Get Social

A note on business buzzword “ASAP”

Posted on: March 3, 2011

Here at Local Social, we like words. A lot. We use them when we’re posting content for our clients on Facebook and Twitter, when we’re speaking to vendors on their behalf, and when we’re blogging. One word that’s been on my mind since reading Rework[find it on Amazon here] is “asap.” The authors have coined the catchphrase “asap is poison,” and their argument holds up: basically, don’t tell someone you’ll do something “as soon as possible.” If an action item is a priority, obviously you’ll get to it as soon as you can. What does that even mean?

If you’re going to prioritize something (or not), just say, “I’ll do it” PERIOD. Or, “I’ll do it within ____ [tangible amount of time, i.e. the hour. And you mean it.] Or even,  “I’ll get to that after I grab a sandwich, floss my teeth, get an oil change, pick up my kid from school, shoot off that project proposal, and check Facebook for five minutes.”

Either give someone no room to guess when something could be done, or explain clearly what your timetable is. “ASAP” hinges on a lot of factors. What if it’s never possible to get to the task?

I find myself at my desk job jotting memos to the team about how I’m “getting Verizon in to look at the phone line issue ‘asap'” and find myself hitting the delete key and giving a precise answer. Otherwise, all I’m saying is I’m getting the job done “at some point, when it could happen, depending on a variety of factors, over some of which I have no control.”

It’s just one of those four letter words that’s NSFW.

37 Signals founders Friedman and Hansson give the middle finger to conventional business practices in Rework


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

%d bloggers like this: