Startups’ War on Meetings // Businessweek

Liz Presson • 28 October 2014

“Tech companies that favor traditional management structures—with all those meetings—may have trouble hiring top engineering talent,’ says Mike Abbott, a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers who has worked at Twitter, Palm, and Microsoft. Reducing the number of manager-led meetings means putting more decisionmaking power in the hands of the people actually building products, letting star employees shine and exposing those less capable. ‘Accountability is a good thing,’ says Abbott.

The trend is evident at tech companies big and small. Michael Waxman keeps his company’s meetings short by making attendees stand. At his startup Grouper, which runs a Web service that arranges six-person blind dates, the daily morning meetings last less than 10 minutes, he says. Waxman used to set a timer to cap them at five. Jeff Atwood, the co-founder of the Q&A forum Stack Exchange, recently laid out his rules for good meeting etiquette, including that ‘no meeting should ever be more than an hour, under penalty of death.’”

By Mark Milian

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