How you make things matters

I’m giving a talk on Monday to a group of people that are re-thinking how they’re working together and I wanted to get some thoughts down here. It’s a topic I’m very very passionate about – it’s what drives me in my work at Yammer and upon reflection over the last couple of days it’s what’s driven me in past roles. I’m lucky that at Yammer I get to work with some amazing thinkers in this realm. Specifically, I’d like to share a video that our co-founder, Adam Pisoni, gave at a Silicon Valley Bank event some months ago.

How we make things matters. In fact, what I love most about the video above is that Adam suggests that we should be focused on building an amazing company just as much as an amazing product. Your product is something that will change over time. Your organisation should be able to evolve easily with that.

History is littered with companies large and small which prove this out. Current history too – RIM is in serious trouble because the market moved rapidly toward favoring something else. MySpace is another obvious example. The challenge is to build a company that is not organised around producing that one product.

At Yammer, the future product we offer will be different to todays version, just as todays version is different than the product when it first launched. Twitter as an organisation, I feel, is beginning to experience these problems. But I feel our organisation will survive because we’ve built it to be adaptable. You need to iterate on your organisation as often as you iterate your product.

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