dock.jpg Everyone knows that meetings are boring. Not everyone knows their true cost. Today, Payscale, the salary comparison service, launches Meeting Miser, a widget designed make these costs plain.

To get started, you enter in your company’s location and the jobs of all of the meeting’s participants. Based on the median salary for those jobs at those locations, Meeting Miser calculates how much every second and minute of the meeting costs. You can use sliders to adjust the salaries to their real level, and then press “go.” It’s simple, fast, and easy, and now, when you have long board meetings with all of your VCs, you can show them how much additional money they’re dropping on your company as they listen to you talk.

At the end of the meeting, you can send yourself or others a summary of these costs with a couple of clicks. There are other, similar tools, like those from DeepFun and EffectiveMeetings, out there, but none of them have Payscale’s wealth of data behind them, nor are they as simple to use. We talked to Mark Mader, CEO of online spreadsheet company, SmartSheet, and he says that since first encountering the widget, he has used it regularly. He says that it has made him and his team conscious of wasting time and helps them stay focused on the agenda.

Payscale is pushing the product as a “viral productivity tool,” but, despite Mark’s endorsement, it’s hard to take it seriously, and while we can imagine that it would fit in with a handful of goofy start-up cultures, mass adoption is probably not in the cards. It seems mostly like a fun little toy best used once or twice to make a point, then relegated to the large dustbin of clever but relatively useless widgets.

And, really, is this what Payscale recently raised $10.3 million to do?

Payscale is based in Seattle.


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