"Holacracy" by Brian J. Robertson

Review by Borodutch

Holacracy was a hot topic around five years ago. However, the companies that were spearheading it are slowly phasing it out, including Zappos. My opinion after reading the book is that holacracy has never been feasible, to begin with. It doesn't address the main issues of growing companies but introduces unnecessary tedious bureaucracy. Here's how holacracy is different:

  • Authority and responsibility are decentralized across business units.
  • Business units here are called "circles."
  • Each circle consists of multiple roles.
  • Circles communicate with each other with connecting links (special roles).
  • Circles hold overly bureaucratic governance meetings.
  • Circles also hold weekly tactical meetings.
  • Circles assign projects to roles.

You are not alone if you don't see how these differences could fix anything in a fast-paced world. Holacracy did not withstand the test of time. But I want you to imagine if this review was written in 2018 during the peak hype. Would you listen to this criticism?

Similar to how the holacracy critics were proven correct, many hyped things today (looking at you, SSR, and Next.js, in particular) will be so wrong in hindsight. But would you see it before it's obvious?