Introducing Christianson’s Law of Communication Platforms

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash
  • Cellular voice
  • SMS
  • iMessage
  • Facetime video
  • Slack
  • Zoom
  • WhatsApp!
  • Google Hangouts
  • LifeSize Cloud
  • H.323 Videoconferencing
  • WebEx
  • Skype
  • Infrastructure Canvas
  • Basecamp/Highrise
  • Land-line voice (required by my institution…ack.)
  • Facebook Messager
  • WeChat
  • Twitter DM
  • Asana
  • and Fitbit
  • Change the number of people in your group to fifty but keeping just two communication platforms and your productivity drops to eighty percent; twenty percent of your energy is devoted to keeping track of messages, logging in and checking for messages, switching to the right app to talk to the right person.
  • Back to the scenario with ten people in your group, but increase the number of communications channels to ten, and you have reduced your productivity to a measly ten percent. Ninety percent of your productivity is sucked up managing communications.
  • Finally, let’s look at the list of people I regularly communicate with (~30) and the approximate number of communications channels lists above (25). My productivity is -1,700. Looking back at my goals for the past few years — and my productivity — this number seems about right. I declare Christianson’s Law proved!

UM Teaching Prof, Technologist & Entrepreneur. Connect with me here:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store