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Friday Ship #250: Five Years of Building in Public

April 30th, 2021

Parabol Friday Ship 250 Banner

This week we celebrate our 250th Friday Ship.

It’s hard to believe every Friday the entirety of our company has collaborated on writing this post. When we began the practice it puzzled people: We’d hear, “who are you writing this for?” As the years have gone by the world has given this kind of sharing a name, “building in public.” And while people now know what to call it, it isn’t settled if sharing the  internals of an organization to the world has merit or is mostly vanity.

Even if nobody outside the company read our Friday Ship we’d write it anyway. For us, the value in writing the Friday Ship together is a way to break down silos and celebrate our accomplishments, company wide. Parabol works without a traditional “town hall” or “all hands” meeting, writing personal weekly updates in our #fridayship Slack channel and collaborating on these posts has become an emergence practice that seems to replace the need for aligning time zones and chewing up more calendar time with a meeting.

While our Friday Ship isn’t written for our user community, it is generally well received by talent prospects and prospective investors. As our company continues to grow in scale, no doubt the Friday Ship will continue to evolve too. Next stop: Friday Ship 300.

Top 5 Most Popular of the Last 50 Friday Ship Posts

Between Friday Ship #200 and Friday Ship #250, here were the posts with the highest number of reads:

  1. #237 – Who do you know?
  2. #241 – Remote Strategic Planning
  3. #214 – S.P.A. 15 Remote Retreat
  4. #227 – S.P.A. 16, 2nd Remote Retreat
  5. #239 – Inclusive Holidays



Metrics for Parabol Friday Ship 250

Green lights across the board again but noting growth wasn’t as strong as in weeks prior. Our top-of-funnel growth looks to be leveling off. Only time will tell if we’ll be able to sustain the web session traffic we’ve achieved or if the current rate of traffic will prove to be a temporary peak. Registration and usage we both up to, but only just a hair.

This week we…

evolved designs on several work streams. We’re working on several new ways to perform ice breakers, iterating the way we display user presence and whether or not folks have participated in the current activity, as well as improving the UX for configuring our Sprint Poker Jira integration to help users set it up with their own custom Jira fields.

Parabol Vote Particiation Design Prototype

published a new blog post Scrum Masters: Make These 11 Changes for More Productive Meetings.

nested GitHub’s GraphQL API in our own GraphQL API. We thought this was going to be a relatively easy application of GraphQL “schema stitching” but it turns out what we’re trying to do isn’t so common. If you want us to write more about our approach, let us know!

shipped v6.9.0 into production. We added LogRocket to enhance our debugging capabilities, shipped the above GitHub implementation into production (for internal development), and fixed an invitation bug.

Next week we’ll…

conclude sprint 78. The bulk of this sprint’s effort is focused on delivering our GitHub integration and designing out the future “Retrospective Inspirations” feature (see near the end of this post) but we also have some goodies about ready to ship to enhance our new meetings view, specifically to sort meetings by attendance and show the avatar images of who’s attending to make it even easier to find the proper meeting activity to join.

Have feedback? See something that you like or something you think could be better? Leave a public response here, or write to us.

Jordan Husney

Jordan Husney spent 20+ years helping technology serve people. His passion for collaboration, agile development, and remote teams led him to start Parabol, a free online retrospective tool.

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