At the heart ❤️ of async is long form writing w/ Chrisophe Pasquier, CEO @ Slite
Async communication is thoughtful and crafted messaging between colleagues without any timed expectation of a response. To date, async has focused on long form writing as vs other mediums.
Here's the recap...In today's episode, we chatted with Christophe Pasquier, CEO & Founder @ Slite. We spoke about long-form writing is at the heart of async communication. Because it's not focused on back n' forth pings, writing is the best format to craft a thoughtful document or argument vs other mediums. We discussed how both sync and async communication is needed for a healthy company culture. Finally, how the term 'async' needs a rebrand.
Full Transcript Below...
Accessibility to data & knowledge is key to async
Async communication, like remote work a a whole, requires easy access to company data to be successful. Because async defaults to long-form writing there can be a lot of text related to a specific topic or conversation. So it's crucial this writing, any related to-dos, tasks, etc related to the writing can be found simply in a single tool. Since you're trying to mimic the office experience of tapping your neighbor on the shoulder with a question.
Video is great in specific use cases
Nothing tells a story better than a picture. So nothing more clearly defines a prototype, mockup, or something we want to 'show' than video. Showing off something is the prime use case for video in an async environment. Because in the workplace no one has hours to edit videos, they can end up being a more engaging ping pong ball. Short Tik Tok like bursts one after the other. Raw and unformatted, they may not get the point across like long-form writing will.
That said, adding video into a document can humanize the conversation laid out in text. This is certainly helpful when trying to connect or convince the reader of your point.
We should all be working on flexing our writing muscle
Writing will define remote work as the future and its success. Whether as a communication style or as the foundation of productivity. Being able a concise but precise to-do or product spect that the recipient understands clearly. This will help ensure they produce the exact desired output and within the timeframe needed. Without wasting time on ambiguity. It's also central to writing better marketing content, sales pitches, or support tickets. So we all should be practicing as often as we can.
Async needs a rebrand
Many folks don't truly understand what asynchronous communication is or the value it can add to an organization. It's seen as a deflect to person to person conversation and engagement. As well as, lower productivity. So the remote work PR folks need to start working on evolving the term to better explain what it really is.
Scott: [00:00:00] Hey everybody. Thank you for tuning in today. I'm Scott here with my cohost Tevi. Tevi, how are you doing today?
Tevi: [00:00:06] Hey, Scott. Actually, interestingly, I'm a little under the weather and I was thinking today. I was wondering if people actually take their days off for sick days more when they're at home or more when they're in the office? And the other side is maybe people work through while working from home, but maybe they actually rest in the middle of the day as well.
I'm curious what are you guys doing here? I am working, but I'm feeling okay right now. I'm curious what you guys think. What do people do you think people do for, sick days when they're working from home?
Christophe: [00:00:37] Yeah, I think so. Definitely, there is this we add to write at some point in our handbook and to actually send the notes during the winter. People go see a doctor. Everybody was freaked out to get outside. But yeah, 100%, I think people open the laptop, start work. Even say, "Maybe I'll take it easy today." To just end up doing like a regular old day of work.
Scott: [00:01:00] I'd agree on that line. You're saving yourself a 30 plus minute commute. Whether driving or taking transportation. Being physically tired versus you just sit in your bed. How many times that I'm feeling perfectly well, but I have worked from the bed.
I'll throw that out there and be honest. So I think there's definitely that likelihood when you're working remotely, to push more. Because you're in your home. You're more comfortable that you have access to tea or the bathroom or things that you may need. You're able to work in a more comfortable environment where you don't have as much pressure as you would potentially in an office.
I don't know, Tevi, what do you think?
Tevi: [00:01:38] Yeah, I dunno. I was just wondering about it today. Like here I am working, but I'll probably take a break if I have to. I don't know if it's better. I guess my question is is it better to say that we work from home, but then if we ended up working through instead of taking the time off that we need, maybe that's bad. So maybe people just need to be careful and be aware of how they feel, and if they're taking care of themselves.
Scott: [00:02:01] I give you a blessing to drop off at any time. We could record the audio separately. We could try to get creative with some deepfakes. But I do have to admit, I am not a professional editor or producer. So the deep fakes may look less like deep fakes and more like a 1970s or 1980s Kung Fu video. So it's up to you.
But to get us back on track. Today's the fourth and final episode in our series about asynchronous communication. What is it? Why use it and the tools to be successful at it. So far we've learned about the foundations of async and how to do it from day one, how to merge together the best of both synchronous and asynchronous worlds, and how to pivot to doing your one-on-ones async.
So today we're happy to be joined by Christophe who's the CEO and co-founder of Slite. Slite is a collaborative documentation tool for teams and basically, a place where your team can share ideas and collaborate on them in real-time and Christophe, usually the way that we start off is introducing yourself a little bit more and telling us a little bit about the origin story of Slite.
Christophe: [00:03:04] Slite, which is more than that, even documentation, it's a communication tool for remote and async teams. We started actually three years ago, as a knowledge base for teams more than four years ago. The origin idea was really simple. We had Slack that was exploding. And we wanted to do the same as they did for communication in teams. By bringing the UX of the B2C tool like Messenger or WhatsApp in the hands of the enterprise. And we wanted to do the same for their knowledge management and their writing. And so we just built something that looked like Apple Notes. That was as simple and as flexible, and we brought it into teams. So by default, we were making the notes accessible to all the teammates. We saw teams churning from Confluence. Like the biggest one, like the surprise was like this a little bit less than one year. And we had a team of 80 people churning from Confluence to Slite. I learned at the time that the term of knowledge base and by granularity, we went to a note-taking up tool to more than knowledge base.
We also learned that like older horror story of teams that try to use knowledge base. It's a mess because it's never maintained. It's actually never used. And we basically try to get the teams that are looking for the knowledge base to walk by writing and to give them a communication tool rather than the knowledge base.
Tevi: [00:04:27] Nice. It looks like your team is mostly in Europe, but also scattered around. Not just France and Germany, but also Canada or Argentina as well. It's pretty far away. Can you tell us a bit about the communication culture at Slite and how you stay connected?
Christophe: [00:04:45] So it was one of the challenges. We obviously knew that we are working for this team very early on. We were remote, but like we were physically separated by a bit less than 200 kilometers for a long time. Like it was obviously very French people in France, even if they are not all in Paris. We went to YC and raised a seed round in 2018. And when we came back we started to expand the team for the first time from eight people and we wanted to find talent. We said, Okay", let's just remove any constraints like we have an entity in France, the US, or wherever. We'll figure it out. Let's just find anybody anywhere in the world. So the first two folks that hired this way were in Sao Paolo and both incredibly talented folks. We just knew that we wanted to work with them if they were willing to try it out.
It pushed us to do was to build the foundation of our future, which is basically everything by default is logged in Slite. Most of the projects start with a document. It's obviously something that we try to share as a bit of practice because it works incredibly well. We do one on ones with everybody on our teams very frequently. I stick to one on one with everybody every month. The one on ones are very much like a link to radical candle style. They’re a place to create human relationships and to make sure that the human aspect of the work is going well. Like the motivation and the starting up empathy.
And do you understand why you just think it's on? that's, a very big one and that we try to spread to the new managers. We have a live coach delegated to the managers to walk the right way?
And the last one, which is it has been an incredible challenge. We used to get together almost every two months. For the two people in Sao Paulo we literally ask them every two months to fly to Paris. Which was a lot to be asked. Hopefully, they were already excited but it was still new, right?. Just nobody was doing that.
So we're still excited to try it out. Today we wouldn't ask that, but we still try together at least every four months. And we give the possibility to teams to travel in between if they want among teammates.
Scott: [00:06:59] Not a scheduled question that I had, but in the last year and a half many of the startups that are building remote tools or remote companies that I've met, mentored, coached, whatever are coming from France and Germany. You're from France. Any insight into why Western Europe seems to be an epicenter for the growing remote movement.
Christophe: [00:07:20] That's pretty interesting. I didn't catch this signal myself. I guess there is a logical explanation here, but it's interesting. I try to double cross-check the facts in my head, but like the companies that I know that I know. I guess the big thing about the remote European founders have really two choices. If they want to make a big company right to SF and New York.
And even in my case, we went to YC. The choice was to stay there. I already worked in nine hours delay environments and it's very hard. intense.
Scott: [00:07:55] Yeah that seems to be the point that I've heard consistently. Is French founders or German founders understand that in Paris or Berlin there are a certain number of great developers, UX people, whatever it may be. And unless they're curing cancer or getting somebody to Mars, they're simply not going to be able to recruit them from Facebook or Google or whether they're working.
So they know from day one, in order to build a large successful company, they have to go remote first. So it's definitely been interesting to me to see many of these companies that are launching in the last 18 months have been coming out of France and Germany. Those ones I've spoken to, with that same sense of, "Hey, we understand there's just a business necessity. We have to do this from day one in order to be able to grow and to be successful."
Christophe: [00:08:37] In France, at least was as French founders coming to SF and that's splitting the team like a sales and commercial whatever, like business side, staying in SF and New York City. And the developers and the product staying in France. And they were just having two headquarters. I guess it changes because 2 headquarters are a lot to handle. But I'm curious when you say that at the same time, big names of remote before 2015, let's say. So Zapier, your InVision, Auttomatic, Ghost, Buffer, are all I believe US right? American.
It is because you both worked there. What explains this?
Scott: [00:09:19] I think the InVision story being remote was the backend of the system. And again, this is coming from my 2 cents. The backend of the system was built on cold fusion. And cold fusion was going to be the next big backend tech stack that never was. So you only had a finite number of developers that knew how to write cold fusion and they were spread out all over the US and maybe perhaps the rest of the world.
You'd probably have to get the CEO or CTO on to confirm this, but from what I got out of the founding was you had a limited amount of people spread across the country that knew how to write in cold fusion. And the only way you're going to continue building your product was by simply being remote and being able to access the best person wherever they are.
That was certainly one of our mantras at the beginning was. Wherever the best talent is whether it's a marketing person, whether it's a salesperson, whether it's a designer, we'll take them wherever they are. And I think our second UX person was in British Columbia. He then moved to Scotland because his wife was getting an MBA. And then I think he moved to London or back. So we just want the best person that we can get. But yeah, a lot of the early companies started US only and then grew out from there.
Christophe: [00:10:29] I think that's actually surprising when you think about it. It's maybe about the tech startups trying to change themselves a bit more. What they built, but also in the way they build it. It's still interesting, if I were in San Francisco, I have way less pressure or way less incentive to try that, financially anyway. If they have the means to hire the right people in SF, there is absolutely no struggle on this end. They have access to an amazing pool of talents. Yeah, it's interesting that were all based in the US that decided to go to remote.
Tevi: [00:11:07] I was gonna say, there are lots of places that are not in the classical, like urban San Francisco, New York, Chicago areas that don't have the same talent pool. It's more like Germany or France. I know people, their founders live in North Carolina or something and it just, they don't have a big talent pool. So they have to go remote if they want to find the right people. a lot of companies started that way where they just wanted to open up their talent pool.
Scott: [00:11:32] Yeah, I think another thing on top of that. Outside of Doist who's been asynchronous since day one, asynchronous hasn't been a thing within the remote world. Let's say until maybe the last 6 months, 12 months. So all of the initial remote companies were using that synchronous model, InVision included.
Everybody worked basically off the Eastern seaboard time schedule. I think that was, is also probably part of it. And if everyone's within the same, let's say three times zones, you have that ability to have everyone working at least in an overlap. Versus having people maybe overseas that it's much more difficult. Especially if you're not using an asynchronous first setup, which we'll dive into more here.
Maybe we're just at a segway to get more into that conversation. The standard was synchronous, even if you were remote. Then in the last 6-12 months now, asynchronous is one of the hot topics and moving into that. So to dig in towards that direction in previous episodes, we've heard from other great guests about doing onboarding asynchronously. Doing one-on-ones with direct reports asynchronously. So should there be any meetings that are left that are done synchronous or really is there no more room left for synchronous conversations and meetings?
Christophe: [00:12:43] I guess it's very black and white. It's a bit where people are very intense about it. And we are not at all at Slite. I have a lot of goals every week with my team and I love it, but it's every time it's one person. So to us what we say when we say async communication, is basically no meetings. And every kind of long thought important topic is discussed through long-form discussion, straight in Slite.
Are there some ground rules today? We don't have actual rules yet. We are 35 people. We are still in the lead by example type of mode where we try to challenge ourselves and iterate on what we see works well and what works not so well. We try to nudge people in the right direction, say.
What brings synchronous communication? You want to know what people have been working on. Like you need updates to come in your way if you want to remove this kind of catch me up on what you've been doing. The second is you want to access a piece of information, just something that has been working on. So it's very simple. Either you will nudge somebody if you can find it by yourself, or you have someplace where you can just have transparency by default. Accessible information to everyone. What are the stages of desire? What's the goal for this feature or whatever.
And then the last one is just if you have a very complex topic you need to have a way to track the conversation. And actually, most of the best async remote teams have this type of place, usually, they use GitHub issues or a database of some kind of issues. This is very funny because it's literally not made for that at all.
These kinds of good practices, if you have information accessible by default. If you have people that share by default what they are up to every week or every two weeks. If you have long discussions that are in one place by written by default, then you don't need meetings anymore. So we just don't have meetings. I personally have just one meeting every two weeks where we are more than three. That's it. To me, that's obviously perfect.
Tevi: [00:14:57] Nice. I like that. It's a good way to break it down. Where it's not just async, it's no meetings. So it's still open to talking to people one-on-one, but for sharing knowledge, you lean back on async and you don't have meetings.
Christophe: [00:15:10] I guess it depends a lot on the type of roles. If I remember correctly, Scott you were in Support, and Tevi you're in Product. What's the average number of meetings that you think you were having at Invision of more than three people in the meeting?
Tevi: [00:15:25] I don't know that I have a number on it, but I've definitely been pushing to reduce that number. Product reviews will be a video recording with the documentation on it. That's shared instead of having a meeting where we go over it. I'm managing a lot of squads, so it's hard to put it a number on it. I have a lot. I can't say that I'm async at all. It's probably close to maybe 24 a week.
Christophe: [00:15:53] Oh, really?
Tevi: [00:15:56] Yeah. There's a lot. So that's across three squads though. So three squads and there's a lot of overlap with other zones. So it's just a big surface area.
Christophe: [00:16:10] It resonates a lot because maybe the only person in Slite that I don't think managed to do that is our VP of Product. That has four squads to handle and two PMs and two product designers. And for some reason, I think it's just too much information that needs to be coordinated or something. But I know that he hasn't cracked it yet.
Tevi: [00:16:33] Yeah. I'd say the number of people that I have meetings with on a weekly basis is probably close to 80. So it's a very wide surface area. Hard to make that all remote, but I'm always saying, "What I can do to reduce that."
Christophe: [00:16:49] You say that you try to do your product brief or product reviews by writing. I think that's the first step. That's obviously what we have with Slite and that you could do with many writing tools. The idea of how can you actually replace a meeting that will last for one hour where you could discuss complex topics in a discussion that is long-form by writing. Straight inside slides that actually go on the course of a full week instead of one hour. Where everybody is kind of and not be paying attention and not formulating their ideas the right way. That's definitely something that we are working on today.
Tevi: [00:17:25] I will add into the mix though that what I've been trying to do more and more is if I have to schedule a big meeting with let's say 8 or 10 stakeholders to try to figure out how to move something forward. It's very hard to find a spot on the calendar where everybody will be available at the same time. So it could be a week or so lead time. Then I'll start a Slack channel around that meeting and start the conversation. And already twice now in the last few weeks, we've been able to resolve it before the meeting came up and we were able to cancel the meeting. So we are working on that.
How do you think sleight helps teams succeed in an async environment? How could Slite help us abolish meetings?
Christophe: [00:18:08] It's in the product, right? Slite is is a writing tool and it's obviously a reading tool as well. The idea is to make all information accessible by writing and by default share with the right people in your team. To come back to what I said before, you have to fall back to synchronous communication in the case when info is hard to find. In the office you would just turn to your colleague and nudge at their shoulders. If information is by default accessible in the searches, kick-ass then you don't need that. And that Slite.
The second thing is that you need to get updated by default. That's the tricky bit. That's the part where honestly it's a mix of stuff. Culture and team behavior. So Slite won't be enough, but you can use Slite to write on forward dates and share them to your team. You can use Slite itself and you have a catch-up feed that kind of surfaces what matters for you that's been updated in your team.
And the last one is the complex topics and that's literally what we're doing. The idea is to really give you a place for the discussions where you actually can open forum discussions at the core of Slite. digital, What the problem in Slack or in such tools is that you have a very small box. 200 pixels by 200 or whatever. You have no formatting concept. Bed sketches or videos or whatever. And the greatness of our tool is that not only is it very fast and nice to use, but you can sketch collaboratively inside. This kind of experience where you can be multiple writing on the tool is really important when you want to share complex ideas and other diagrams or mock up a feature. And in Slack out, can you do that?
Scott: [00:19:52] Interesting. So across multiple episodes here, the one thing we've heard pretty consistently is that at the heart of async, is long-form writing. We've obviously heard it here so far in the episode. What do you feel about long-form writing makes it so essential to asynchronous communication.
Christophe: [00:20:11] I was thinking fundamentally about what makes the difference. Maybe just before that, do you use in your async communication only writing, or do use videos and audio and looms and this kind of thing.
Tevi: [00:20:23] That's a question I was going to ask you right after this one. I am a fan of video like using Loom or something. Even just recording the Zoom meeting where you can let's say, share your screen and walk through a product. That's what I do for product reviews.
So that, facial body language, being able to pick up people's emotions is important. So I'm a fan of video and audio. I don't like WhatsApp at all in a work environment, but I like the voice note capability that it offers. If you want to leave someone a message, you could walk somewhere and leave a thought-out voice note, which doesn't have to be a live phone call. Which only crazy people make phone calls.
Scott: [00:21:04] So old school? I'm a fan of, not so much audio, but video and long-form text. I think video for me is definitely that opportunity to show something and display something. That needs to be much more visual. Again, whether it's a product spec, whether it's a prototype, whether it's a sketch, something like that.
But outside of that, I'm a fan of the long-form text so much. I think the WhatsApp conversation, like lots of friends that would voice note me. And I would always just long-form text write a paragraph-long response, and then they record an 18-second audio note again. Maybe it's just because I've always hated the phone.
I just don't like the audio-only method. I think if you're trying to explain something that's not text, I think you need the face. I think you need that interaction. See the person's face, see the mannerisms, see the expressions. See these hands going around to get that intent.
I'm not much of an audio fan myself.
Christophe: [00:22:02] I'm relating to both. Like I love video. I really have a problem with audio. So the kind of short answer is why is writing so good? For the reader, it's because you can actually look at it back. And if it's the strategy or whatever thing is really important to keep track of. You need to be able to just reread it and a video you want to play it again. And the reason for that actually is linked. When you record the video, it's not the same effort, right? You optimize the time spent on delivery when you're doing a video. You are just spending the time shooting the video.
Except if you are a YouTuber and you will spend hours on editing. When you write your detail, you can spend 10 times as much as the video time. It's a form of balance where I feel that if you are shooting a video for one person, that's fine. If you are shooting something that is mundane for 40 people, I feel that it's like taking more of their time. You are winning a lot of time, but you are making them lose a lot of time.
Scott: [00:23:05] Interesting. So async I think, especially with long-form text removes, the engagement and the collaboration between two people or a group of people. So what can teams moving towards async, especially long-form, do to bring in the engagement? Bring in that face-to-face opportunities? Again, if most of the time spent in meetings is focused around long-form, writing it in async.
Christophe: [00:23:32] Yeah. To me, it's a mix between using video as a format first. When you conferring important information. "Okay guys, we crossed this milestone or we need to work on X, and here's why it really matters, and so on. When you are communicating this kind of information asynchronously, then using videos is definitely beneficial.
I think the beta is landing today. We have four users in Slite something called cover videos. Where you can shoot yourself like a two-minute constrained video. You record yourself and present a document. And you can ping some places in the text it's called the reader.
And so it's this kind of way of adding a human face on documents. So typically we do a performance review. We still have the meeting because it's so key but just to let the person prepare beforehand. We have all the peers doing it, then the managers consolidate it in one version.
This human face on top of the document doesn't necessarily add much information, but it adds this human interaction to the async communications.
Tevi: [00:24:35] We've spoken with a number of leaders about async. Some of them refer to it as allowing you to be thoughtful and reflective. Another one said it's about people being flexible. To work in their own way on their own time. And now you're saying that the goal could be about not having meetings. What do you think people get wrong about async?
Christophe: [00:24:57] It's not about being machines. And I do think that some founders believe that async is like that. It doesn't mean that it removes the need to connect as two human beings. Have coffee breaks and have this off-site as well in between. Where you actually in real life meet people. So that's where my definition can be quite biased then.
Asynchronous is a spectrum, right? Even if you are in an office, you are not constantly in the same meeting room. And you have some companies where you are literally a lot in meeting rooms. And some companies where you never have meetings. Then there isn't any in-between them and you just have to pick it's for the right thing,
Tevi: [00:25:36] Okay. So it's not just that we don't allow people to schedule meetings. We never need to talk to a person. It's just that the default, see if you could communicate first with long-form and start from there.
Christophe: [00:25:50] I'm very curious about how does that work in the company that you've been at in remote? Did you have a very strong set in stone type?
Tevi: [00:25:58] No most companies I was at, I started as their leadership building up product and design. So it was easier to create cultural norms and communication norms. We would have a weekly meeting and one-on-ones were for sure, if I needed to talk to someone, it was no problem. But we also have people scattered really far apart across the world.
So it was just, the default was a lot easier to be async we would try to work things out over email or Slack before scheduling a meeting. Just because it's hard to get people on at the same time. And it wasn't like anyone felt forced into it. It was just, that's just the way the company was evolving.
Christophe: [00:26:35] Yeah, it makes a lot of sense.
Scott: [00:26:37] At InVision, we're synchronous set up from the start with. Everyone worked kind of New York time. But as I've progressed and especially over the last 6 -12months, the companies that I mentor are usually very early stage. 5-10 employees at most. And I'm trying to embed that idea from a very early stage of being async first long. Form writing first.
It comes across the entire organization. Because I think the future of remote work is based on productivity. are we really going to be productive? It means it needs to be based on to-dos. To-do's need to be extremely detailed to clearly understand what I need to do. What someone in my team needs to do by a certain time. So I definitely tried to push the async first methodology and the teams that I'm working with from the start. Getting everything in writing first and creating that culture early on.
But on the other side, I'll ask the question for companies leadership who are maybe listening to this episode or listen to the series here on async and are totally on board saying, "Ok, async we're doing that going forward." What are the three things they should be considering as a shift from a synchronous to an asynchronous first setup?
Christophe: [00:27:47] It's, actually quite easy. It's just how to convince other people to do it. You just need to impress transparency in writing. Good writing is a muscle and you have a lot of people that actually don't master it. And I'm one of them, right? I'm not a native English speaker. It’s taken me a lot of time to write something good on top of that's another stereotype.
I have people in my team, I have people outside that I know that just they write something and it's just like it's instantly like a pleasure to read. So video once again can be a good segway to make it a bit more enjoyable. I still think that the ultimate goal is great writing. I guess the last one is something common to every company, but it's really the one-on-ones are important for the feedback loop and not like focused on the job.
And coaching managers, because it's so hard. So many managers don't know how to not ask work-related stuff. But really just, "How do you feel? Are you happy at work? Do you think that we are communicating the right thing? Are you aware of what's the strategy right now?" All these questions are not linked to do the job of a person day-to-day. But just checking on the motivation and then getting the tough feedback.
If you are a product builder, getting back the users, that's I'm not excited about it. You'd need to ask the question so that you can iterate and find a product-market fit. You need to iterate to find the right of processes to make it work.
Scott: [00:29:07] Yeah, I love the last point. It's up-skilling managers to be able to lead remotely. In the next couple of years for remote to have a seamless transition as the future of work and certainly why this podcast exists. For that specific sense, just to be able to share in between Tevi and I, our 10 years of experience of building remote teams and companies. And gathering amazing guests who are building great remote teams. Great products to support teams. It's just getting the information out there and getting that experience. Getting those use cases out there because to me, that's the biggest necessity the next year two moving forward.
Any last questions, anybody?
Christophe: [00:29:44] What we are doing is not async. Do you have a better word or have you ever thought about a better world to describe this? We fall back to remote communication when we speak about Slite. Have you thought about that? About a better word that says synchronous for all the human steps. Keep the environment to have jokes, because jokes don't work very well async. You need to have a call to make them up. And for the can up the rest of the cold stuff, that deserves like a place like where it's a thoughtful long-form, use async. Have you ever thought about the wording?
Tevi: [00:30:23] goal of async is not that you will never talk to anybody, but that it's trying to get rid of meetings. I think that the word async is confusing to people. It makes them feel like there's no control. There's too much lag between. So I think it needs a rebranding. I totally agree with that. I love the idea of focusing on the goal of intentional communication, reducing meetings, saving time, increasing flexibility, and more. Focusing on that one thing. Maybe it's a company’s cultural value instead of how we call this type of communication.
Christophe: [00:31:01] Because it literally what we described, like what we've been discussing since the beginning of this podcast could be embraced by an office space team.
It is literally what happens in teams that have multiple HQs anyway. You can't add all the shareholders in the same room anyway. Because you have the NYC office that is not awake yet or whatever. It is literally something that you could consider. Everything that we said happening in an office environment. The only thing is they will share drinks at the end of the day. Which is nice.
Tevi: [00:31:37] Jeff Bezos was very big on long-form writing and would always hand out like a six-page brief to people in meetings. And they would take 20 minutes to read this before talking. Why did we all need to be in the same room to read your six pages of long-form content and wait for everyone to catch up? That makes no sense. That should be async.
Scott: [00:31:58] I think async is the right term for now as we get through the COVID period. Just because on the other side, so much of what we've heard over the last year is when companies went remote, they added endless extra meetings and sync opportunities to be able to sync up with the team. So they had to get those extra meetings had to get the morning check and the afternoon check-in. Just so everyone knew what was going on and get everyone on the same page. So async is the right term for now. Just to be able to say separately that idea of never-ending meetings and never-ending morning status updates and things like that. Saying async it's all writing. There's no back and forth. There's no ping pong. There's no I send you a message. I am expecting you to respond in 30 seconds or at least that little thing that says a no Tevi is typing or Christoph is typing. And if I don't, then I start getting upset. I definitely agree that as CoVid passes and remote becomes a norm and more companies are moving to that, then async the word and terminology should definitely be changed and refined. Whether it's intentional communication or whatever the next mode maybe.
But for me, it's async is work-related. Whether it's meetings, whether it's briefs, whatever may be. And synchronous is for engagement. So the team building, the one-on-one feedback. When you have to talk to a person, do you want to hang out or you give them feedback that's always synchronous? Have a face-to-face with a voice but when it's work default to long-form writing.
Christophe: [00:33:28] I really relate to that. But that's the thing you know. By default, any company in the world was used to synchronize for everything. And we are saying like, let's say, async for the work, but not async for the rest. That's what confuses the message. Right? So we need to find a word for precisely what you just described. Like sync for human relationship and innovation. Async for all the kind of long-form discussions and all the important stuff and all the work-related things.
Scott: [00:33:51] Async in teams succeeds with long-form writing. Until the next episode, everybody have a great day.