Results over Location. Results over Title. Results over Hours.
What is [Si][Bx]? Silicon Bohemian is an evolving idea of what manifesting ideas into reality can be. It is applicable on both an individual level and to the construct of a team. Three underlying principles guide a Silicon Bohemian.
Principle #1: Results over Location
The average American commute is nearly an hour a day, and it’s horrible for your health. Commuting is wasted time, and time wasted is time lost. The commute decreases health and happiness. Individual or joint endeavors should not reduce health and happiness but increase it.
Hiring only employees who will be in a brick and mortar office means the potential candidates to hire are drastically less. Most qualified people in the world will not even be considered to contribute to the development of the idea.
Allowing individuals to work remotely allows them to work exactly where they most want to be in the world. This increases happiness and freedom.
Freedom of location does not mean isolation. Meeting physically in person for either work or social occasions is ideal. 40 hours weekly of mandated proximity meeting is not.
Principle #2: Results over Title
“CEO” “CTO” “Software Engineer” “Front End Developer” “Database Administrator” “User Experience Designer” “Arbitrary title based on archaic hierarchical system” “Product Designer” “Associate” “Senior”
Titles are often arbitrary. They cause confusion, marginalization, and create huge limitations. When assigning a title a set of expectations is implemented. This limits the individual to their assigned “skillsets”. It is unlikely an individual will step outside their assignment for various reasons. Not knowing if it is even acceptable. Going above and beyond or outside your kube may be punishable.
Titles specifically referencing a hierarchical system are especially harmful. How could an “associate” possibly be expected to contribute to that of a “senior”. It feels it will take a lifetime for a “junior” to become a “chief”.
Freedom from titles facilitates cross disciple collaboration. Because there is no cross disciple border to cross to begin with. The borders do not exists. An individual works for a company that produces a product. Their “job” is to make the product successful, from developer to accountant to designer.
If lines must be drawn most all titles in a software development company can be pigeonholed into three primary categories; Designer, Developer, & Business. In a broader and more accurate sense: creative, technical, & money.
Principle #3: Results over Hours
In a conventional approach an individual will work a 40 hour work week. This makes the assumption that all individuals have exactly 40 hours of work to do in a week. No more. No less. That the work needed will only occur between the construct of Monday through Friday, 9:00–5:00. No dependencies are blocking anyones work, and if so other work can be done. This is not how companies function. Ebbs and flows happen consistently. Dependencies exist. Downtime exists. Crunch time exists.
Certain individuals excel in efficiency while others excel in accuracy, or other areas of expertise. Individuals will be more skilled at the task at hand than others. This creates disparity in timing. In a conventional approach, if an employee finishes a task in 4 hours when 8 hours was expected, they now have two options. Ask for more work or stall until the next task is assigned. Ask for more work is perhaps the ideal choice, at least for the employer, but often does not bear fruit for the employee. More and more work can always be assigned. Best case scenario this expedites a raise or promotion. This model promotes a culture of wasted time and inefficiency. If companies let their employees go home once their work was done, the office would be empty by lunch.
Freeing an individual from a rigid schedule frees them to continue improving themselves, society, and other companies with the time that would have otherwise been wasted. Results and efficient time management, as opposed to time input, must commended.