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Meetup Applies Self Organizing to Itself

A few weeks ago, I met Scott Heiferman from Meetup for lunch down in Soho. As we sat by a set of big floor to ceiling windows, watching some workers pour a concrete sidewalk outside, he described the big management shifts that the company was going through. After piling on layers of bureaucracy as the company grew, the execs decided to upend their organization chart and put in place a new management system where employees decide what they would work on and how they would arrange themselves into teams.

This week, I wrote about the experiment. What’s fascinating is how a company based on self organizing is getting back to its roots. But there are also lessons for other companies to take from Meetup. WIth the Internet, people have much different skills and expectations. And the control over information that created the management class in the past is over.

It was a big bet, but one that Meetup’s execs felt that they had to do to get the company moving forward on the fast track again. And it’s working. Next week, the company plans to launch a whole slew of features that are really important for them.

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