The meet market Matt 04 Oct 2006

6 comments Latest by manuel

Linus Torvalds hates committees and meetings:

I don’t think committees ever make any sense at all, and I hate meetings. I have a belief that committees tend to get formed when you want to avoid responsibility, and particularly when you know what you want to get and you want to be able to say it was ‘consensus.’ I work over email, and I do so for a reason.

How Google runs meetings talks about the meeting timer Google uses:

To add a little pressure to keep meetings focused, Google gatherings often feature a giant timer on the wall, counting down the minutes left for a particular meeting or topic.

And Bill Ford tried to cut meetings at Ford before departing:

Ford stressed that meetings weren’t seen-and-be-seen affairs or a continuation of ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it;’ rather, meetings have to have a strong bearing on turning the company around and getting the job done. The goal is to get folks at lower levels within the organization to make decisions on their own.

(tx Nick, Spike, Eddie for pointers)

Related: Meetings are Toxic (PDF) from Getting Real

6 comments so far (Jump to latest)

dave 04 Oct 06

yeah, and look where ford is now ;)

Mark Gallagher 04 Oct 06

Creating committees is actually a very effective delaying or kill tactic.

I worked in the budget office for a very large government.

In government you hear a lot of great new program ideas, but there is no money to fund them.

The director of the budget office, when asked to look at a new program idea by his boss (elected official) would say: “great idea, let’s put together a committee to look at it”.

We knew what he meant and we would quietly laugh amongst ourselves. He had just doomed the idea.

Zack 04 Oct 06

Oh man, don’t get me started on meetings, I work for the state!

We have meetings about whether we need more meetings before deciding where we should meet at for future meetings about meetings.

And, of course, the answer is always yes! Followed by, “does anyone know where the heck Zack is?”

Matt Chaput 04 Oct 06

Like almost anything, meetings can be helpful or misused.

I parse Linus’ statement as “I’m an egotistical nerd with very poor social skills who expects his own way on everything (I am a dictator, after all), and so I hate meetings and consensus building in general.”

I find disdain of all meetings, for any purpose, in tech companies generally corresponds to a developer-driven monoculture, where the input of “outside” perspectives (of docs, QA, the artist, “the girl,” etc.) are put down and considered unnecessary.

Matt Chaput 04 Oct 06

Sorry to windbag some more, but to expand, I think that a lot of geeks hate meetings because they don’t like face-to-face confrontation — they’d rather just flame away in email.

manuel 05 Oct 06

Matt Kaput

I think that a lot of geeks hate meetings because they don�t like face-to-face confrontation

that could be quite right, but who knows.

anyways, i think what we svn-nerds hate about meetings is the term “meeting”; how such a thing is commonly “done”. i don’t think that a meeting per se has to be bad, but the commitee-style meeting certainly (thats what my parser told me) is bonker.

and if we leave the time-dimension out of this, then look at our bunch of comments here (and at other topics) as a meeting as well… ;)