Open-source: running the project versus using its output

“Everyone” thinks open-source is good.   Software that’s free to you; software whose code is available for you to learn from, extend, or modify; software that’s presumably updated periodically by a hoard of magic elf volunteers for the sake of their own technical intellectual gratification.

Now..  are you one of those folks who contributes to an open-source project?  Hmmm – very different angle.

Now…  are you one of those folks who figures out how to run an open-source project, bringing together the disparate interests of that presumed hoard of volunteers into one uber well-running machine?

Wow.  I used to think that the hardest job in the world to do well would be to set up a high performing team at a fast food restaurant.   Staff turn-over, low pay, and the like.  I’m beginning to reconsider: the most interesting leadership and management challenges seem to be in the open-source space, particularly for projects that have a significant user base and vested interests from many parties interested in driving direction.  Lots of smart people, lots of competing interests, lots of feeling of a need to get somewhere in particular, lots of directions in particular.

Neat things to think about…

 

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