Nobody is obligated to work for me (or you). It is not even about money. Poor culture fit; poor performances; there is a multitude of reasons for anyone to leave a company. Still, it does not feel good when someone goes. But then I realized why -- because employees were a crutch when they should be fuel to a well-oiled machine.

A weak company is invented by the staff

And by invention, I mean filled up by necessity due to a void.

For example, we do not have annual leave rules when Nubela (the company) started. Two things happened:

  1. Some people took a lot of leaves
  2. Some people did not take leaves

Now, we have mandatory annual leaves that everyone has to clear every year.

Another example. Before we boarded Slack and TMP (Task Management Platform), the team will excuse themselves to the lunch table and have an impromptu meeting. As a result, people talked a lot more than they did work because how else do they synchronize knowledge? But meetings are inefficient:

  • They force a team to focus on each other for synchronous exchange of information
  • Information that is rarely archived for posterity anyway.

The company as a product

Instead of relying on people taking the obvious and often inefficient path to get work done, the team at Nubela relies on systems.

  • Tasks are assigned created and tracked via Trello cards and dispatched via a Slackbot.
  • Secrets (such as passwords) are exchanged with Passbolt. A role-based encrypted secret-exchange system with access-rescinding ability.
  • Google Calendar dictates the team's movements and availability.
  • A persistent Google Meet congregates the remote team in a central location.
  • An internal wiki that logs everything that has to be repeated more than once.

Everyone's roles are clearly defined. Our system demands progress and movement reports from everyone (including myself) all the time without being obtrusive. Everyone's role is scripted, and I dare say that our per-staff productivity has easily increased by 50% relative to the state that it was two years ago.

My CTO is afraid of me coming up with new weekend projects because he hates maintaining things (code) built over a weekend. Instead, I surmise that because of these weekend experiments, the company has turned into a sleek vehicle that speeds instead of a pretend tortoise with heavy shell heaved up by people.