Productivity at small companies

I have reached today 2000 contributions on Github. This is a mix of code reviews, pull requests and commits. The closest I ever was to this number, was back in 2017 with ~1500. This was at Babylon Health, where there was more red tape.

This year I felt quite productive. Having barely any meeting and a lightweight process helps a lot! Simply put, I spent close to 90% of my time coding. Being part of a small team affords the speed, moreover by being the only person doing iOS. Most of the work done here is mine alongside the documentation (which I am especially proud of). I also released this app. The latter was done in less than 3 weeks. It took roughly 17 days from the first commit to being in the AppStore. Where on Earth would you be able to do this, if not in a small company?

In these environments one can feel as if they are always in hyperdrive. But if that’s the case, why didn’t I feel this way in similar places, like Sphere? The main difference between Vital and Sphere, besides a few more engineers, is the existence of PMs. Vital has none. All the work we do is planned and organised by engineers. There’s never a PM doing that job for them, or being the bridge between customer and engineer. Customers are on Slack with us and engineers have to interact with them. It’s not optional. You have to interact with human beings that are not your colleagues and are paying your salary. Everyone has a higher sense of urgency. I have it, and I can see the people I manage having it too.

The question I then pose is: is this by chance, or is there a correlation?