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Two signs that hang over my work from home setup. Art by Joan LeMay.

Below is an edited version of a note I sent to one of the product teams that I regularly coach. I hope that some of you find it helpful. ❤️

First and foremost — this is not a normal “work from home” situation. We are in a pandemic and people are sorting out critical questions of childcare, eldercare, adjusting to entirely new routines, fearing for the safety of themselves and their loved ones, etc. …

Note: The following is a reprinting of an article I wrote in October of 2010 for the now-defunct MBVMusic site called “Living in the Age of Art vs Content.” As the 2010s draw to a close, it’s interesting to reflect on how the position held by “blogs” has been expanded, consolidated, and transformed by streaming services. What will it mean for music and musicians that, as we stare down the 2020s, curation and distribution are largely controlled by the same entities?

Some of what follows feels badly dated, but the “contentification” of all things still feels like something worth discussing. …

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Update: You can now sign up for the One Page / One Hour pledge directly at onepageonehour.com!

How much time do we spend presenting decks and deliverables to our colleagues? How often does the feedback we receive about these decks and deliverables concern their format and style, not their content and goals? How many designers who could be creating more valuable experiences for their customers are busy finishing and polishing presentations for their colleagues?

The problem isn’t PowerPoint decks — it’s how we use them.

Whether the deliverable format is a PowerPoint presentation, a Google Slides doc, or a “narrative memo,” the bottom line is that we spend way too much time working alone to make these deliverables “impressive,” and not nearly enough time working together to make them useful.


Matt LeMay

Author of Agile for Everybody and Product Management in Practice (O’Reilly). Product coach & consultant. Partner at Sudden Compass. matt@mattlemay.com.

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