I ran a 70-person remote town hall on Google Hangouts this week.

Newsletter #37

On Friday, I hosted and ran a 70-person town hall.

It was for a client with whom I’ve been working for years. We have a good relationship, and I do all sorts of things for them including their website, internal communications, hoodie designs and, as of this week, town halls.

Thankfully, it was well received.

Not because it actually went perfectly — Google Hangouts hung a bunch of times, a fire alarm went off in the office building during the presentation (luckily it turned out to be a false alarm), and 20 presentation-avoiding developers gave presentations (it was an impressive effort, but not a TED talk).

Nevertheless, it was really well received because of the culture of the firm. They don’t sweat the small things, and are reasonable enough to know what’s within control and what isn’t. The false fire alarm wasn’t in our control, so nobody got upset. We simply waited for a couple of minutes till the alarm was turned off. No biggie.

They also have a firm grasp on what matters. In this case, it was the first time the firm had done and presented a large scale strategic roadmap like this.

In previous years, it was always just a short presentation by the executive management. This year, by incorporating many additional voices, they were able to tie the big picture vision to each level of the organisation so that everyone understands their role and contribution to the mission. That was the main goal of the town hall, and we achieved that.

This week’s post wasn’t about Newsletter Glue, but I still think it contains some useful takeaways. Let me bring them into focus:

  1. There are some cool companies out there with great cultures
  2. Roadmaps should be both top down and bottom up
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff
  4. Don’t lose sight of the big stuff

πŸ”₯ Highlights from this week

  • Successfully ran a remote town hall for 70+ employees.

πŸ’” Lowlights from this week

  • Didn’t focus much on Newsletter Glue this week.

βœ… Completed this week

  • A lot! But not much for Newsletter Glue
  • Shaped the work for cycle 3 for Newsletter Glue
  • Finally made a decision on a subscription and payment management system, after agonising over it for weeks.

🎯 Goals for next week

  • Improving Newsletter Theme Designer (had some really great constructive feedback from users this week)
  • Start designing the Newsletter Glue custom blocks manager

πŸ€” Product thought for the week
I’d pick talking to users over moving fast and breaking things any day.

πŸ•Hot and fresh from the Interwebz

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This was gripping but hard to read. Buzzfeed reports on a memo written by former FB data scientist, Sophie Zhang. In it, she details how Facebook ignored or was slow to act on evidence that fake accounts on its platform have been undermining elections and political affairs around the world. Just reading this made me feel like I was living in a dystopian fiction novel, so I can’t imagine how harrowing it must have been for her. Link to article β†’

Amazon’s Latest Union-Busting Tech: Heat Maps Monitoring Whole Foods

Speaking of dystopian fiction, Amazon is at it again! They’ve installed heat maps in Whole Foods to identify when store employees are at risk of unionising. Link to article β†’

Musk on Mars

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Watch the making of Yomogi Mochi (Japanese Mugwort Rice Cake with Adzuki Bean Paste)

So the name of this Youtube channel is Peaceful Cuisine. I think that should give you everything you need to know about what this video is about. 15 peaceful minutes of calming mochi-making. Mmmmm. Link to video β†’

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