The Iron Law of (Open Source) Bureaucracy

Something to watch out for in open-source projects: Pournelle’s “Iron Law of Bureaucracy.” In the organization around your project, you will find two kinds of people:

  1. Those who concentrate on the goals of the organization. These are generally coders, devops, and infrastructure folks.
  2. Those who concentrate on the organization itself. These are generally managers of people within the organization, and controllers of how & when the organization communicates within itself and outside itself.

Pournelle’s Iron Law asserts that group 2 will always end up in control of the organization.

Police your membership accordingly.

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