Product Design

Marie Kondo your knowledge

A few years ago, a petite Japanese woman named Marie Kondo took YouTube by storm by evangelizing the concept that we should only hang on to items that “spark joy.” By letting go of old things that no longer spark joy, we can “live a life filled only with the items we truly cherish.” All of a sudden, my friends were hoarding shoe boxes and purging their lives of objects that no longer sparked joy. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” appeared on countless coffee tables and bookshelves and the entire movement was both beguiling and liberating.

Marie in one of her in-home visits, tackling one clutter at a time.

Marie in one of her in-home visits, tackling one clutter at a time.

The funny thing is that we hoard a lot more than objects. I still carry with me boxes of old college binders, and I know coworkers who obsessively archive project folders — all to avoid a future possibility that we might need a thing, an idea, a piece of knowledge that can only be retrieved if we hang on to them in tangible form.

This emotional attachment to the “stuff” we’ve collected comes up a lot in the context of how to get started with Spoke. Sometimes customers are trying to make sense of years worth of Confluence articles or intranet pages, and want to know if they can just import them into Spoke’s knowledge base. The short answer is, yes. But, when I ask “what percentage of your articles are fresh, comprehensive and trustworthy?” the answers vary from the sheepish to the embarrassed.

What percentage of your articles are fresh, comprehensive and trustworthy?

This baggage doesn’t spark joy or provide value. It ends up being an ever-growing burden to be dealt with in quarterly content reviews, or other unscalable processes. Inaccurate content creates troubles that extend beyond spreading falsehoods. Over time, employees learn to bypass documentation and go to humans because they assume whatever they’re reading is out-of-date. That kind of behavior defeats the whole purpose of writing down and sharing knowledge. Yet I’m not suggesting throwing away all the documentation your teams have created. I’m simply encouraging you to bring each piece over as it’s needed.

I’m not suggesting throwing away all the documentation your teams have created. I’m simply encouraging you to bring each piece over as it’s needed.

That’s why I’m so excited about the new approach we’re taking. Spoke fundamentally starts with the questions and requests that your company has — not with the knowledge you already have documented. That way, each resource you add is in direct response to person’s needs, and that gives you confidence in its value and accuracy. It’s easy, too. You can add knowledge on the fly as you’re responding, and Spoke can use these resources to respond to similar questions in the future.

In just a few weeks, our users discover that they achieve high coverage on really relevant topics and create documentation where there are gaps. Over time, Spoke will also help you declutter when resources collect dust and no longer serve you well. It’s our little way of helping you find the magic in doing more with less and our way of sparking joy in your day.


Let us help you build a better workplace. Sign up to try Spoke for your company or request a demo and we’ll show you how it works.

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