This is Why We Quit Slack


* This is commentary written by Josh Walsh on a post originally by Jason Fried at Signal v. Noise.

As a general rule, nobody at Basecamp really knows where anyone else is at any given moment. Are they working? Dunno. Are they taking a break? Dunno. Are they at lunch? Dunno. Are they picking up their kid from school? Dunno. Don’t care.

The vast majority of the time, it just doesn’t matter. What matters is letting people design their own schedule around when they can do their best work.

This is not nearly as hard as it sounds. But it does require a shift in mindset. Away from “I have to call Jeff into a meeting now to get his take on this new feature idea” to “I’ll write up my feature idea for Jeff to check-out whenever he has some free time, and then, maybe, we can have a chat about it live later, if needed”.

If you’re constantly pulling people into things, then yeah, where they are right now matters. But if you prefer to let people consider something fully, and get back to you when when they’re ready, then it doesn’t matter where they are right now. We choose the latter.

Jason Fried

Realtime chat is a disruptive way to have a conversation. Slack is so well designed that it's become the easiest and fastest way to communicate, and therefore it has become the default place to start conversations. Making the easiest way to get someone's attention the most disruptive way to do so is inconsiderate.

Read at Signal v. Noise