By Emilie Choi, President and Chief Operating Officer
TLDR: We use Problem/ Proposed Solutions and RAPIDs as our main tools to break through tough decisions and land on good resolutions.
One of the top three questions I get from candidates is: “how do you make decisions at Coinbase?” What they’re getting at is, how do we break through politics and bureaucracy to get things done quickly? We use two tools at Coinbase that help cut through the noise and address issues that we’re grappling with:
Problem/Proposed Solutions are great for tackling issues that come up in the normal course of work.RAPIDs are great tools for breaking through tough decisions and getting good decisions actually made. Here’s how we use each of these tools.Coinbase is a written culture, which means that we aim to put our thinking, processes and decision making down on paper. This helps us clarify our thinking and increase understanding with each other. We use Google Docs to collaborate, which allows us to comment and ask questions transparently. These decision making frameworks are an important element of this written culture.
(Credit to Matt Mochary, who came up with the P/PS and discusses it in his book).
The P/PS is a great tool to address unresolved issues that are bothering you. It could be that you think the performance management process needs improvement, or that we need less meetings, or that we need to revisit our org structure, or anything that rises to a certain level of significance for you. We all have those instincts, and yet sometimes, we don’t know how to bring them up in the right way. We want to encourage productive problem solving and the P/PS can help with this.
The keys to an effective Problem/Proposed Solution
Short and easy: It has to be lightweight and take