Twitter’s Chris Fry on Unlocking the Power of Stable Teams

If you haven’t checked out First Round Review from First Round Capital yet, it’s definitely worth a look. They’re cranking out a ton of great content featuring notable startups and founders covering a variety of topics including design, engineering and management.

I especially enjoyed this recent article discussing the power of stable teams with Twitter Engineering SVP Chris Fry. In it he makes some great points on team building…

  • keep teams together for at least 6 months, if not a year
  • don’t run people at 100% utilization all the time
  • designate a communication point person
  • keep the team’s mission crystal clear
  • get folks sitting together

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been running teams much the same way at various ad agencies for many years now with a great deal of success. The team structure within an integrated agency is a little different from a startup (art directory, copywriter, technologist, design/UX, producer), but the tactics and results are the same.

One point that isn’t explicitly called out is the importance of rotating people through great teams. This is especially true in ad agencies where many job functions do not directly participate with the team on a day-to-day basis (i.e. account manager, media buyer, strategist, etc.) and individuals often come from very traditional shops where this type of team structure doesn’t exist. By spending a few weeks with a great team, I’ve found that you can dramatically increase the effectiveness of the agency as a whole.

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