“If you want to understand how a lion hunts don’t go to the zoo. Go to the jungle.”
Sadly, I’m not sure who the true source of this quote is. It’s attributed to various people in the advertising game.
Irrespective of who said it first, in my mind this quote is such a powerful analogy for OSS product development.
For an OSS developer, the only way to know what the operators really need or how the operators really use the product, the developer must get out “into the jungle” and observe carefully from time to time. Do your developers ever get out into the wild or is there a buffer of analysts, etc in between (ie the zoo approach)?
Or do your developers go even further down the realism scale and not even visit the zoo? Do they just read the book on lions? 🙂