The Cantilever handbook is a living library that explains how we do things at Cantilever. It is our “Operating System.”

The handbook is public and shared at handbook.cantilever.co via Super.so.

🏅 Principles

  • Simplicity. Simple entries are easier to maintain and organize. Include only the information that is 100% necessary.
  • Flexibility. At Cantilever we hire smart people and expect them to be smart, so we do not provide specific instructions for a lot of processes. Instead we provide “riverbanks” of rules that say what to definitely do and what to never do and let each person color between those lines.
  • Atomic Structure. Ideally each aspect of how Cantilever works is described once and only once in the handbook. Try to avoid having overlapping entries that cover similar things.
  • Currency. We want the handbook to be fresh and to reflect our latest decisions and changes.
  • Transparency. We allow any Cantilever team member to edit the handbook. We share it with the world.

📏 Rules

✅ Do…

  • Write a handbook entry whenever there is internal confusion/questions about something non-trivial
  • Keep handbook entries terse and fast to read
  • Use AI to generate new handbook entries, so long as you read them fully and edit liberally.
  • Use only standard Notion formatting, similar to other entries that are already in place.

🚫 Don’t…

  • Spread knowledge about a single topic out between multiple locations. Try to centralize to a single location

Handbook Style

As of 2024 we have transitioned to a new Handbook entry style. The focus of the approach is on simplicity and maintainability. There are two types of entry in the Handbook now:

Concept entries should typically be formatted like so:

Example Concept Handbook Entry

Guides are more freeform and you can structure them however you feel best to get the message across.

Whenever possible, when you mention the text of a concept within another entry, use an at-mention to link to the entry for that concept. This increases cross-linking within the 📓Handbook and helps minimize entry overlap. Generally you should not link to an entry from within that same entry, but I did so in the last sentence to provide an example.

🚫 Don’t…

🚫 Don’t…