Proposals for Future Meetings (was Re: First Meeting of the Year - This Tuesday Jan 5th)


I'm sorry I left the meeting early tonight. I was a little bit
steamed. I think I've cooled off now. A little.

I left early because I felt like my time was not being respected. I
bust my ass to get to the hackerspace on time every single week. I
don't like to sit and have a meeting all by myself or wait until after
8:00pm for everyone else to get in the mood. I understand that there
were many cool and interesting things going on tonight, but over the
last month or so these cool activities have been taking up more and
more time and we either rush through the agenda or end up skipping the
meeting altogether.

But I'm not angry about that anymore. I'm interested in trying to
actually get stuff done and not fight about little things. So here
are my suggestions for future meetings:

1. The meeting should start on time, proceed quickly without long
digressions, and end with a recap of any tasks that have been assigned
or decisions that have been made.
2. Any demo that could take longer than 30 minutes should be scheduled
to begin after the meeting is concluded. Activities that could take
all night should be scheduled on other nights of the week.
3. People need to see the agenda so they know what we will talk about.
Anything that is not on the agenda must be added or we should not use
up meeting time talking about it. Preferably we will always project
the agenda on the wall during the meeting. Failing that, we should
review the entire agenda aloud before starting into discussions on
individual topics.
4. If you have absolutely no interest in the meeting, make yourself
scarce on Tuesdays.
5. We can push the official start time of the meeting back to 7:30
instead of 7:00 if that would be preferable.

I am not interested in making people have meetings they don't want to
have. I will not yell at you and tell you to gather together and
let's talk about business-y stuff. I don't feel offended that people
don't want to sit and talk about boring stuff. I just don't want to
show up prepared to have a meeting and then end up not getting
anything done.

Please add to or comment on the list of ideas above. I really want to
know what other people think about the structure of the weekly
meeting. Also, check out (and feel free to edit) this wiki page I
wrote a few months ago about meeting structure:



Yes, there was a lot going on tonight. All of it was really great stuff too. The one thing that didn’t happen was the meeting. Unfortunately this is the most important thing. We need to have these meetings and I belive Dave is right. These meetings shouldn’t be pushed back but that other projects should meet on other days.

It’s hard for me to get to the space more than once a week sometimes but Tues have always been meeting days and should stay that way. We could however consider the office reserved for the meeting from 7-9 on tues. I don’t see anything wrong with ppl using the rest of the space if they are not interested. I think any board member or officer that is present needs to attend the meeting. If you miss the meeting then you may miss some discussion but I feel that anything major will/should go out for a public vote (like we used to do)

I think this will allow the meetings to go faster as well but I don’t see any reason to rush.




Please accept my apology. I’m sorry too. I/we got carried away with the cool stuff and could have / should have stopped to respect the agreed meeting time. In hind site, it was rude. We all owe that much to each other and the organization.


It's alright. I don't want anyone to feel bad about it. I overreacted a bit.

I actually feel bad for folks like yourself who are only able to make
it once / week. I really don't want to take away the fun that people
have on the one night when everyone is able to be there. I'm not sure
what the solution is for that. I think if we focus on making the
meetings efficient there will be plenty of time to do cool stuff

I also like Craig's idea of reserving the office area for the meeting
for a specified span of time and people can be doing other stuff


I am sorry that you were offended by the lack of a more structured meeting tonight. There were a lot of interesting projects being worked on at the space tonight by multiple people, along with many people watching the reflow demo by James followed by testing the board (BTW, it works great).

If you had raised your concerns earlier, or had just walked around the room alerting people to the fact that you wished to start the meeting, we would not be having this chat right now. Quite frankly I am bit offended that you do not trust us enough to let us know when we are making you mad. I assumed that you had a crisis of some sort and was a bit worried when you left without saying anything.

You also say you are concerned that “we either rush through the agenda or end up skipping the meeting altogether.” For the last few weeks, we have not had much on the agenda. The last time we had stuff planned out for a meeting was December 8th, and we had a nice long business meeting then.

I feel that “4. If you have absolutely no interest in the meeting, make yourself scarce on Tuesdays.” is offensive and while I understand your base point, I think it could have been worded a bit more gently.

You also say that you do not want to tell people to gather and then you also say you are interested in getting stuff done. If you do not tell us when you are getting aggravated and annoyed, and if you do not try to get people together to start the meeting, then how will people know you want to start the meeting? We can not read your mind. Yes, people will know the meeting starts at 7:30 pm, however people start arriving as early as 6:00 pm then socialize while we wait for everyone else to arrive. During this socialization we discuss and work on projects which naturally leads us to lose track of time. If you want a meeting to start at a specific time, you need to break into these conversations and let them know. This can be a simple as walking up and saying, “Hey Paul, can you help me let people know the meeting is going to start in 5 minutes and they need to gather in the office area?”

You left the hackerspace at 8:00 pm tonight, there was still plenty of time for us to discuss all of this then and there. If you are uncomfortable telling people to gather, just let me know and I will walk around getting people together.

  • Paul.

I understand what you're saying and I agree that I overreacted. I
should have said something when I was getting annoyed instead of going
home and writing an email. I don't want to get into all this gritty
detail because I don't want it to seem like we need to fight about
this stuff, but I there are two things more I want to add in response.

First is that I think we've sort of talked about this phenomenon
before and I've stated that I really don't feel comfortable attempting
to round people up by either raising my voice or asking them to stop
what they are doing and come meet. I go sit in my place at the
appropriate time and that is my passive way of signalling that I'm
ready to begin. I'm sorry that my personality is this way. I could
work on my leadership qualities more.

But this leads me into my second point which is that I don't really
feel it is my job or responsibility to run the meetings. Everyone
there shares an equal amount of responsibility in being mindful of the
time. Technically the President is supposed to run the meeting. I
don't blame Jason for not being there because I have no doubt that he
is very busy and would be there if he could. I guess I could be
flattered that people look to me as a leader on Tuesday nights and
wait for me to tell them that it's meeting time, but that's not how I
felt at the time. I felt like I was the only person who remembered
that we were even supposed to be having a meeting and I felt like
everyone else was ignoring me. I hate having the reputation of the
guy that always wants to have a meeting when no one else wants to. I
have that reputation at my job too and it is something I have to
struggle with there (also every Tuesday it just so happens).

I guess what I'm saying is it's important to me that we have a
meeting, but it's also important to me that we all see the meeting as
important and that I don't have to have the job of asking everyone to


i also want to apologize.

your contributions have been and continue to be essential to our group
and i am not sure i have done enough to make you aware of that.

i don't want to speak for others, but i have grown accustomed to you
calling the meeting to order. i have never considered it to be you
yelling or anything other than keeping us focused, which i have always

i agree with craig that people should feel free just work on stuff if
they aren't into the meeting stuff, and i think that tuesdays have
become a sort of traditional gathering for project work and the like
since that's when everyone is there. we have the office and i think
we should use it for meeting stuff during the meeting time, and let
others work if that's what they want to do.

All members have a Hive13 Google Apps account. Please add the Tuesday meetings to your calendar, and have an SMS reminder sent to you 1 minute before the start. When your phone goes off at 7:29:

  • If you are at the space, tell those around you it’s meeting time.

  • If you are not there, scowl in jealousy at all the fun you are missing. For example I was really looking forward to our traditional:

I think this suggestion by Chris is the ultimate democratic hacker solution to this instance of a friction in our being a group of like-minded but unique individuals with a shared vision and competing distractions.

It is obvious from the multiple posts on this thread that we care for and respect each other. It is further obvious we all want to maintain our balance and grow the unique relationships that are incubating in the Hive. When inevitable frictions occur (and re-occur) we work them out.

It will really be cool when everyone’s cell phones all ring at exactly 7:29 next Tuesday night with all the self-set, automated meeting reminders. I for one will heed my message and break to participate in the weekly meeting with whoever can also take the time at the appointed time to conduct the business of the Hive.


First, I want to apologize for not being able to make the meeting, as I was ill. I do normally try to herd everyone together when it’s time to discuss things in a more formal fashion, and unlike Dave it’s in my personality to stand up and yell MEETING TIME, NERDS (and not feel even slightly odd about it.)

Dave, like ChrisA I would like to specifically say that I appreciate the time and effort you put into keeping the wiki updated, organizing the agendas for the meetings, and committing your time to the space. I’m sorry that last night was difficult, but please know that your efforts are both needed and appreciated.

Really, the same goes to everyone who puts in time to keep the space running smoothly: You rock. Seriously, not giggling even a little bit. If you feel unsung, don’t. People notice, and you kick serious ass. From the CFO who pays the rent to the guy who realizes we’re out of Dr Pepper whoever takes out the recycling, it takes a village, know what I mean? We don’t say this enough: Thank you.

On the subject of the meetings, I like the idea of the self-set reminders as well as reserving the office area for the formal meeting while allowing the rest of the space to be open for normal use for those who feel the meeting is unnecessary for them to attend. Obviously, with a 5 week old infant at home my time is sometimes difficult to predict, but I will make a concerted effort to be present more often for these meetings, to act as steward. Dave, you and I should work together to structure (or re-structure) the agenda so that we keep things moving forward quickly and get everyone back to hacking their favorite project.