Justin Rosenstein: Leading Big Visions From the Heart [Entire Talk] | Summary and Q&A

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May 13, 2013
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Stanford eCorner
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Justin Rosenstein: Leading Big Visions From the Heart [Entire Talk]

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Summary

This video is about the speaker's personal journey and their vision for humanity. They talk about their experiences at various companies, including Google and Facebook, and how they eventually started their own company called Asana. They believe in the power of technology to have a positive impact on the world and want to create a platform that helps coordinate and streamline collective action. They also discuss the importance of values, leadership tactics, and managing one's psychology when working towards big visions.

Questions & Answers

Q: What was the speaker's experience like at Stanford and how did it shape their perspective?

The speaker talks about how their time at Stanford, specifically the Mayfield Fellows Program, helped them understand the value of working in teams and leading teams. They mention that it was a transformative experience that taught them the benefits of individual human interactions and how to think about teams and leadership.

Q: What are some examples of projects the speaker worked on at Google and Facebook?

The speaker worked on various projects at Google and Facebook, such as the integration of chat into Gmail and the development of Google Drive. They also played a significant role in the creation and development of the "Like" button on Facebook. These projects allowed them to have an impact on large-scale communication and collaboration.

Q: How did the speaker start Asana and what is its purpose?

The speaker and their colleague at Facebook, Dustin, came up with the idea for Asana when they realized the inefficiencies and challenges of coordination and communication in their respective companies. They wanted to create a tool that would streamline and enhance teamwork and collaboration, allowing teams to work more effectively towards a common goal. Asana is meant to be a communication and coordination system that replaces the majority of email in companies, making the process smoother and more efficient.

Q: How does the speaker view technology's role in making the world a better place?

The speaker believes that technology has the power to have a significant positive impact on the world. They see it as a game-changer in terms of our ability to coordinate and collaborate on a large scale and solve global problems. They give examples of companies using technology to cure cancer and provide healthcare to underserved populations. They emphasize the importance of using technology to create a world of abundance and harmony rather than one of short-sightedness and individual desires.

Q: What are some of the values that the speaker believes are important in a company?

The speaker mentions several values that they consider important in a company. They talk about mindfulness, which involves being aware of one's actions and reflecting on them. They also discuss balance, finding a middle way between extremes, and radical transparency, which includes sharing information and making decisions collectively. They believe in treating everyone as peers and empowering them with knowledge and context to make decisions.

Q: How does the speaker create a culture of trust and collaboration in their company?

The speaker discusses practices they use to foster trust and collaboration in their company. They mention sharing board meeting notes with the entire company and having open dialogue and feedback sessions. They also talk about having a weekly planning meeting where everyone is involved in decision-making and setting goals. Additionally, they have a value of radical transparency, which means being open and honest about company decisions and processes.

Q: How does the speaker view work-life balance and productivity?

The speaker believes in the importance of work-life balance and recognizes that working long hours does not necessarily lead to increased productivity. They promote a healthy balance between working hard and taking time to rest and replenish. They provide resources like yoga and social events for employees to help maintain a balanced and fulfilling life.

Q: What is the speaker's vision for humanity's collective action?

The speaker envisions a world where humanity can come together and coordinate their collective action seamlessly and without effort. They believe that if all of humanity could work together towards a single common goal, significant progress and positive change could be achieved. They see technology as a tool to enable this kind of collaboration and impact at an unprecedented scale.

Q: What are some practical ways the speaker suggests managing psychology when working towards big visions?

The speaker emphasizes the importance of having values, leadership tactics, and self-awareness in managing one's psychology when working towards big visions. They discuss the value of staying mindful, reflecting on one's actions and intentions. They also promote balance, finding a middle way between extremes, and being transparent in decision-making. They mention the practice of "Five Whys" to help identify and address problems proactively.

Q: What is the speaker's view on entrepreneurship versus working for another company?

The speaker believes that both entrepreneurship and working for another company can be impactful and meaningful. They emphasize the importance of finding opportunities to contribute to a larger project or vision, regardless of whether it is one's own or someone else's. They view companies as collectives of equals, where everyone has the potential to make a significant difference.

Takeaways

The speaker's vision revolves around the idea of humanity working together towards a common goal. They believe in the power of technology to streamline and enhance collective action, and they have created Asana as a platform to facilitate this. Their values include mindfulness, balance, radical transparency, and treating everyone as peers. They emphasize the importance of managing psychology, staying mindful, and finding a middle way in decision-making. They encourage individuals to focus on contributing to a larger vision rather than solely pursuing personal success. Overall, their goal is to create a world of abundance and harmony through collaboration and technology.

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