January 31, 2012, 12:12 PM —
The productivity hack startups use to manage without managers? Short, shared to-do lists.
Startups, particularly in Silicon Valley, are full of developers and creators, but mercifully short on traditional managers. Yet everyone must work together. In "Silicon Valley's Productivity Secret," the folks behind the iDoneThis tool explain how teams can coordinate yet avoid meetings. A short email message from each person says what they just finished, what they are working on, and what they will do next. Publicly announcing your goals provides a strong incentive to fulfill those goals.
Google used this in the early days, with a list from each employee detailing their past, current, and future projects each week. They called the messages Snippets, and others copied them. Facebook uses a system called Colbert. These messages coordinate teams without meetings and traditional heavy-handed management. For the professional managers out there, if it makes you feel better, call these OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). The geeks will call them Snippets.
Recently I have been on a major search to find the key to being as productive as possible at work. Other than my 25-45min burst of knocking out a todo item I think this will be perfect.
Jess Brown on jessbrown.me
Looks like …
sounds like timekeeper to me.
Crkeerl on idonethis.com
I was promptly told that status reports were a sign of a broken company. Apparently, if I'd called them snippets instead, I'd have been applauded for mentioning an innovative business tool?
georgieporgie on news.ycombinator.com
It's done elsewhere too, at least quite similarly. Where I experienced this heavily is quite far away from technology—I was a missionary for the LDS church in the Philippines.
dorian-graph on news.ycombinator.com
We hate meetings
Feel free to comment on what you accomplished last week, and what you plan to accomplish this week. You will not be held accountable.