Episode 25: Davit Baghdasaryan on the Science of Sound in a Distributed Work World.

As audio and video conferencing surge worldwide, Matt talks through the science of sound with Davit Baghdasaryan, the CEO of Krisp, a fast-growing company offering AI-powered noise cancellation technology for removing background noise on any conferencing platform. Krisp’s technology, including its proprietary deep neural network krispNet DNN, processes audio securely on the user’s computer.

Episode 23: Lara Hogan on the Secret to Being a Successful Manager

Are companies setting up their managers for success? What are BICEPS? How do you assemble your colleagues like a management Voltron?

Lara Hogan is the founder of Wherewithall, a firm that specializes in management and leadership training. She’s the author of Resilient Management, a must-read for anyone who is a manager, wants to become one, or generally just wants to learn how to be a better teammate.

Episode 22: Raj Choudhury Sees a Future Where You Don’t Have to Move Your Family for a Job

“We have introduced so many frictions to people’s lives by forcing them to move.” Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury, the Lumry Family Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, studies the future of work — specifically the changing geography of work. What happens to cities, to immigration policies, and to issues around gender equity when more companies let people work from anywhere?

Episode 21: Morra Aarons-Mele on Introversion and Anxiety in Remote Work

Is working from home a breakthrough for introverts? The answer, of course, is not so simple. Morra Aarons-Mele is the host of The Anxious Achiever podcast for HBR Presents from Harvard Business Review, and founder of award-winning social impact agency Women Online and its database of women influencers, The Mission List.

She’s also the author of Hiding in the Bathroom: How to Get Out There (When You’d Rather Stay Home).

To learn more about Aarons-Mele’s work, go to womenandwork.org.

Episode 20: Adam Gazzaley on the Distracted Mind During a Crisis

Matt Mullenweg speaks with neuroscientist Dr. Adam Gazzaley, co-author of the book The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World, about how our brains work, particularly during times like the current pandemic. How does the brain handle internal and external stimuli, and what do we know about the effect of practices like meditation, exercise, nutrition, and sleep?

Vanessa Van Edwards on Navigating the Virtual Workplace in Stressful Times

The world has dramatically changed in just a few weeks. As companies around the world shift to remote work, how do we navigate this crisis? Distributed host Matt Mullenweg talks to Vanessa Van Edwards, bestselling author, speaker, and founder of Science of People, about how we communicate with our friends, family, and coworkers during a time when Zoom and Slack are our primary tools for understanding each other.

Written Communication Tip: Assume Positive Intent

It’s not news that 90% of communication is non-verbal, and that nuance and subtlety are lost over written messages. Be conscious of this. With lots of our communication now written (when previously you might’ve popped over to someone’s desk) it’s good to head off the risks of such interaction with a wise interpretive principle through […]

How to Establish Routines in a Crisis

“The hardest barrier is distraction. Part of what makes this harder is there’s so much going on in the world. You have to create space for yourself.” — Matt Mullenweg, on Laurie Segall’s First Contact podcast, with recommendations on how to navigate working from home during challenging times. Read those tips here.

U.S. Federal Employees Lose Remote Work Perk

Despite the rise of distributed work across the corporate world, the Trump administration is pulling back. In a departure from the previous president’s move toward distributed work, multiple federal agencies are ending remote work provisions and mandating co-location. Trump’s war on telework represents a milestone in how his administration is changing the culture of the […]

Working Smaller, Slower, and Smarter

Jason Fried, the co-founder and CEO of Basecamp, collects mechanical watches. He appreciates their simplicity. He once wrote in a blog post, “When I look at my watch, it gives me the time. It asks nothing in return. It’s a loyal companion without demands. In contrast, if I look at my phone for the time, […]

Eight Lessons from the Distributed Podcast So Far

Looking back over the 2019 run of the Distributed podcast, one is struck by the wealth of insights our guests have shared in each and every episode. We’ve spoken to CEOs, activists, lawyers, authors, and a life coach, among others — a diverse cross-section of people with a deep interest in the future of work. 

Atlassian Makes a Big Distributed Move

Atlassian, the development company behind Jira, Trello, and other software tools for work, has announced that 8% of the company’s workforce — some 300 employees — are now working remotely.  The Australian company dipped its toes into distributed work after its acquisition of Trello, which was already mostly remote. They researched the model, assessed their […]

To Remake Tech, Remake the Tech Company

Anil Dash has been blogging for 20 years, getting his start during the medium’s earliest days. In the summer of ‘99, he was looking for a way to pass the time during his three-hour train commute. Having recently discovered a small community of techie bloggers, Anil thought he’d try his hand at this emerging craft. […]

The Importance of IRL in a World of Screens

Since launching the Distributed podcast, we’ve learned that most distributed companies host in-real-life (IRL) meetups in order to promote social cohesion and a sense of collaboration among colleagues who might not otherwise ever spend time face-to-face. As much as leaders at distributed companies value the many benefits of remote work, they also recognize the importance […]

Making Work Accessible, Wherever it Happens

Lydia X. Z. Brown is a lot of things — writer, advocate, organizer, strategist, educator, speaker, and attorney. Why do they spread their time and expertise across so many arenas? Because Lydia chooses to dedicate every aspect of their life to promoting social justice for some of the world’s most marginalized people. 

Inside Toptal’s Distributed Screening Process

In tech hubs like San Francisco and New York, the demand for top-tier talent can outstrip supply, so HR departments find themselves in a fierce competition for local job applicants. In response, some companies have turned to the distributed model, which allows them to reach beyond hub cities and to access qualified candidates around the […]

Vox Tackles the Pros and Cons of Remote Work

Citing a few recent studies that discovered remote work increases productivity and employee satisfaction, Vox looks at the causes and effects of distributed work arrangements. Most interestingly, they explore the broader trends driving the popularity of remote work, such as millennials moving out of tech hub cities like San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. […]

The Machine that Turns Ideas into Real Things

Over the last 28 years, Stephen Wolfram has led his partially-distributed company from his home in Massachusetts. Over that time he’s developed countless productivity tools and collaborative processes that help Wolfram Research create world-changing tech.

Listen to Matt Mullenweg Discuss the Stewardship of the Web on The Rework Podcast

Our host finds himself on the other side of the mic on the latest episode of The Rework Podcast. Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson invited Matt for a friendly debate about tech monopolies, power in open-source communities, and how Matt views his role as the CEO of a successful company that contributes to the WordPress […]

Observe, Don’t Surveil: Managing Distributed Teams with Respect

Our host Matt Mullenweg gets together with an old colleague, Scott Berkun. Scott’s an author and tech industry veteran who in 2013 wrote a book about his experience with distributed work at Automattic. Now he’s catching up with Matt to talk about what’s changed since they worked together back in the day.

How to Build and Strengthen Distributed Engineering Teams

Our host Matt Mullenweg gets together with Cate Huston, Automattic’s Head of Developer Experience, to talk about the kinds of engineers that excel in distributed environments, and how companies can create the conditions that help engineers thrive.