At the beginning of 2019, after achieving my primary business goal (successfully scaled three startups), I joined Andy (previously co-founder & COO of the fastest-growing software development company in Europe – HTEC Group) to help him in building the next-gen collaboration tool.
It soon became apparent that his interest would be empowering people to gain knowledge most conveniently and efficiently within a group by raising the standards of productivity of group collaboration. That is how 9mCollab came to life. But, more about that later. We want to share how this venture came to be.
The FOMO Feeling in Collaboration Tools
We thought about the importance of productivity and effectiveness in modern workplaces. As a result, we all feel pressured to stay up to speed with the multitude of information we encounter every day.
Notifications on chat tools are an omnipresent part of our lives. It often happens that we turn on our laptops or mobile phones and see over a dozen messages at once. Information overload gives us a headache because most of the notifications are not relevant to our job. To keep everybody up to speed, the result we end up having is sometimes counterproductive.
We don’t think our teams should use a solution that is going to make them feel worse. We would prefer them to grow and enjoy the process.
Our AHA Moment
In our search to improve collaboration, we found that communication within groups is not executed effectively. Collaboration tools are used to connect and exchange information, but it seems that there is a lack of awareness that the end goal of communication is, in fact, a conclusion. This is the AHA moment that happened to us: We believe this form of communication was copied from forums and group chats onto collaboration tools. If you use the forum to find an answer to a question, you must first read a dozen comments before finding valuable insight, and there is no option of concluding the topic. The reader can not get a definitive answer.
After this, to be sure, we went back to check what does the word “effective” means.
Oxford dictionary says that the definition of the word “effective” is: “Successful in producing a desired or intended result.”
We were onto something here. Effective communication is the one that achieves a desired or intended result. If you can draw action from the time invested in it, you were participating in high-quality communication.
If the result of effective communication is a conclusion, how come no tool will focus on the goal we should be striving towards? The conclusion itself?
This insight helped us define Conclusion Driven Communication (CDC), which would become a defining and differentiating feature of 9mCollab.
Collaboration Tool Leveled Up
Our questioning did not end there. If the goal of effective communication is a conclusion, our next question was: “What happens to that conclusion afterward? How does the organization benefit from it later?”
If the conclusion is something the group can agree upon, we can say it is a knowledge piece. Once we have the knowledge, the communication behind it becomes secondary. We have something we agree upon and can act upon. Right?
This is a simple matter of separating the process from the result.
The question remained: “What happens to the result afterward?”
We can use knowledge more than once, meaning this should not be lost in group chats. The organization can benefit from the acumen of knowledge it produced over time.
If the goal of communication is a conclusion, the legacy of it is knowledge.
There is a need to preserve the knowledge and make it available to access quickly, separate from communication.
Imagine the knowledge base of an organization or a group, generated organically over time, filled with every conclusion ever made, as a sort of stamp in time that testifies to agreements on how things should be done. And more than that, even the conclusions can be adapted and changed over time, enabling new team members to contribute with their specific experiences.
That is the legacy 9mCollab strives to enable.