James Mead by James Mead

Monday Links - 222

Ruby Manor Highlights

I couldn’t attend Ruby Manor (for reasons beyond my control), but from monitoring twitter it was clearly a success. I’ve watched James Adam getting the talk videos ready last week, and this post from Nick (I assume) at Berg certainly whets my appetite for when they do get released. TW

Lanyrd launches paid services for businesses

I’ve found Lanyrd very useful for discovering new conferences and events, but I’ve never been quite sure how they’d make money. So it’s interesting to see them take the first steps towards profitability by offering paid services to businesses. I really hope it works out for them, as it’s an excellent tool. (Full disclosure, we spent a fortnight sharing an office with Lanyrd whilst we were between homes). TW

Workplace 2.0 - your office is about to undergo a revolution

It’s interesting to read and hear about how many large organisations are moving towards democratization in the workplace in order to be more efficient. But, given this perceived competitive advantage, it seems odd that I haven’t heard so much about startup companies embracing democracy from their inception. JM

ThoughtWorks announces new CEO and collective leadership structure

In a similar vein, I was interested to note that Thoughtworks has replaced its outgoing CEO with a four-person collective. Their Chief Scientist, Martin Fowler, says: “I, for one, welcome our new four-headed CEO overlords”. JM

Sqwiggle – Remote Working, Made Awesome

I had the notion of making some ambient video thing a few years back, but lacked the tenacity to actually follow through. Thankfully, someone a bit more determined than I has pretty much made the exact thing I had in mind. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not the growing availability of WebRTC makes this sort of stuff commonplace; it’s already allowing phone calls from your browserJA

Ginger – convenient group conversations

I’ve had this tab open for weeks without really taking any action on it, but the problem they’re tackling is something that’s been on my mind too:

Nobody knew what each other was doing on a daily basis. Rather than building a cohesive unit, we were strangers passing in the night. It was clear that our company wouldn’t survive unless we fixed our communication problem.

It’s also interesting to read their blog, where the company write about some of their experiences using their tool to replace face-to-face activities like developer standups.

Two other meta-points. Firstly, both Ginger and Sqwiggle are blogging to support their product, which is something I’ve tried to promote for Harmonia with limited success. I still believe it’s a great way to explain and explore both your product and your audience. Secondly, within that “developer standup” post they write about trying to engender a practice without mandating it:

In the first couple weeks, about half of the team contributed regularly with status updates or daily goals. After a few weeks, the rest were contributing as well. At no time have we ever declared as a team that participation is mandatory, it seems to go along fine naturally.

I’ve tried a similar approach, sort-of, with encouraging more communication within GFR. I think it’s working OK, but I wouldn’t describe it as a triumph quite yet. JA

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