Why Communication Is The Meat Of A Company AKA The Explicathon

Ben Lee

Ben Lee

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots

Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.

The programmers are in San Francisco, Uruguay, Thailand, and Berlin. The CEO lives in Los Angeles. The products that fly from the fingertips of the talent are in cyberspace, available to the entire world. What do we call this at Neon Roots? Tuesday. But how do we keep everyone on the same page, working towards the same goals, even as the different teams are assigned different tasks, on different continents, in different time zones? Three words: communication, communication, communication.

communication

There is no substitute for communication. If everyone is going to be as productive as they can be and need to interface with others over long distances in time and space, then the only way to overcome these natural barriers is by communicating. Whole technologies have been created just to make talking easier (thank you Skype), but there are times talking is not the most efficient means of conveying your thoughts. We’ve even got a name for it at Neon Roots: the explicathon.

Every week we do an overview of that week’s work, events, news, etc. At NR we call it “The Meat of the Matter”, in honor of our own coding butcher, Damian (And if you’ve never had a steak in Uruguay you might as well call yourself a vegetarian). Every week he goes over what has been accomplished, what is being worked on, what’s in the pipeline, and all marriages, births, soccer games, barbecues, ping pong tournaments, and jazz concerts of relevance. It has proven to be a great morale booster, as well as a useful updating tool for everyone who’s been too immersed in their own projects to know what’s going on around them. In short: communication! It’s the key to workflow, interfacing, and productivity, and we embrace it, squeeze it, and wrestle it to the ground every chance we get.

Now that the world has been filled up, the new injunction from Authority on High should no longer be to simply go forth and procreate. The New Directive, like the old one, is simple but hard: communicate!

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