I recently reviewed Ben Horowitz’s (LoudCloud, Opsware, Andreessen-Horowitz) book “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” for the Wall Street Journal. You can read the review here.
One of the most commented on parts of the review was Andreeseen-Horowitz’s policy of fining any staff member who is late to a meeting with an entrepreneur:
Their approach to entrepreneurs is summed up by a strictly enforced internal rule: a $10-per-minute fine for anyone in the company who is late to a meeting with an entrepreneur. “If you don’t think that entrepreneurs are more important than venture capitalists, we can’t use you at Andreessen Horowitz,” he writes.
It’s an admirable approach. And many readers wished it would be extended to other professions too. As one emailed: “why stop there? What about doctors keeping people waiting?” It’s an issue (as that reader knew) that I’ve written about before, see this article here for Forbes.
According to a report by Press Ganey Associates – a health-care consulting firm that surveyed 2.4 million patients at more than 10,000 locations – the average wait time to see a health-care provider is twenty-two minutes. And I’d love to visit those locations! My average wait time in New York City is probably around forty minutes.
Job-seekers are another group of people often subjected to unfortunately long wait times. See this article by Kevin Rector in the Baltimore Sun on a recruiting event for Baltimore’s new casino “Horseshoe Baltimore”:
The event, which is open to the public, will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at M&T Bank Stadium. Attendees are asked to use the stadium’s southeast suite entrance and to budget four or five hours to move through the process, Dixon said.
Four-Five hours? That’s a long time. At Apploi (www.apploicorp.com) we’re dedicated to changing that, and one of our standout early pieces of data from clients is a 90% reduction in time to hire.
Back to doctors and everyone else who keeps people waiting (I’m thinking trains, airlines, and customer service helplines). How about if they start paying customers for every minute they keep them waiting?
To keep it even more interesting (and give them an incentive to participate), I’d be even willing to pay a premium if they’re on time. Any takers?