When Facebook Goes Into 'Lockdown' Mode, It Holds 5-Hour Meetings And No One Rests For 34 Days

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Facebook recently launched a new feature, Graph Search. It's a robust tool that gives users the power to search their friends' profiles for information and recommendations. 

The days leading up to its launch were exhausting. One of Facebook's product managers, Loren Cheng, spoke to Fast Company about going into a 34-day "lockdown." 

"Lockdown" is a Facebook tradition that changes the pace and practice of work during the run-up to a product launch.

Cheng reveals that Graph Search's lockdown lasted 34 days, and the team met for five hours without letting anyone leave. One person didn't sleep for 3 days straight:

It’s a time at Facebook when we say, “Hey, we’ve got this goal, it’s pretty near term--we’re gonna double down and focus on it.” It lends focus. You make decisions faster. You shut down other meetings. At the beginning of our lockdown, the team got together and had a massive five-hour meeting where nobody was allowed to leave, where we figured out exactly what we were going to tackle. We filled three whiteboards full of ideas, and eventually I said, “Look, we have a very limited amount of time. If you would fall on your sword for something to be in there, what would it be?” It ended up being our “sword list,” and all tasks had to relate to something on the sword list.

...We had a guy who worked for like two or three days straight and didn’t sleep. He didn’t come into work the next day and we were a little worried. He was just sleeping at home.

Don't Miss: How To Use Facebook's New Graph Search >



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