Yesterday Twitter began deploying the new cool to its userbase, #newtwitter. It’s something we’ve heard about in bits and pieces, and once news broke the subject of whether or not you had access to #newtwitter was a topic du jour in some circles.
I didn’t get immediate access to #newtwitter. Thankfully, I’m easily distracted. In this case, buy this tweet:
Kevin‘s inquiry is an interesting one, because I’m sure that many people would approach this from different angles. “Give us the why!” might be one common reaction, especially from those who don’t adjust to change easily. But Wally‘s reply struck a chord:
Smart people, talent, and resources are all must haves, but too much of anything without something forcing restraint can create some pretty serious problems. Call it hand-waving, strategizing, or ideation — if you don’t have a team that can distill flights of creative fancy into an executable plan, you’re likely dead in the water before you even begin.
And this is where one of my passions comes to bear — process. That word makes many people shudder…It’s not the sexiest thing in the world. But it helps. Process, if kept from becoming overwhelming, can provide a means of pushback, and can give a team the necessary baseline from which to build up from. I don’t care what your process is, each team will require a different set of working conditions, workflow, and resources, but no team can execute successfully without a clearcut and safeguarded process.
Otherwise, build time slips. Deadlines are pushed. Features creep.
So, define your process. Make sure you have buy in ahead of time, and then protect it at all costs.
Which brings me back to Kevin’s question — I would ultimately want to know more about Twitter’s process than the tech or philosophy — although both of those are intriguing as well. Just not as much, per se.
Meanwhile, I still don’t have the new cool…
UPDATE: Somehow I missed this in the flurry that has been day-to-day work, but MG kicked off this post on Yahoo!’s response to Google Instant Search with some excellent points about execution…by way of Facebook’s Chris Cox. Here’s a snippet:
But actually, the thing that stuck out the most to me about the piece (beyond The West Wing stuff, which I still find humorous/interesting) wasn’t about Zuckerberg at all. Instead, it was something Chris Cox, Facebook’s head of product, said towards the end of the piece.
“Getting there first is not what it’s all about. What matters always is execution. Always,” Cox told Vargas for the piece. This was in response to the idea that Facebook had copied Quora’s (a company started by a bunch of ex-early-Facebookers) idea with Facebook Questions. But it’s actually something I was thinking about quite a bit this weekend, entirely unrelated to Facebook.