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US Capitol Cracked Glass

This week our team struggled to keep our head in the game, while US democracy was attacked by a mob.

Most weeks in Friday Ship we talk about the expected parts of growing a business—product development, marketing, the doing. This week is about how we’re handling the unexpected.

Parabol is 5 years old. The broader political context in which we operate has been anything but placid. Internally, we’ve prided ourselves on being able to try and bring as much of our authentic self to work as we can. And, when we can’t, to work on deepening our relationships with each other until we can. For some of us this week, it has just plain been hard.

When the US Capitol building was stormed by an angry mob on Wednesday it was clear we couldn’t continue business as usual. We communicated internally that it was ok to step back from work and process the day’s events. Thursday and today we returned to work and continued on, but things haven’t felt quite right. Do we just work alongside each other like nothing has happened?

As many have pointed out on social media, if a business made an announcement the latter half of this week it’s been ignored. Chances are this issue of Friday Ship will be ignored. We know we’re not the only ones who have struggled to keep our attention focused purely on work. And you know what, it’s ok.

What to do

Take space. Take time. Process events. Feel.

Every tragedy, every challenge and adversity is an opportunity to bring people closer together and deepen the meaning of the moment. At a time when being physically close is impossible, it’s important to share with each other how the events of the week have made us feel personally, without judgement. As a group, it’s important to acknowledge that as a group we’ve been through something together.



Parabol Friday Ship Metrics for 2021-Jan-08

Normally the first week back in the office has shown a pop of new user signups, this year is different. Whether related to the stress of global events or not, we’ll be keeping our eye on these data closely.


This week we…

kicked off sprint 71. We focused on making a number of bug fixes and finishing touches to Sprint Poker to prepare our awesome new meeting type for wider release.

published our Sprint Poker 101 page.

shipped v5.30.0. This release included an important backend infrastructure bug, and, new emojis in our editor.

made changes to the way our product team handles support requests. Parabol has an internal culture where anybody can propose changes to the way we work together. This week one of our developers wrote and led a decision-making process to adopt a new way of clarifying who is responsible for handling support requests.

Next week we’ll…

ship a new version of Parabol with some retrospective enhancements from Sprint 70 and wrap up Sprint 71.

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