今天，让我们先读一篇Y Combinator's老板，《黑客与画家》作者 Paul Graham 的经典文章。
"...the mere consciousness of an engagement will sometimes worry a whole day."
– Charles Dickens
One reason programmers dislike meetings so much is that they're on a different type of schedule from other people. Meetings cost them more.
There are two types of schedule, which I'll call the manager's schedule and the maker's schedule. The manager's schedule is for bosses. It's embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals. You can block off several hours for a single task if you need to, but by default you change what you're doing every hour.
When you use time that way, it's merely a practical problem to meet with someone. Find an open slot in your schedule, book them, and you're done.
Most powerful people are on the manager's schedule. It's the schedule of command. But there's another way of using time that's common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can't write or program well in units of an hour. That's barely enough time to get started.
When you're operating on the maker's schedule, meetings are a disaster. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in. Plus you have to remember to go to the meeting. That's no problem for someone on the manager's schedule. There's always something coming on the next hour; the only question is what. But when someone on the maker's schedule has a meeting, they have to think about it.
For someone on the maker's schedule, having a meeting is like throwing an exception. It doesn't merely cause you to switch from one task to another; it changes the mode in which you work.
I find one meeting can sometimes affect a whole day. A meeting commonly blows at least half a day, by breaking up a morning or afternoon. But in addition there's sometimes a cascading effect. If I know the afternoon is going to be broken up, I'm slightly less likely to start something ambitious in the morning. I know this may sound oversensitive, but if you're a maker, think of your own case. Don't your spirits rise at the thought of having an entire day free to work, with no appointments at all? Well, that means your spirits are correspondingly depressed when you don't. And ambitious projects are by definition close to the limits of your capacity. A small decrease in morale is enough to kill them off.
Each type of schedule works fine by itself. Problems arise when they meet. Since most powerful people operate on the manager's schedule, they're in a position to make everyone resonate at their frequency if they want to. But the smarter ones restrain themselves, if they know that some of the people working for them need long chunks of time to work in.
Our case is an unusual one. Nearly all investors, including all VCs I know, operate on the manager's schedule. But Y Combinator runs on the maker's schedule. Rtm and Trevor and I do because we always have, and Jessica does too, mostly, because she's gotten into sync with us.
I wouldn't be surprised if there start to be more companies like us. I suspect founders may increasingly be able to resist, or at least postpone, turning into managers, just as a few decades ago they started to be able to resist switching from jeans to suits.
How do we manage to advise so many startups on the maker's schedule? By using the classic device for simulating the manager's schedule within the maker's: office hours. Several times a week I set aside a chunk of time to meet founders we've funded. These chunks of time are at the end of my working day, and I wrote a signup program that ensures all the appointments within a given set of office hours are clustered at the end. Because they come at the end of my day these meetings are never an interruption. (Unless their working day ends at the same time as mine, the meeting presumably interrupts theirs, but since they made the appointment it must be worth it to them.) During busy periods, office hours sometimes get long enough that they compress the day, but they never interrupt it.
When we were working on our own startup, back in the 90s, I evolved another trick for partitioning the day. I used to program from dinner till about 3 am every day, because at night no one could interrupt me. Then I'd sleep till about 11 am, and come in and work until dinner on what I called "business stuff." I never thought of it in these terms, but in effect I had two workdays each day, one on the manager's schedule and one on the maker's.
When you're operating on the manager's schedule you can do something you'd never want to do on the maker's: you can have speculative meetings. You can meet someone just to get to know one another. If you have an empty slot in your schedule, why not? Maybe it will turn out you can help one another in some way.
Business people in Silicon Valley (and the whole world, for that matter) have speculative meetings all the time. They're effectively free if you're on the manager's schedule. They're so common that there's distinctive language for proposing them: saying that you want to "grab coffee," for example.
Speculative meetings are terribly costly if you're on the maker's schedule, though. Which puts us in something of a bind. Everyone assumes that, like other investors, we run on the manager's schedule. So they introduce us to someone they think we ought to meet, or send us an email proposing we grab coffee. At this point we have two options, neither of them good: we can meet with them, and lose half a day's work; or we can try to avoid meeting them, and probably offend them.
Till recently we weren't clear in our own minds about the source of the problem. We just took it for granted that we had to either blow our schedules or offend people. But now that I've realized what's going on, perhaps there's a third option: to write something explaining the two types of schedule. Maybe eventually, if the conflict between the manager's schedule and the maker's schedule starts to be more widely understood, it will become less of a problem.
Those of us on the maker's schedule are willing to compromise. We know we have to have some number of meetings. All we ask from those on the manager's schedule is that they understand the cost.
Schedule一般分为两种，Maker 的日程和 Manager 的日程。
比如说老板就属于 Manager 日程，具体体现在待办事项中，每天都以小时为单位。当然如果有需要的话可以一连几个小时来完成某项工作，但大多数时候，每个小时每个时间段都有不同的事情等着你。
但是程序员或者作家这类以创造输出的人，普遍采用的是另一种日程安排：Maker's Schedule，他们更倾向于用个大半天的时间进行单一任务的工作。你不能以 1 小时为时间粒度，这个时间顶多起个头，是写不出什么好文章或者优秀代码的。
以办公时间这一概念在 Maker 的框架内模拟出一个经理人的日程。每周我会留出几大块时间来接待 founders，这部分时间通常会在我的工作日末尾。同时我写了一个程序来确保一个时间范围内的会议能安排在一起。这样创业者们在工作结束后来访，就不会打断我的工作（除非他们的下班时间也和我一样，才会妨碍到对方，但他们往往是有求而来）。因而，尽管事项繁忙，但整块的办公时间依然能覆盖一整天，不会被打断。
90 年代时，正值 Paul Graham 创业的时期，他还尝试了另一种划分时间的方法
- 每天从晚饭开始编程直到凌晨三点，因为夜深人静没人打扰。然后睡到中午 11 点再去上班做那些「生意上的事」，直到晚餐。
这样，他每天都有两个日程，Maker 以及 Manager。
处在 Manager 身份时，可以做些身为 Maker 不想做的事情，比如会见客户，或者和一些人小聚。
但作为 Maker ，你更愿意在较长的时间保持状态持续工作。