshelf. The USB cam
is easy to set up. Most
importantly the camera automatically
adjusts given the lighting. In the three
months following the global lock down,
Logitech sold as many peripherals as in
all of 2019.

Microphone

I've been using a Blue Yeti USB microphone for years, and I love it. I have also
been testing Rode's new NT-USB mini
and it's great. You can get it with a stand
or with an arm making you look like a
radio show host with a mike in front of
your mouth. You can also plug your earphones into the back of the microphone

To Sum It Up

The consequences of the
pandemic are going to continue far longer than many people realize. Google
has told its employees not to expect
coming back to work until July 2021 at
the earliest. And Dell Computers has
said that half of its 165,000 employees
will never come back to work - instead,
they will be working from home making
it more important than ever to have the
right business set-up at home.
Jim Harris is the author of Blindsided
which focuses on disruptive innovation.
Follow him on Twitter @JimHarris or
email jim@jimharris.com
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

35

10/20/20 10:24 AM


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i3 - November/December 2020

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i3 - November/December 2020 - Cover1
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i3 - November/December 2020 - Contents
i3 - November/December 2020 - 2
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