If meetings are toxic, then Campfire is a recurring time bomb that blows up in your face every 3 minutes.
37signals has built the virtual water cooler. A place where everyone can endlessly share funny pictures, stupid jokes and the latest sci-fi movie trailer. A valuable team building tool, but it doesn’t help productivity too much.
Jason and David, founders of 37signals, didn’t design their product with the intent of impeding upon our productivity. They would argue the contrary with good reason. Campfire is, in fact, a great collaboration tool - we just misuse it. Instead of discussing projects, we exchange this kind of video:
(Don’t get me wrong. That is a funny video, but you probably - just like me and all my colleagues - have just wasted what could have been 3:22 productive minutes.)
Now that Jason and David have called out meetings as “the worst interruptions” in their new book “Rework,” their disciples flee meetings as if they were rabies. They are missing the point.
Jason and David are right, most meetings are unproductive. Like Campfire, the problem isn’t the meetings, it’s the people running them. Instead of concluding that “Meetings are toxic,” try running one following the simple rules at the end of their essay.
Jason and David have never preached anything new, it’s pretty basic business fundamentals, they are just doing it in a refreshing way. “Rework” is a good read that should help shape our entrepreneurial philosophy. Hopefully their followers won’t turn this book into another misinterpreted bible.