The Filter (week of July 7) 37signals 07 Jul 2006

8 comments Latest by Don Schenck

Interesting comments posted this week at Signal vs. Noise:

There’s no such thing as the one-hour meeting

Baeck 30 Jun 06
I think the point here is not to come off as totally anti-meeting, but to get everyone to step back and think “Is this really necessary?” before scheduling a meeting. Far too often, people will schedule a meeting for a purpose that could just as easily be handled electronically or in a drop-by conversation.

Gene 30 Jun 06
There is one thing i’ve found working in the web development/programming world and that is that folks like us are moving farther and farther away from real, face-to-face, human interaction. We send emails and IMs rather than a phone call, chat rooms and campfire sessions instead of meetings around a table over a cup of coffee… Is it a “human” aversion or a “meeting” aversion we are talking about here?

ian 03 Jul 06
Having been in the communications industry for over 20 years, I am beginning to form the opinion that a lot of techies would rather shy away from real human interaction because of their inability to engage socially, which I have empathy for, but fail to see why we have to work in a social vacuum!

The disease of giants

Daniel Azuma 03 Jul 06
I think the basis of the disease is our economics. We live in a society in which value is based on growth. Whether you are an individual, a school, a business, a religion, or indeed just about anything else, if you are not growing, you are considered a failure. Stagnancy is equated to death. And so we will do anything, including throw away that which truly gives value to ourselves and our enterprises, in order to keep the stock price rising, the church membership increasing, or the software feature list extending. And we end up with giants. Such an attitude, of course, is neither healthy nor sustainable.

Sunspots: The knife skills edition

Jeff De Cagna 05 Jul 06
In case anyone is interested, I did a telephone interview with Chris Anderson last Friday that is available as a podcast at The focus of the discussion is on associations and non-profits but I think it is a generally interesting discussion. I hope you’ll check it out.

The dance of people in public spaces

nate 06 Jul 06
I find that people, like gasses, tend to move from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. This process, known as “diffusion,” appears to occur at both the individual and group levels. The tertiary result of this process (or perhaps the cause of it?) is that people tend to move as far away from surrounding people and objects, taking up as much space as possible.

8 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Steve R. 07 Jul 06

Re: Meetings / Avoiding Human Contact

Is the purpose of a meeting

a. to socialize or
b. advance the state of the business

If you answered (a), I do *not* want to work with or for you. If you answered (b), then read the rest of the original article and understand why they generally fail this function.

Ken Rossi : 07 Jul 06

That 10-15 hours of productivity originally comes from a successful meeting. I agree to a certain extent that meetings are mostly toxic but they should be about focus, strategy, and prioritization to make the work time more positive.

1 hour to focus a group of 10 people to be more productive each week is not a heavy opportunity cost. When people lack focus it doesn’t matter how much time you give them. If you don’t have at least one meeting a week sometimes people end up going off on tangents and they don’t focus on the task at hand. Also, meetings if done properly should be a morale booster.

For a team that knows how to work together, has focus and direction meetings can be deadly to growth. For a company just getting off the ground meetings are unfortunately a necessity.

nate 08 Jul 06

Sweet! Made it to The Filter! That’s one less item on the “To Do Before I Die” List.


Adi 09 Jul 06

Just going off topic

What fraction of free basecamp users typically move to paid plans?

This would help a lot of entrepreneurs here.

PS i’m New here Good work with this blog


Adi 10 Jul 06

Have i asked a tabooed question?

James 10 Jul 06

Adi, with your wit, intelligence, subtlety and nuance, your web 2.0 company will have a 36.4% conversion rate from free to paid plans. Do it!

Jeff De Cagna 10 Jul 06

Really happy to have made The Filter. Thanks for including me and I hope everyone enjoys the podcast with Chris!

Don Schenck 11 Jul 06

Six people meet for 10 minutes.

Sheesh … now I gotta do all your math for you, too?