Adam Seligman, July 13th 2021
I’ve worked at some of the best tech companies in the world: Microsoft, Salesforce and Google. But I learned new things working for a tiny startup called Nooks that came from new grads of the Stanford CS department. It’s a working style that emphasizes feeling super close and connected. Where we stayed in sync by just casually talking. It reminded me of the best moments of the best teams I had worked on in 20+ years in tech. How did these young entrepreneurs at Nooks hit on such an effective working style? It’s a generational thing. Let me explain.
"How did these young entrepreneurs at Nooks hit on such an effective working style? It’s a generational thing."
Young people are unencumbered by the practices of the past. Status emails, standing meetings, powerpoint decks, and “taking things offline.” These tools date from 2000 or 1900, and they don’t reflect how younger people want to work. Reading long things? Writing long things? These feel more an artifact of large screens and big keyboards than actual productive output. Why have meetings and working sessions when you can talk about a feature, like normal people standing next to each other, right then when it’s timely?
I spent a few months helping the Nooks team launch. I joined fifteen minute daily standups, and design reviews. We planned and shot a video. We talked to customers. But what we didn’t have was endless documents and endless meetings. Decisions were made at the time they were needed, not at the time we pushed a meeting out to. The cadence of work clicked off the core product development timeline, instead of a product review meeting timeline.
If you think Tik Tok users consume media fast, wait until you see how fast they work. And get right to the point. And have no barriers to communicating with their teams. They just talk to the person next to them, right then and there. Things get decided on the spot by the people closest to the issue. Everyone quickly hears about changes. Things. Move. Fast.
It’s a fantastic new way to work and it’s going to transform the workplace as this generation transforms the workforce. Listen to them. Immerse yourself in this culture. If you want to manage a high performing, closely-connected team, drop all the old patterns and tools and work the new way.
"If you want to manage a high performing, closely-connected team, drop all the old patterns and tools and work the new way."
And try Nooks! They built this product for you. You can hang out in a room with your coworkers and friends. You can ask questions with a click of your mic. And you can customize the spaces to set the mood and reflect the culture of your team. It’s exquisite and special: Nooks.in
BTW, if you want to join a great team, my friends at Nooks are hiring.