The Hive: Connecting People and Building a Hivemind

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Hatched by Glasp

Sep 16, 2023

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The Hive: Connecting People and Building a Hivemind

In today's world, it is no longer enough to simply connect people. Building a network is just the first step. The true value lies in creating a hive, where individuals come together with a shared purpose and take action towards a common outcome. This idea is evident in the way Facebook and Twitter users interact with their connections. Despite having hundreds or even thousands of friends or followers, they only actively communicate with a small fraction of them. This highlights the importance of having a focused opinion and taking meaningful action.

To understand the power of a hive, we can look at the behavior of bees. A swarm of bees on the move resembles the movement of neurons in the human brain. The decision-making process of bees showcases how a large collective can quickly and intelligently evaluate a variety of inputs. It is fascinating to note that only 30 bees decide the fate for 10,000. This efficient and decentralized decision-making process reduces friction and allows the hive to navigate challenges effectively.

One platform that exemplifies the evolution of a consumer product into a hive is WeChat. It has gone through the stages of want, need, and utility to become an indispensable tool for its users. WeChat's growth was not driven by the launch of a single feature, but rather by the adoption of new behaviors by individuals within the hive. By making life easier for fruit vendors, taxi cabs, and mom-and-pop shops, WeChat became a utility that benefited the entire community. This strategy of increasing interaction and decreasing friction between nodes accelerates growth by providing real-time access to data and people.

Looking beyond the realm of network building, we can explore the insights shared by Ivan Zhao, co-founder of Notion. Notion is a versatile tool that aims to empower individuals in their creative endeavors. According to Zhao, understanding the culture, network, and ecosystem of a particular market is crucial for building a successful business. This is especially true for markets like Japan, where having a local presence and an understanding of the intricacies of the market is essential.

Zhao highlights the importance of attention to detail, or what he calls "craftsmanship." Just like the craftsmen in Japan, every aspect of a product or service should be meticulously crafted. This attention to detail is not just limited to the product itself but extends to the support, sales, and customer success aspects of a business. This notion of treating software as a service and providing holistic support reflects the importance of human interaction in creating a valuable and meaningful experience for users.

When it comes to hiring, Zhao emphasizes the need to find the right talent. Recruiting individuals who possess the necessary skills and share the company's values is crucial. Notion values "craftsmanship" and strives to maintain a balance between speed and quality. This delicate balance is a constant challenge for startups, as they need to move quickly while ensuring that the quality of their product remains uncompromised.

In addition to these insights, Notion's approach to decision-making is worth noting. They often ask themselves whether a decision is reversible or irreversible. This helps them prioritize quality and make decisions that have long-term benefits for the company. This focus on quality and thoughtful decision-making aligns with Notion's goal of creating a tool that allows more people to participate in the creative process.

Another interesting aspect of Notion's approach is their use of visuals. By showing other parts of a person or product instead of the face, they create a sense of familiarity and association. This strategic use of visuals in branding and hiring pages creates a certain distance between the viewer and the product, allowing for a more objective evaluation.

Lastly, Notion values the idea of being holistic. They believe that most problems are interconnected and require a holistic approach to find the best solution. This mindset of considering the broader implications and seeking the best possible outcome reflects their commitment to quality and excellence.

In conclusion, building a hive rather than a network is the key to survival in today's interconnected world. The power of collective action and decision-making, as seen in the behavior of bees, can be harnessed to navigate challenges effectively. Platforms like WeChat demonstrate the potential of creating a utility that benefits the entire community. Insights from Notion's co-founder, Ivan Zhao, shed light on the importance of understanding culture, attention to detail, and the value of the right talent. By incorporating these principles and taking action, individuals and businesses can thrive in the hive and create meaningful connections and outcomes.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Focus on building a hive rather than just a network. Encourage active participation and action towards a common outcome.
  • 2. Pay attention to the details and strive for craftsmanship in every aspect of your product or service. This includes not only the core offering but also the support, sales, and customer success experiences.
  • 3. Prioritize quality and make thoughtful, reversible decisions. Consider the long-term benefits for your company and the impact on your users.

By following these actionable advice, you can harness the power of the hive, create meaningful connections, and navigate challenges effectively.

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