Hey Jon! Thanks so much for doing this.
What are some tips you can share for founders or other engineering leaders building open source startups around how to manage development teams that may split their time between open source project maintenance / contribution and also commercial product development / eng? Should these teams be distinct, or the same, or a mix? Any thoughts on these lines would be valuable. 🙌🏼
There surely can’t be a one-size-fits-all answer to this.
When it comes to organizational models, there are a lot of organizational models out there, and none of them ever feel perfect, or even good. It’s possible that team structure is not the thing that is going to be the secret sauce for a company. Doing the right things, doing them well, building a fun culture that attracts great people, those seem to be what matters most.
One of the strongest principles I’ve held onto is not creating unnecessary distraction for teams. I’d recommend not re-orging frequently; optimize for keeping the same groups of people together, provided they enjoy working together. If you must, change projects instead: for example, ask the open source team to work on a commercial thing if it’s important enough to the business.
Super useful insights. Thanks Jon!
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