Dalton Caldwell, co-founder of App.net, does some thinking about organizational complexity. He contrasts how a simple demonstration of Artificial Intelligence does not necessarily mean that model is scalable to do more complex tasks. The model needs to change with the growth. The same too with a company. The organization needs to change as it grows in order to best serve external complexities but only when those exist.
How do you determine if your organization is complex before it needs to be?
“When you talk to employees of a large company, it seems as if their entire world is made up of byzantine internal politics with no relation to customers in the external world… a large percentage of every day is spent attempting to navigate ever-shifting politics surrounding the org chart. It would seem that the larger a company gets, the more the company tends to allocate resources towards inwardly focused (as opposed to outwardly focused) issues.”
A company doesn’t even need to be that large before this starts to become an issue. If you’re at a company that talks more about what they will do than what they actually do, that worries about their titles more than their product, or has a bunch of people that don’t know what their job is… you’re already there.
App.net has a new API feature called Stream Marker. Dalton Caldwell:
Multiple times a day, I switch between my laptop and my phone. It’s frustrating that I have to ask myself “have I seen this post?” as I scroll through My Stream. Today we’re adding support for Stream Markers to the API. This will allows clients to sync where you are in your stream, global, and even in individual threads between clients.
This is fantastic. Tweetbot for iPhone, iPad, and Mac have used either Tweet Marker (now called Watermark) or iCloud to do something very similar in syncing where you’ve left off in a stream between apps/devices. This is something that has never been built into Twitter’s API even though it seems like a no-brainer.
Great update to what is quickly becoming a far better API than Twitter’s.
Dalton Caldwell on what Twitter could have been:
Nowadays, every time I get a K-Mart ad in my feed, or see wonky behavior in the official clients, or see Twitter drop another bomb on their developer ecosystem, I think back and wish the pro-API guys won that internal battle.
From an outsider’s perspective it is really difficult to see what Twitter has done with all of the money they’ve raised and earned and the talent they’ve hired, acquired, and – in some cases – now lost.
Twitter is as useful to me today as it was when I joined as user ~11,000 in November 2006. That is to say, extremely useful. But when I began using it every interaction occurred through SMS and Twitterrific for Mac. Now Twitter is built into just about every site across the web, has countless applications on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and everything in between. And it also has brand new ways to discover more content and people than ever before. And still, the most useful feature (for my use) that they’ve added in the last 5 years has been Lists.
I’m with Caldwell – I wonder what could have been. But, then again, I’m really very happy that Twitter is still around, is free, and is so versatile.