Given the time of year, we’re quite thankful 🦃 , joyful 🎄, and beyond excited to share a major milestone with you.
Introducing Hoop alpha: Make better decisions faster without meetings.
Decision making at most companies could be a lot better. Even though there's a lot of research about how teams can make better decisions, it hasn't been translated into real world use. And it’s only gotten worse with the effects of the pandemic. We all know that better decisions lead to better outcomes, and great software can bridge the gap.
💡 Eureka Moment
We’d been looking for a big, substantial opportunity to make an impact on the world. To help people live the virtuous cycle where they bring creative energy from fulfilled personal lives to a workspace that gives them the freedom to do their best work. The opportunity is to empower better decision making practices, and to keep it simple so heaps of teams can use it to improve their lives at work.
There’s a whole field of research called “decision science” which is filled with helpful practices that are proven to yield better outcomes, yet most teams are stuck in meetings without any guidance into making better decisions. Things like:
- Who - Who has the authority to make a decision? Who’s driving a decision forward?
- What - What information is needed to make an informed decision?
- How - Is it a one way door or two way door decision? If two way door, are we making sure not to expend too many resources on something that is reversible?
- Why - Why are we trying to get consensus from a group, when in fact, that just slows down the process and results in lower quality decisions?
As we focused more and more on decisions, we kept hearing horror stories about endless meetings with no one making a decision, or with decisions being made, but nobody remembering or agreeing on what was decided. So we got to work building.
⭕️ What’s in a hoop?
Hoop will empower teams to make better decisions by addressing three pervasive issues:
- Lack of Process - Most teams make decisions haphazardly and inconsistently. It’s not clear what the scope of a decision is, who has decision rights, or how much time to spend on any given decision.
- For example, we’re in the 3rd meeting this week talking through which features we’ll include in our mobile app launching next month. No one knows who, what or how this decision will actually be made.
- Hoop mitigates this scenario by giving a simple framework for outlining options and getting a decision without needing to be in repeated meetings. This can be circulated to mitigate doubt (and prevent the last minute “What? Why did we decide that?”).
- Lack of Documentation - There’s currently no canonical decision artifact that teams can reference when trying to learn more about why a decision was made. This leads to wasted hours trying to understand how, why, or who was involved in a decision.
- The new CFO joins the company and wants to understand how the Marketing team chose their ICPs. She searches Slack, clicks around in Google Docs, and schedules many 1:1s to piece together a story. Clearly this isn’t the best use of her onboarding time!
- By having all decisions and the history behind them written and stored, Hoop gives teams the ability to generate insights into how decisions are made, and what kinds of outcomes are driven from those decisions. In the future, teams that use Hoop will get data driven insights into decision making that will help steer the overall ship.
- Lack of a Home- Most teams don’t have a central spot for decisions. They’re unable to see the outcomes or impact of the decisions they’ve made holistically, or reference them in the future.
- For the strategy offsite, the VP of Product spends hours putting together a presentation highlighting key decisions from last quarter. She realizes there were three missed opportunities because the team didn’t have a holistic view into each other’s key decisions.
- With Hoop, teams have a single source of truth for decisions. Hoop will bring together the current knowledge worker tool stack (Slack, Zoom, Notion, etc) so teams can easily bring information from disparate tools into a spot that provides both process and color into why a decision was made. No more digging through emails or trying to remember why a decision was made.
We have a big vision for how we’re going to make decision making more impactful, referenceable, and even fun. And this is just the beginning.
❓ Why “hoop?” What’s in the name?
Hoop is the name of the company, it’s also the name of the product. In the future, “making a hoop” will represent “making a decision” in the same way that “jumping into a zoom” is synonymous with “having a meeting.”
A hoop = decision. Hoop = the place where decisions live.
Hoops are circular objects, they come full circle. Decisions also come full circle. Good processes in general come full circle with a beginning, middle and end.
That virtuous cycle we’re excited to help companies achieve? Also a circle.
Hoops promote good times: they come in the basketball varietal and the hula varietal. Hoop is fun to say and write. Hoop sounds like hope.
And because everyone likes a pun, we want to minimize jumping through hoops for teams making decisions.
📣 Now what?
We’ve been heads down building the first version of our product, and are now ready to start onboarding users into a private alpha.
If what we are saying appeals to you, please sign up! We’re excited to go beyond research and into the world of product building. The most exciting part is of course getting feedback from actual human users and building something people will love, use, and love to use.
Thanks for being on the journey with us so far. We’re excited to share more as we build and learn.
PS. We're hiring! If you or someone you know is an amazing full stack engineer interested in helping teams work better asynchronously, here's our JD for Founding Engineers.