Most people I speak to, hate meetings. Most agree a lot of them are meaningless and add little value.
What if there was another way? Would you try it?
Imagine if there was a way where you could work with a team completely asynchronously, maximizing your time spent without interruptions.
I first came across this idea whilst reading tweets from Sahil Lavingia. His business (Gumroad.com) helps creator sell digital products online. Sahil and his team optimise entirely for creator earnings as their north star.
Sahil realized, after going through a round of layoffs, that he didn’t want to optimize for revenue. He wanted to optimize for freedom. Freedom for the whole company, and himself.
Instead of spending all day in meetings where you have no time to do any “actual” work. Gumroad has a list of features in development and roadmap, and “employees” pick what they want to work on. Everyone is paid hourly, essentially as contractors (but with a path to equity — this isn’t about skimping on comp, they have global pay equity regardless of location).
This leads to a business that primarily measures outputs over anything. You can see the team’s contribution. And because it’s such a neat setup, people simply don’t want to take the piss. ]
Why ruin a good thing?
If you’ve read Deep Work by Cal Newport, or just understand the power of an uninterrupted flow state, you can imagine the impact this has on your day-to-day work.
I personally love work that requires very little interaction with other people. I like people, and talking to them, just not when it comes to producing outputs. It’s not efficient. I find my days constantly being interrupted by work colleagues asking this or that, and feeling a need to respond to them in a timely manner, often within minutes.
I’d rather have something tangible I know I need to achieve.
The folks at Gumroad are now able to flex their work around their children, life, and other hobbies.
It also allows founders-to-be to work on their start-ups at the same time. In fact, several members of the team have gone on to start businesses, and Sahil has even gone on to build another business helping those making the transition to Async working.
I don’t think this approach works for every business, but I think we can all apply the framework to our work.
I will write an article on how I use it in my day to day job as an HR professional but we can all find little ways to reduce the amount of meetings that you need or have to attend.
If that’s what brings you joy and reduces stress, optimise for it.
Is this something you’d be interested in? Do you think it’s a good idea? I’d love to hear from you below.