Here’s what I mean by looking backwards to look forwards. The Big Transport Boom of the eighteenth century depended upon centralizing a vision and then training poor people, lots of them, to make roads for other poor people to get to market. If they had concentrated only on rich people, it would have failed.
Imagine: if Google decided that it wanted to use its hackathons and intern power to regularly boost the power of these service groups. Imagine constructing an infrastructure for training and deploying a thousand slum residents to incubate their own neighborhood-accountable projects. Here’s the historical lesson: Poor people build roads for poor people to do other things on. An institution comes in and makes it scale a hundred thousand times over. The economy is utterly transformed, a hundred times over. The lead institution takes an infinitesimal cut on return on investment — a tiny return, the equivalent of a gasoline tax, not a toll-road return to compensate investors any time within the next twenty years — and the result is the invention of a new economic system, which pays back all participants on a scale hitherto unfathomable."
3. Do not agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or end time.
If the desired outcome is defined clearly with a stated objective and agenda listing topics/questions to cover, no meeting or call should last more than 30 minutes. Request them in advance so you “can best prepare and make good use of the time together.”
If the agenda is not clear, force people to make it clear. It’s easy to call a meeting, especially in large organizations. The person who wouldn’t otherwise be entrusted to spend $100 of the company’s money can easily call a meeting with 10 people and spend more than the $100 in time. Making the agenda clear and specific inserts friction into the process. Not only will meetings generally be better and shorter, there will also be fewer of them.