Importance of play

It’s hackweek this week. We’re working efficiently, and, as usual, I’m wondering why more of work isn’t like this.

Proposal: define a core value around “work should feel like play”; we’re doing something wrong if we don’t have freedom to explore, and/or are distracted by unmet basic needs.

Given safety is a critical part of actualization, eng, org, legal, etc guardrails should be first-class. Within these boundaries we should be free to interact with customers and play with features.

Concrete example: an alpha release pool should be an infra feature available to every team.

I think this would take pressure of subjective aspects of code review, and provide more definition for architectural review.

This seems a lot like Maslow’s hierarchy; we have to establish our basic needs, like safety, before we can perform at a high-level.

Aside: I wonder if child’s play is a form of self-actualization, which may be why kid’s who aren’t allowed to play have a difficult time as adults. Perhaps this is due to lack of experience with self-actualization.


Thoughts? Suggestions? Hit me up @erikeldridge


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