Why in Tarnation is My WiFi So Slow?
Part 2: The Anatomy of Internet Throughput


The internet

This is the Internet!

Before we get into the weeds of what impacts WiFi throughput in future blogisodes of “Why in Tarnation is My WiFi So Slow,” I want to first break down what throughput is in relation to the internet and WiFi.

Part 1 of this blogisode series defines throughput as how fast data is flowing through a connection at a time. Regarding WiFi internet throughput, we typically measure how fast internet data is flowing from your home WiFi router to your client device (laptop, phone, etc) with the point of measurement being recorded at the client device.

Did you notice that I wrote “from your WiFi router to your client device?” This series focuses on WiFi throughput. However, I do want to point out that throughput from your home modem to a client device via an ethernet line (hard line) will always show different results than when measuring over WiFi.

Why in Tarnation is My WiFi So Slow?
Part 1: Bandwidth vs Throughput

Bandwidth. Throughput. Two different things; commonly used interchangeably.

Internet speeds can be as slow as a snail crossing the road

Does this describe your internet speeds?

Have you ever heard a friend, relative, or customer say something similar to “My internet is sooo slow… the {insert ‘bandwidth’, ‘throughput’, and/or ‘internet speed’ here} is just terrible … ?”

I am going to take a gander and say this is likely something you hear all the time. It may even be something you say all the time. But, what is the truth behind this type of statement? Is bandwidth the issue? Is throughput the issue?

The truth is that the root cause behind slow internet issues can be due to a bandwidth issue, due to a throughput issue, due to both, or even due to something entirely different. This post will describe what bandwidth is, what throughput is, and ways they contribute to poor internet performance. As for the something entirely different, keep an eye on this blog as this is the first in the series of “Why in Tarnation is My WiFi So Slow?!”

Getting Back on the Ship! A Cultural Reboarding

Reboarding: getting on board again, especially an airplane or ship.

That is precisely what MetaGeek set out to do with our Culture Reboarding in February:get all the employees back on the culture boat. Over the past three years we have seen enormous turnover, with half the company having three or fewer years’ tenure. This created different interpretations of our Culture, so we decided to address it. The purpose of the MetaGeek Culture Reboarding was to create a shared understanding of the culture at MetaGeek so we could maximize workplace freedom and responsibility, and ultimately well-being in our daily work.

We had eighteen employees and six cultural aspects to cover. We created teams of three, based on complementary strengths from Gallup’s StrengthsFinder, and assigned the culture aspects to those teams based on where we thought those employees had the best or worst understanding/insight. Next, we bought building materials (similar to those used in a Design Thinking session our HR participated in) and displayed them for two days in the break room, without comment, to stoke curiosity among employees.. Each team had 30 minutes to brainstorm and build their models/representations of what each aspect of our culture looks like, trying to answer the question: what is important to understand about this aspect to have it show up everyday? Then they received 15 minutes to present their models to the rest of the company.

Here is what we got:

1. High Performance

The team created high performance cars, adding power as they learn, and bringing other cars (read: employees) along to reach the company’s goals.

2. Freedom & Responsibility

The team created a soccer field to represent a team of players having to understand each other’s roles and responsibilities to succeed. It also represents how each player has the freedom to do their job as long as they stay within the field and continuously drive towards the goal.

3. Context, Not Control

The team showed how without proper context, a simple objective such as “build a slinky holder that is at least 1” tall” can create several interpretations, scope creep and/or creative problem solving.

4. Highly Aligned, Loosely Coupled

This team modeled our cross-functional teams with pipe cleaners, showing how “tactical frogs” are guided by “strategic airplanes” flying toward the company’s goals. And don’t miss the CEO lion wrangling the crowd when necessary.

5. Top of Market, and 6. Promotions & Development

And finally, Top of Market and Promotions & Development. The team showed that getting to the top is an ongoing process that looks different for each employee, but a growth mindset is a must. Obviously the pizza and beer is a necessary building block. 🙂

Overall I thought the exercise was a huge success. The teams worked well together, everyone was engaged, and the employees got a chance to show what the culture looked like for them. In the future, I will definitely use this exercise to create shared understanding for best practices and other cultural aspects as well.

Here is what one of our geeks thought:

Reboarding was especially valuable to me because it brought employees of every tenure level together to discuss and present what our culture should be in the future; not simply what our culture was when they were hired. I’ve witnessed other companies fragment over time as their culture evolved, where each employee was fiercely allegiant to their idea of the company, even if that idea no longer aligned with the culture vision of the rest of the company. Reboarding allows everyone to get on the same page and understand the current and desired culture moving forward. – Brian R.