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Startup wants to replace your boss with an algorithm

In the workplace, there’s no greater crime than being micromanaged by a clueless boss. However, one US startup has a cunning plan.



Hooray, it’s Friday. Yes, you have work, but it doesn’t matter. Tomorrow you won’t. So you let the warm fuzzies wash over you in the rain. You finally taste freedom, and your mind slowly wanders to the sweet possibilities of sweet fa.

But what’s that coming over the hill? Is it a Monster? No. It’s the forced-smiling pile of irrationality that represents the worst of micromanagement. Your boss. Oh no. Well, to be honest, he’s not even your boss. He’s your actual boss’ third understudy. A superfluous layer of eye-watering cockfuckery of the management onion. He possesses no true power. All the decisions he makes are actually made from more important types. He’s not an executive, nor someone to look up to. He’s an errand boy sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill.

Wouldn’t it be great if he just disappeared?



Well, we’re not that far off, as one American startup is looking to replace the unimportant managerial tree with an algorithm. The concept is called “flash teaming” originated by computer science researchers at the Stanford HCI Group. Ostensibly they theorised using algorithms to construct teams with complementary skill sets, and handle organisational behaviour to ensure that work was completed. Think about it. It’s kind of magic. It possesses no crippling doubt that manifests itself with little tasks you have to complete beyond the hour of five, there’s no chance that it will make a pass at you, and it doesn’t even have a door that’s always openbucko.

Essentially, the algorithm handles the joining of the dots in any given project. For example, a project needs about twelve experts with a very particular sets of skills. So, instead of the manager hiring HR managers, underlings and/or relationship managers to sift through the pile of resumes and/or headhunt, the algorithm will handle it. More to the point, when the project is underway, the algorithm will handle performance evaluations by reaching out to fellow experts from that very specific field, theoretically giving the worker actual worthwhile feedback, not just a pointlessly held powerpoint-centric, buzzphrase laded performance meeting organised purely for some clueless yutz to hear himself speak.


He’s not an executive, nor someone to look up to. He’s an errand boy sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill.


In its current form, the algorithm is strictly used it to build websites, but the team behind it believe that the flash team concept has legs. “The benefits of having something like this is building a community of people who don’t just enjoy working in an expert way, but also in a team-oriented way,” said Adam Marcus, CTO of the company who utilised the program.

Websites today, whatever it is that you do, tomorrow.

Pack up your desk, Gerald. Your services are no longer required.

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