Wednesday Buzz: Let’s Be Kind
Valuable lessons from the near-firing of a Facebook luminary. Plus: Bicycle activists bring online discussions to the real world.
“I almost got fired once.”
That’s how Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of advertising and one of the leaders behind the creation of its wildly popular News Feed, begins a compelling blog post on the value of kindness in the workplace.
Even as News Feed ascended to the top of Facebook’s product suite, Bosworth was faced with the possibility of being forced to leave the company after being told that the project would soon be handed off to another employee. Then-Chief Technology Officer Dustin Moskovitz sat Bosworth down and, while reassuring him that he wasn’t being fired, confronted him with the reason he was being moved out of his current engineering post at the company.
“In short, I thought my job was to be right,” Bosworth explains. “I thought that was how I proved my worth to the company. But that was all wrong. My job was to get things done, and doing anything meaningful past a certain point requires more than one person. If you are right but nobody wants to work with you, then how valuable are you really?”
As he realized, it wasn’t that he was being actively mean to friends and coworkers, but he was “callously indifferent,” which over time “is indistinguishable from being mean.”
Read the post and ask yourself the same difficult question Bosworth had to face.
Idea of the Day
Interested in the future of web design? Mike Sall, who oversees product science at Medium, has an interesting theory about the link between the history of architecture and the evolution of the internet.
Other Good Reads
For a case study in bringing an online community offline, check out how the Bicicultures listserver turned into a real-world community, as explained by cofounder Adonia Lugo in a post on the Nonprofit Technology Network.
“Many associations aspire to be ‘data-driven.’ But what does that mean, exactly?” McKinley Advisors Director of Research Patrick Glaser asks and answers this question in an article for the Association Forum of Chicagoland. You can read an excerpt here.
There’s yet another social media revamp to keep on your radar, as Facebook has finally launched its much-anticipated (and much feared among some members of the media) article-hosting platform for select news publishers. Read about this revolutionary move in the New York Times.