There's definitely something interesting in the distributed work paradigm. I thought that this comment by a friend is particularly apropos. "I think it works great for a group of executors. But it works less well when people who need to do something strategic, or coordinated across a sizable group, or tackling anything ambiguous." My response … Continue reading When Distributed Work Works
Google just released their distributed work playbook. The key challenges that their research team gathered are: Getting connected: reliable logisticsBeing connected: clarity on workFeeling connected: building trust Their playbook appears to be individual pages that are slightly related. Perhaps because it's meant to be used in that Google thing where they put useful "readme" items … Continue reading Distributed Work Playbook by Google
"Working at a fully distributed company where everyone at the company is working remotely from each other means you’re simultaneously everywhere and nowhere."Ian Stewart's story of the story of the Four Planets of Design Concept by Adam Becker and Brie Anne DemkiwImages by Marly GallardoText by Ian Stewart We call our design process “deep design” … Continue reading Revealing The Four Planets
At MIT I was fortunate to have Hiroshi Ishii as one of my most esteemed colleagues at the Media Lab. Professor Ishii is a giant in a field called CSCW, or "Computer Supported Cooperative Work" which has existed as a subfield of the Computer Human Interface (CHI) world since the 80s. There's a great overview … Continue reading The Three A’s of Remote Work and CSCW
How is remote work like being in a Wes Anderson submarine? It’s similar in that you feel like you’re in some form of alien world, with lots of weird colors and strange emojis 😎🦎🌋, and it can be so quiet all the time. It’s also isolating in many ways because you lack constant face-to-face contact with co-workers. That said, it’s a unique paradigm that has many upsides that far outweigh the downsides
I enjoyed this web page for its simple prompt of, "Hit play and scroll..." — it was introduced to me by Scott Evans at Automattic. It reminded me of how we browse pages in silence, or with an unrelated soundtrack. But if each web page had its own deejay, the web world might feel a … Continue reading Hit play and scroll …
When considering how to communicate inside an all-distributed company, I think it's not dissimilar to communicating inside any global company operating at a scale of any significance.
At Automattic Design we like to experiment with connecting large groups of people remotely NIRL with large groups of people IRL.
A low-performing team results from a sense that the organization neither cares for the team, nor does it care for its individual performers. In other words, employees stop caring about results when they feel the company doesn't care about them, too.
One of my favorite things in life is when I realize how stupid I've become by getting smarter. Said differently, it's the moment you realize that your personal inference engine is filled with a bunch of assumptions. And although those assumptions can let you feel smart in front of others who are confronted with exactly similar conditions for the first time, they're kind of useless when you're put into different situations. It's SO easy to forget.