External isn’t Internal
Stupid title, I know. I just wanted to say that when a person or company blogs about an idea or approach or concept, you might think—naturally so—that they’re telling you about something that they’ve personally implemented and have seen great success with.
In reality, we share ideas for many reasons. Sometimes we just want the idea to exist in the world. Sometimes we want to document something for posterity. Sometimes we want to talk about our successes and never our failures.
I was reminded of this while digging through my archives and coming across where I made reference to the Spotify organizational model. And while we never followed their model while I was at Shopify, we definitely liked the “guild” aspect of the model. And yet, we’re told that Spotify doesn’t use the Spotify model.
Which reminds me of when I first started working at Shopify and a bunch of the team got to learn that I rarely used rem units in my projects, despite having been one of the earliest people to talk about it.
Suffice it to say, what we present to the world is often a very different picture than what the reality is behind the scenes.