Meetings… bleh.


I once was flying back to California from Michigan during the time CES was about to start in Las Vegas.  A startup entrepreneur had sat down next to me and we ended up talking about various things.  We talked more so about his company, as I was interested in hearing his story.

His claim was that if you want to completely own a company, use all of your own money.  (Which is quite the different story that I hear from in most of the sf bay area.)  Another thing he mentioned is that once you get above a certain number of people, the time that people spend in meetings just to get in sync grows.  I think he said something like 20 or so?  or maybe it was 200?  I think 20 was right though.  The more people on a project, the more meetings.  Meetings cost time and if you think in terms of man hours … then it’s the number of people in the meeting multiplied by the time.  That’s how much it costs in terms of productivity.  But that’s not quite right either.  It also costs people the overhead of start/stop/context switch time, the time of waiting for people to join in, the time to set up any other provisions, the time it takes to get there…

I think in some sense this blog explains it better: 

It’s a good read.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t/won’t attend meetings… meetings are important in order to get synced, and to sync people up.  I just hope that people gain awareness of how much meetings costs and the cost/benefit ratio.  ie Short meetings are wonderful, but if it’s not really necessary, why have them?  Can they be resolved in 1 on 1 or email or some other means? Can meetings be combined? etc. etc.  I think most people in Mozilla understand this concept as I saw some meetings have been combined, and/or dropped, to which all I have to say is o/

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