Agility is the goal; bloat is the enemy

We’re going to be doing things differently over the next few weeks.

I got into this game — of spreading ideas, bootstrapping my own future, building things with other people — because I was tired of being told:

Not yet.

The committees, the board of directors, the need for approval are all great. But they’re not for me. I need to be able to shift and jive and punch what I’m doing into fourth at a moment’s notice.

I like to hustle. But it’s hard to do that when you need a dozen signatures of approval.

My dad told me about a time when he needed a part for one of his trucks. The P.O. was so large it needed to be approved by his boss’s boss’s boss’s boss. If he’d waited for that email chain to finally come back with a “yes,” the driver would have been out of work for a week. So, instead, dad just bought the part on his own.

He worried about what to do next after he got things fixed.

So, now Reframe:

Because we don’t need anyone’s approval, we’re changing the days we publish. (Try doing that on a dime at the New York Times.) Whereas we’re normally around six days of the week, we’re skimming back to a more essentialist schedule. Some of the data we’ve seen shows that there are days we publish when no one shows up.

In just a matter of two weeks, we’ve analyzed the data, brainstormed solutions and created paths for implementation. Back in the world of traditional media, this kind of change would have seriously taken years.

“But, Jon, that’s because those publishers are bigger than Reframe.”

It’s not about size. It’s about bloat. Bloat and fat.

There are plenty of one-woman/one-man shows, plenty of freelancers, plenty of small companies that move slow because they’re carrying unnecessary baggage. They lack responsivity because there’s too much space between them and their tribe.

Sure, we’re small, but we’re also intentionally fit. Every time there’s a chance to grow, it’s weighed against: Will this keep us from agility?

Lots of ideas get cut. And that’s on purpose.

We brainstorm. We try something. It fails, we brainstorm again.

And that’s so much more fun than waiting on the right email.