Mar 02

Living/Working ‘on the brink’

At Provo Labs, we’re working on implementing the ‘Doctrines of Provo Labs’ the first of which is “If the customer didn’t see it, you didn’t do it”. What this basically means is that each day you should have accomplished SOMETHING, and in order for (potential) customers to know that you are making progress they need to see that you did something. The customer can ‘see’ that you did something in a couple ways: 1) a new feature or website is released that day 2) new content is suddenly available to the customer sometime during the day 3) you create a blog post that describes what you’ve been working on and how that will affect the customer.

We’ve been telling our employees about this for a couple weeks now, and some of it is happening but not to the extent we expected. I’m not slamming on our employees here – we have some of the best people in the area working for us. There are very good reasons that not everyone has been able to move on this, and those are some of the barriers that are frustrating. The biggest one – we seem to be continually existing on ‘the Brink’ of things.

We’re on the brink of creating a deluge of content, we’re on the brink of being finished with the Knowledge Manager, we’re on the brink of having our data systems in place and ready to go, we’re on the brink of some major deals being signed with Blastyx, we’re on the brink of rolling out several new websites, we’re on the brink of some very serious deals with Big Idea, we’re on the brink of having our blog networks roll out, we’re on the brink of completing some major work with our new SEO system.

Basically, we’re on the brink of major activity on every front we have. The frustration this causes is that I still can’t demonstrate success to Paul. I can’t even point him to aggregated blog posts that talk about progress because we’ve been having server issues. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited about the position each group is in, but here’s the problem: being on the brink means you can still slip substantially backwards from the brink. Being on the brink means that while we have an awesome future lookout, we don’t have any revenue streams right now. And guess what two things I get grilled on the most: 1) what revenue deals have we closed and 2) what have we relased so far?

So I’m hoping that very soon we’ll have everyone up to speed and enabled in regards to our first Doctrine. Once those things are enabled, the next challenge is getting everyone to put content into those blogs on a daily basis.

So in the mean time, I’m managing several brinks – and hoping we will very shortly start pushing over the brink and completing several projects. Once this happens, I’ll be able to relax a bit! This points out the other major tenet of how we do things at Provo Labs. We only hire people who appear to be self-starters and self -motivated. I don’t have time to sit and manage every project to death. I have to count on my people to take the direction they’re given and run with it. This makes it imperative for people to be able to work without constant direction and for them to be intune enough that they will be able to decide the direction the company will take for certain and run with it.

Once again, I stress that this is not a slam on ANY of our employees, it’s more a slam on my and the companies organizational habits.

1 comment

  1. Kory Hoopes

    Dude, I am totally with you on this. I guess I also am slightly at fault. My mentality of work has been severely altered by previous employers… I have been hardwired to only do what I am told; to only do something to the exact specifications of the lead boss.

    Well, let the creativity roll baby! Check out the site I emailed you and let me know what you think. I am gonna be cranking out some serious concepts here in the next few hours.

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