January 13, 2011

BetterMeans – Egalitarian Project Management

BetterMeans is an application based around the idea that groups could get more done if they weren’t so busy worrying about who’s the boss all the time. Using the same principles as those behind Wikipedia and open source software projects, the team behind BetterMeans developed a web-app that allows groups and companies to work together without a “fixed hierarchy.” What that means is that nobody is the boss. Projects are managed on an egalitarian basis, and employees don’t need to wait for approval before making important decisions.

If you’re ready to try out a whole new way of organizing projects, then you can get started by selecting a BetterMeans pricing plan that meets your needs. Create a free account with unlimited public “workstreams” – which is BetterMeans’ term for a project. Work on your workstreams by yourself or with teammates, and decide whether each of the workstreams you create should be public or private. Public workstreams can be commented on and contributed to by anyone in the world, so you aren’t just limited to working with people inside your own company. One of the things that differentiates BetterMeans from other project management applications is that its users are never assigned roles, responsibilities, or even job titles. Rather, anyone can add any new ideas to any workstream they wish – right from their BetterMeans dashboard. Each idea that a user contributes on BetterMeans can be discussed and voted on among colleagues. As soon as a pre-determined number of votes is reached, that item automatically gets moved into the list of “open items” that need to be completed. These open items can then be prioritized by the team, and completed items can be accepted or rejected based on a group voting system.

Voting on ideas is always optional among team members, as is nearly every aspect of the BetterMeans app. Users can take part in the parts of the web-app that they enjoy, while avoiding the things they don’t. At the end of the day, companies of all sizes can use the votes and assessments made by collaborators on BetterMeans to determine proper compensation for key employees. For groups and teams of equals working together on all different types of projects, BetterMeans is a management app that has all the bells and whistles.

Practical Uses:

  • Organize the launch of a new website
  • Employee compensation can be based upon colleague assessments
  • Gather ideas for a new magazine you’re putting together
  • Create a way for everyone to participate in a group assignment
  • Get great ideas from colleagues who may not otherwise be encouraged to share

Insider Tips:

  • Individual workstreams can be made public or private
  • Comment and vote on any teammate’s idea
  • Each team member gets an equal vote
  • Members can contribute to whichever workstreams they wish

What we liked:

  • BetterMeans has created an entirely new way of doing business
  • Ideas that receive a pre-determined number of votes are automatically moved into the “open item” list
  • Users can view all of their workstreams from a central dashboard
  • Egalitarian voting system takes the stress and responsibility out of being a boss

What we didn’t like:

  • The concept behind BetterMeans may not work for every company


Company Info:

  • Launched: November 2010
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Oakland, California
  • Founded by: Shereef Bishay and Karim Bishay
  • Web site:


  • Free plan
  • Basic plan $25/month
  • Better plan $50/month
  • Super plan $100/month
  • Go Nuts! plan $200/month

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