“A job with a lot of moving parts benefits from a brain that has a lot of moving parts.”
The quote above comes from Nolan’s book entitled, “Finding the Next Steve Jobs,” which I’m currently reading. It covers Nolan’s personal experiences with Steve (he was Steve’s boss at Atari and friend thereafter), but the book is more about innovation and creativity than Steve.
The quote has great relevance for OSS, which have more moving parts than any other project I’ve worked on. It also has great relevance because everyone on your team needs to have a highly inquisitive brain that has the hunger to learn about as many of those moving parts as possible.
Expertise within a domain is helpful but cross-domain expertise is irreplaceable. It’s the network effect of knowledge within your team.
If you need to build an OSS team from a list of unknown resources, don’t forget to throw in some interview questions that will reveal their inquisitiveness and whether they have a brain comprised of a lot of moving parts.