Tech: where “no, it can’t be done” usually means “well, yes, technically it can, but…”

Earlier this year I was completely delighted to learn that it is finally, finally possible to easily share your iPad’s screen in a web meeting using Zoom (see how here). It’s easy, responsive, and really works.

Since then, when people ask me if they can use their iPad to graphically record remote meetings, I’ve been saying, “Yes! Just use Zoom and it’s quick and easy!” Which it is, and they do, and life is good. Until someone says, “But my company only lets me use WebEx. Can I still share my iPad?”

This is where I typically say, “No, you can’t.” Not because that answer is technically true (it’s not — you actually can share your iPad using WebEx), but because the hurdle from HERE to THERE is pretty darn big.

And that’s just one example. There are so many things about remote meetings that actually, yes, you can do them, if you’re willing to do a bunch of research, possibly buy some new equipment, do some trial and error, and put up with it maybe not working the first time every time. In my experience, most people aren’t. They quite understandably want to be able to do the thing they need to do quickly, easily, and without a lot of extra expense and setup. And if it’s something where I look at the steps and think, “No, thank you,” then it’s a reasonable bet that anyone asking me if it’s possible isn’t going to want to, either.

So if you ask me “Can I [insert your idea here] in a web meeting?” and I say “Not really,” feel free to follow up. Whatever it is might be possible, if you’re the experimental sort.

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