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Anand Rajaraman, co-founder of Lightspeed portfolio company Kosmix, posts about how to stop email overload and break silos using wikis, blogs, and IM.
We hit the email wall at my company Kosmix recently. When we were less than 30 people, managing by email worked reasonably well. The team was small enough that everyone knew what everyone else was doing. Frequent hallway conversations reinforced relationships. However, once we crossed the 30-person mark, we noticed problems creeping in. We started hearing complaints of email overload and too many meetings. And despite the email overload and too many meetings, people still felt that there was a communication problem and a lack of visibility across teams and projects. We were straining the limits of email as the sole communications mechanism.
We knew something had to be done. But what? Sri Subramaniam, our head of engineering, proposed a bold restructuring of our internal communications. He led an effort that resulted in us relying less on email and more on wikis, blogs, and instant messaging. Here’s how we use these technologies everyday in running our business.
* Blogs for Status Reports
* The Wiki for Persistent Information
* Instant Messaging for Spontaneous Discussions
The effects of the communication restructuring have been immediate and very visible. They include a lot less email and almost none on weekends; better communication among people; and 360 degree visibility for every member of the Kosmix team. After we instituted these changes, everyone on the team feels more productive, more knowledgeable about the company, has more spare time to spend on things outside of work.
Anand goes into detail as to how blogs, wikis and IM are used by all employees, and how this has streamlined the communications in the company. I highly recommend reading the whole thing.
Who is Fake Jeremy Liew? June 27, 2008Posted by jeremyliew in blogs.
I got an email today from Kyle Brady titled “Response to Your Response on My Blog” which puzzled me as I hadn’t come across his blog before. I clicked through to his post; he had been called by a recruiter about a job at my portfolio company Rockyou, turned it down and explained, in some detail, and with great enthusiasm, why.
Someone claiming to be Jeremy Liew posted a couple of comments, parts of which I’ll excerpt below:
Kyle: I think you made a poor decision that you will one day regret deeply.
I have been a venture capitalist for many years (I got my start in the early days of venture capital back in 2006) and in all these years have seen few companies with as much potential as RockYou…
We’re still not sure what the final business model for turning those widget views into cash will be, but the opportunities are endless. I came up with 3 this morning alone…
I guess you’d have been one of those people who had the opportunity to work at a great startup like Google, Webvan, Amazon or Pets.com before they went public and would be regretting that decision to this day…
You’re young so I will give you some advice: the sooner you get in on these things, the better. You get more stock options, a beter strike price and you get to be a part of a revolution at the same time…
Sleep on it tonight and tomorrow give that recruiter a call back. Tell him Jeremy Liew referred you.
You’ll thank me for it some day soon. I guarantee it.
Lightspeed Venture Partners
“Investing at the Speed of Light”
*** Sent from my iPhone 3G ***
The comments linked to the Lightspeed website, and even had the right email address (as is evidenced by the fast that Kyle emailed me a very polite response, despite the nature of the comments). I’m no Steve Jobs, so I was pretty surprised to see that there is a fake Jeremy Liew out there!