A manifesto about human interaction

This is a Call

A call to a single noble cause – to celebrate, promote, and defend the life-giving interactions known as communication.

Become Better Human Beings

It’s about removing everything in the way and doing anything we can to help it to flow naturally. It’s about the long and short of how we, together, become better human beings.
Mostly, though, it’s about how without it even the most simple tasks become impossible. Without it, we halt forward progress. Without communication, we begin to die.

1. Communicate or die

Communication is hard.  It’s one of the few things you can spend a lifetime doing and still be a novice.  And barriers like location, culture, language, time, context, access, and intent add friction and make it even harder.  Even with these out of the way, basic communication is often elusive. It’s hard to put yourself out there.  It’s easy to feel left out or misunderstood.  Even two people living in the same home can struggle to achieve it.  

Yet, the interactions which we call communication are the building blocks of society and create the foundation of meaning in any group or team.  In short, communication is vital. It is the lifeblood of any team, the cultivator of connection, the deliverer of a path forward, the liberator of roadblocks, the defense from problems, the author of relationships, and the teacher that appears. The culture of any group is the sum of their communication.

To not communicate is to not grow.  In other words, communicate or die.

2. Give everyone a voice

We live in a world where inclusion and equity are not easily obtained.  As we grow more and more connected, certain populations become more disconnected by comparison.  This is especially true in populations underserved by technology. 

Most groups and teams on the margins are still largely disconnected. 

And the margins are large and growing rapidly – the vast majority of the workforce doesn’t sit at a desk, many workers struggle to speak a language that isn’t native to them, remote work is on the rise, and an increasing number of our students aren’t sitting in classrooms.  

Everyone has value.  Every individual deserves a chance to be heard.  Communication and connection should not be a luxury afforded for the few sitting at desks.  It should be a basic right of belonging for the many. 

It’s time that the underserved are given a voice.  If we are not all together, how can we be one?

3. Kill friction

When it comes to technology, the difference between adoption and rejection often comes down to the tiniest amounts of friction.  Friction in tech comes in many forms; extra steps, slow loading time, failure to save, complexity, confusing design, unnecessary information, accessibility issues and readability are just a start.  Any of these things erode trust and cause a user to consider other options.

Communication has enough friction naturally.  Technology should make it easier by getting out of the way and providing only the things that help it flow.  And context really matters. Technology should help clarify tone and intent. It should take the mystery out of who, where, and when.  Technology should be able to deliver some things that the real thing can’t.

What technology must deliver is the simplest way to connect.  No compromises. If it isn’t, it won’t be used. Usage wins.

4. Become better, together

There is untapped wisdom in your group or team, that if harnessed properly, would allow you to rise to heights unknown.  We have kindled within us the power to elevate each other. It only takes a meaningful method of connection to ignite it.

The truth is that our individual success is inevitably and perpetually intertwined with that of others.  When stuck, our instinct is to look sideways, not up. Learning is a mystery shared with our peers.  We need each other to survive.  

And since we know that people learn best when they are ready to learn, not when we are ready to teach them, it only seems logical that the most effective system would be one that organizes around the needs of the individual – just in time.

None of us is as smart as all of us. 

5. Be human

Happiness is found in belonging.  Belonging happens when communication and connection blossom into relationship and tribe.  These are the ties that bind. We are more invested when we feel we are heard. We give endlessly when we feel we are cared for.  And we fall away from things that we don’t feel part of.

“Be human” is a descriptive shortcut we use to describe the behaviors, attitudes, and values that lead to belonging.  This would include things like being decent to others, having mutual respect, using appropriate humor, being inclusive, seeking to understand before being understood, being vulnerable, caring for others, accepting faults and limitations, and being your true self.

The end result of any interaction should be to improve the lives of those involved.  A sense of belonging is a rare thing to find in today’s world.  For this reason, we encourage all to be human.

Our Declaration

To accomplish the ideals we’ve set forth here, we declare that we are building world’s most frictionless communication hub.  Our promise is that we will forever say no to anything that adds friction and yes to anything that helps communication flow freely.

We are maniacally focused on creating the easiest and most effective way to communicate with others in your group or team. We will not rest until we’ve created a world where communication is effortless, everyone is given a voice, there is greater belonging, and we become better, together.