The purpose of this document is to explore more principles related to internal communications to improve the way we communicate as a company, and specifically to come up with solutions that are needed for situations that require synchronous communication.
We are an asynchronous and remote company, but that doesn't mean we never communicate synchronously. There are situations where synchronous communication is the best option, but we should err on the side of being overly-async because entropy tends towards synchronous communication, and nobody wants to be in a situation where we're stuck in meetings all day.
<aside> ⭐ Communication entropy tends towards synchronicity.
Principles of Effective Communication - August 2021
LEVELS - A Whole New Level: #27 - Principles of effective communication (Michael Mizrahi & Sam Corcos) on Apple Podcasts
Since we're an async-remote company, the bulk of our communication is asynchronous. We had some difficulty using email and Slack as our primary communication tools, and after significant thought, we decided to move most of our communications to Threads. For more information on this decision, see Principles of Effective Communication - August 2021.
We knew there would be edge cases that Threads would not solve (most of which related to synchronous communication), and we decided to make the transition anyway and address those edge cases as they came up.
We're now fully transitioned to Threads and we have a better understanding of the edge cases that still need to be solved.
While we explore this concept, it's important to keep in mind that we should seek to use tools that are aligned with our values. All decisions and tools come with tradeoffs. The goal is not find an equivalent for every piece of functionality (e.g. we will likely never find a tool that has the functionality of Slack that aligns with our values), but to find a set of tools that solve the communication problems that we need solved, while staying true to our values.
Entropy tends towards synchronous communication. We need to be mindful of how our communication habits might negatively affect others on the team. Overusing synchronous tools like text messaging or Zoom are obvious examples of bad behavior that everyone can relate to, but it's also possible that asynchronous communication that is too rapid can create bad cultural norms (explained in the example below — note that "email" is not unique here, and the principles apply to just about every platform, including Slack, Notion, etc).