Patrick McKenzie+ Your Authors @patio11 I work for the Internet, at @stripe, mostly on accelerating startups. Opinions here are my own. Sep. 14, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

In an update on "we create our tools and then our tools create us", I wonder how the collaboration software we have is going to leave fingerprints on the types of organizations we build and how effective they are.

You know how you can *basically* tell when a SaaS app is built on Rails because of design patterns which are very common in the community and things it makes rather easy? I think we'll start to see that, but for companies.

The most people you can have in a meeting productively is defined by Zoom, the maximum size of an organization's working memory by Google Docs, the interoperability of engineering teams by Jira / Github, the social dynamics of suborgs by emergent behaviors of first-gen Slackers.

I am reminded of someone, and I can't remember who it was, observing that a Japanese company made a feature request to Zoom "Can we set the amount of real estate speakers get onscreen in group view to reflect the hierarchy?"

Which might be a "too perfect to factcheck" anecdote.

I also think that some people are going to be "good at Zoom" or "good at Slack" in the same way that people say "good at Twitter", and I very much don't mean the traditional sense of software education "knows all the shortcuts and how to debug common issues."

Sooner or later executive performance reviews are going to start saying "Areas for improvement: relative to other executives at your level, your Zoom presence does not project confidence and vision. Work on transitions, unforced humor, microexpressions, and your lighting setup."

And eventually that review will not mention "Zoom presence" at all, in a same way that email ability has receded into the background as "things you assume somebody just has on total lock by a certain point or they'd never get anything done."

You can follow @patio11.


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