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"we'd love to grab a coffee"

I couldn't help but chuckle at this as Harj even included the concept of "grabbing coffee", which is discussed in "Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule" [1]:

"Business people in Silicon Valley (and the whole world, for that matter) have speculative meetings all the time. They're effectively free if you're on the manager's schedule. They're so common that there's distinctive language for proposing them: saying that you want to 'grab coffee,' for example.

Speculative meetings are terribly costly if you're on the maker's schedule, though. Which puts us in something of a bind. Everyone assumes that, like other investors, we run on the manager's schedule. So they introduce us to someone they think we ought to meet, or send us an email proposing we grab coffee. At this point we have two options, neither of them good: we can meet with them, and lose half a day's work; or we can try to avoid meeting them, and probably offend them."

[1] http://paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html




Not to veer too far off-topic, but these "speculative meetings" are often (but not always) well worth the schedule disruption, even if it ripples out across several extra "productive" hours. Perhaps for Paul Graham, who has all the VCs in the world scrambling to fund his picks, it's not so important, but for the little people like you and I, the value of a good network is immense.

Business is primarily a social thing. It always has been, and is no different today. This is why inferior products can make tons of money.


There's some interesting discussion around this phenomena on this Quora question:

http://www.quora.com/Manners-and-Etiquette/How-do-you-polite...

and this follow-up:

http://www.quora.com/Manners-and-Etiquette/How-do-you-dodge-...

I consider both threads to be worthwhile reads.


Business is primarily a social thing

== Very true.


Seconded. While inefficient, they are often more valuable than spending that time heads down coding a feature that's not going to bring in any extra revenue or users.


Thanks for linking this. I just sent it to a few Project Managers friends. Along with: "I find myself reading this while waiting for a build to QA. This is the time I have to write code. When the meetings are done. Meetings are important, but this is worthy of a read if you can schedule it in. Also, I'd be happy to discuss this over coffee."




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