Idea Meritocracy

Bridgewater’s Dot Collector, and the story behind Ray Dalio’s success, has always been an incredible lesson on how to create a transparent and open working environment.

The Dot Collector app is installed on every Bridgewater employee’s proprietary iPad. Employees are expected to bring this iPad to every meeting, to give and receive constant feedback in the form of “dots.” Every dot you give and receive is public.

Ray Dalio on Idea Meritocracy

“It has a list of a few dozen attributes, so whenever somebody thinks something about another person’s thinking, it’s easy for them to convey their assessment; they simply note the attribute and provide a rating from one to 10. For example, as the meeting [on Trump’s impact on the economy] began, a researcher named Jen rated me a three—in other words, badly—for not showing a good balance of open-mindedness and assertiveness.”

Through the gathering a thousands of such data-points, Bridgewater is able to create an weighted opinion on certain ideas. By creating transparency, it allows all participants to openly see how their opinions compare to other people’s opinion: Collective vs Individual Decision-Making. Thus the concept of idea meritocracy.


UPDATE: Ray Dalio write up The Key to Bridgewater’s Success: A Real Idea Meritocracy.

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