Vivek Haldar

Pebbles and Projects

I’m growing increasingly frustrated with how little today’s patchwork of messaging/email and docs matches my workflow needs.

What I really need to keep track of are not emails and docs and appointments, but projects.

Imagine these emails/docs as pebbles, and each project as a collection of pebbles. This project is red pebbles. That one is blue pebbles. Yet another one is yellow pebbles. Then imagine throwing all of them on the floor. Then imagine being asked “can you construct for me a coherent state of all the yellow pebbles?” That’s how it feels trying get a high-level view of a project from all these pebbles flying around.

I feel like email and shared docs are like assembly language, and we need an abstraction above them. The analogy is fitting, because a high-level language is restrictive: you can do more things and have more control in assembly. But with the restriction comes freedom to express more complexity more succintly.

The problem with every project management solution that I’ve seen is this: it assumes it is the only thing in the world. “If you use this tool, and only this tool, and capture every little detail as it happens, then this tool will give you a coherent state of the world, yaaay!” Of course, life never works that way.

I’m not saying this is an easy problem to solve. I don’t even know what a first approximation of the solution would look like. But I do know there an opportunity here.