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The official Motribe blog, written by the founders

July 7

When you start a business you have an idea of what it’s going to be like and how you don’t want it to be. I came from very corporate environment where a large part of many people’s jobs involved booking and attending meetings.

Often these meetings would simply consist of planning the next meeting or discussing the previous minutes from the last meeting, in a nutshell: Their jobs were meetings about meetings about booking other meetings.

I hated this.

When Motribe started we wanted to meet everyone and anyone, we wanted to talk and get to know people who might be able to assist us, we spent a lot of time in meetings, waiting for people and traveling in traffic. But we actually spent most of our time focused on our business and concentrating on building the best product for our users.

Meetings often aren’t about that; building the best product for your users.

In fact, most meetings will never be about enhancing your product and if they are chances are they will never come to fruition and are dead-ends.

However there will come a time when you decide that meetings are probably your favourite mistake. There will come a day when you have back to back to back meetings and each and every meeting is concise, filled with valuable information, has clearly defined to-dos and a very specific outcome at the end. This will be the day that meetings become your favourite mistake.

Until then here’s what we do at Motribe:

Meeting day

We decided that for the sake of our sanity we would set aside one full day a week for meetings if they came up. Tuesday is our meeting day.

If you think that meeting with us is valuable enough, you’ll try your hardest (and so will we) to make time for you in the nearest meeting day. If the meeting can wait (and most of them can) then you’ll push the meeting out to the most convenient Tuesday for you and chances are that meeting will never happen.

On the very rare occasion that meetings hold so much potential that we want to drop everything and attend, we will. This is the real world and nothing is black and white, so if we have to meet you then we have to meet you, the day is ultimately irrelevant.

My final thought on meetings

Don’t let meetings bog you down and take up all of your time and for the love of all things sane do not under-value your time. If someone is 15 minutes late and hasn’t called, tweeted, emailed, facebooked, skyped, whatsapped, SMS’d or sent a carrier-pigeon, leave. There is NO excuse for tardiness and even less for not informing you that they will be late.

2 Responses to Meetings: my favourite mistake

  1. JBagley says:

    Meetings do suck but they definitely can be a necessary evil.

    How do you keep track of all the notes / follow ups that need to happen after the meeting? I.E. your tools of the “meeting” trade?

  2. Courtenay says:

    yeah couldnt agree more. give ‘rework’ a read, the guys from 37 signals and their approach to meetings. amazing stuff

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