Jono Bacon, Jono Bacon Consulting | Open Source Summit 2017


(quiet jazz)>>Announcer: Live from Los Angeles, it’s theCUBE covering Open Source Summit North America 2017. Brought to you by the Linux
Foundation and Red Hat. (upbeat techno music)>>Okay, welcome back,
everyone, live in Los Angeles to theCUBE’s exclusive coverage of the Open Source
Summit in North America, I’m John Furrier. My cohost, Steve Miniman. Our next guest is Jono Bacon, who is the founder of
Jono Bacon Consulting in the community. A great talk here–
>>Jono: Thank you.>>at Open Source Summit. Great to see you.>>Yeah, thank you for having me on.>>Congratulation on
all your recent success, on the personal and business side. Congratulations, great to see you. So, bottom line, Open Source Summit is kind of powered by
the Linux Foundation, but pretty significant accomplishment and State of the Union, if you will, calling an Open Source
Summit, big tent event. What’s your view on this? How do you explain to folks watching? Is this a new event, is it a
combination of multiple events, certainly a great, great big tent,>>Jono: Yeah.
>>cross pollination. Whatever you want to call it. But what is this event about? Share your opinion.>>I think it’s interesting,
and I don’t work for the Linux Foundation,
but I’ve worked very closely with them for a number of years. And I think what we’ve been seeing is that in the earlier days
of open source, there was, you know, the Linux foundation have played a fairly key role in
certain specific areas. And in recent years, they’ve
become a real center of gravity around open source in a
variety of different areas, from automotive to cloud and beyond. And obviously there’s a ton
of events that are happening all over the world. And the open source thing
I think is interesting because it’s really an umbrella event that’s got four other
events that are part of it. So the event that I was running, which we launched this time around, was the Open Community Conference, which is kind of like one
thread of this broader event. So one of the things I like about it is is different events from my experience draw different types of audiences. The Linux Foundation
events have traditionally brought a lot of professionals
who work in the industry. In a similar way, that
happens at OSCON as well. But I like that the events kind
of become a little bit more organized and diversified
into those four areas. And I think what happens then
is you get a greater bandwidth of content and discussions
that go with that.>>I think it’s an
interesting point of these other streams, if you will, kind of going into the big tent event. It’s got an ecosystem vibe to it, cause you don’t want to lose
the specialty of the topics and interest at the events
that matter for the audiences on a content basis and
face-to-face communications. But it’s interesting that
they’re taking this approach because, when you look at
it, the scale that’s coming, in open source generally, categorically, if you put all of the code together, it’s exponentially growing.
>>Jono: Oh, yeah.>>So, there’s a flood coming, there’s a big open source
flood of code coming. So, I think it’s time
to think architecturally about the dams and the
rivers and the flows. To your point, this is a super
important point in history.>>Oh, it’s without question. And one of the things
that’s interesting to me is in my work as a consultant, when I help companies
to build communities, it’s broken into a few different layers. For example, so one is a technology layer, like which of the lego bricks that you’re going to
choose to put together, and how do you click them
together in different ways? And that’s where I think the LF has become a real center of gravity
around what those projects are and how to integrate. But the other thing that
we’re starting to see more and more of is the formalization of the software development lifecycle, which is, it’s not nearly
just writing code anymore. It’s about automated testing
and continuous delivery and deployment, and all
these different pieces. So I think we’re seeing a
formalization of the Lego bricks, but also the instructions for
how you click them together. And that’s really important if we’re going to broaden out this bubble. Because this is a bubble
that we’re in right now. This is full of invariably tech companies talking about technology. But when we get into
the bigger enterprises, when we get into non-tech into the–>>John: Blocking and tackling,
the realities are there.>>And there is so much nuance
wrapped up in open source that it’s alien to the
people outside of this world, that we need to build that
better interface for that.>>And that’s just putting
some hardening around either software or process
that there’s some comfort and reliability to the users.>>I’ll give you one example. Like one company that I was working with, who were a large hardware company, fairly unfamiliar with open source. And one of the first
questions they asked me was, “What does success look like? We know what all these options are, we see all the things that
people are talking about, but we don’t know how to
determine what success is.” And I think even just that,
it seems like an obvious thing to the people in this room,
but it’s not obvious to a lot of people who are new to
consumer technology this way.>>They want to see a
finish line or some KPI that’s says, we’re done!>>Jono: Exactly!
>>Shipped!>>And also because this is
technology that’s built by a broad diverse community
of people, you then, a lot of these organizations then say, “So, what is my expected
social responsibility here?” So, like how do I
participate in this world that I’m broadly unfamiliar with? To me it’s like a hip hop guy who’s trying to join a metal band. You know?
(John laughs) It works differently.>>It’s completely different
genres of developers and also environments. So, what’s your advice to customers? Because they have to navigate because the mainstream adoption of Linux, obviously, and now new projects as they graduate or come to
fruition will be deployed. So there is an ops, the
DevOps certainly is a movement we’re seeing, we can agree on. But now I got to put it into production. I’m a bank or I’m an enterprise. Hey, I got some guys that are monitoring. We’re not that active, but we’re
happy to use it, be a user. How do you talk to that customer?>>Jono: Right.>>The way which I try to approach it is is to break it into a few different areas. The first thing is to first of all make sure that everybody’s
got the same sense of what the problem is
that you want to solve. One of the things that was
most transformative to me when I started consulting was it’s amazing how many
people think they’re solving the same problem, but they’re actually on a completely different
grade of the same problem. So to me, what I like to
do, is I like to define what I call a set of key themes which are these are the big rocks
that we want to target in a time frame, six months or a year, or whatever it might be. Particularly with, when
you’re either doing community strategy or development, or you’re doing a level of open source, it’s fundamentally cross-functional. It involves marketing,
engineering, product, there are executive
stakeholder requirements, and then there’s the people on the ground who are delivering those,
so getting those themes in place I think is critical. But then to me what’s important next, is to break a broader strategy down into smaller, consumable pieces. I think one of the things where
a lot of companies get stuck is they’re aware of these
different Lego bricks that are available to them. They’re aware of some
optimizations in terms of workflow, but it’s such a huge thing
to bring into an organization that invariable is already
got a very, very, stodgy or very specific culture that they’ve got to somewhat unseat. So to me, you need that combination of permissive, top-down approach, which is invariably your exec
saying we see value in this, but then you need to break
the strategy and the execution down into smaller manageable pieces that a team can wrap their head around.>>We talked to the Cisco
guy, Ed, and he was, we were talking about DevNet, a huge developer community for Cisco. DevNet Create was kind of
their cloud-native group that they’ve put together, great little skunk
works, worked out great. But those are two languages. It’s two worlds. The semantics of what they’re saying is the same thing, but
the translation is needed. This seems to be a common thread
within the DevOps community now that the rubber hits the road, and people see the obvious benefits of what is true private
cloud or cloud native. So, how do you go ahead? You provide like a dictionary, and say, “Hey, here’s the translation. Okay, he really means that.” I mean, are you being more herding the cats, being a translator, or is the client further
along than that in your mind?>>It varies, it does vary
from company to company. And a chunk of this, at
least from my experience, is there is a significant
translation layer. One of the things I talked about
in my keynote on Monday was I see collaboration … When I do community strategy, but fundamentally, it really
is organizational design. It’s just outside of a
company in some cases, and sometimes inside of a company. In an organization, you’ll
have a set of stakeholders making decisions, and then the people who’ve got to execute on those decisions. And there is often a massive
translation layer between them. I run a conference called the
Community Leadership Summit each year at OSCON, and every year a couple hundred community
managers come along, and I hear the same story
from a lot of them, which is, I joined this company,
I started building out, I started doing my work and
my manager wasn’t happy. And to me it’s because the execs are defining value that they want to see, but it’s not getting
translated into tatics, and invariably a lot of the
folks who are coming into it–>>John: Where their
ROI calculations are–>>Yeah, a lot of that’s–>>They’re not seeing a real answer. They don’t know what success looks like.>>And they come in, and
they don’t necessarily have the strategic
background to internalize that requirement into a place
that they can move it forward. So, you get this kind of,
this impedance mismatch. So, a big chunk of what I tend to do is to really try to understand
what those requirements are and to work across the
organization to try and–>>John: You’re doing architecture? Like what would be organizational
behavior architecture in the wild, but also an
arbiter to the managers. It’s looking good, it’s like you’re trying to the score of the game. You’re keeping–>>Jono: And some days as well, as I’m sure anyone who’s watching this, will have seen this with the
companies they work with, this isn’t rocket science. You know, what someone says they want, this is going to sound
incredibly patronizing, it’s not meant to, but when someone says what they want, invariably what they actually
want is not that thing. So for example, I was
working with a company a couple of months ago
and they were saying, “We just want growth. We absolutely want to grow
as quickly as we can.” And when I dug into it with
their CEO, what they really wanted was brand
recognition and acceptance. And those are two very
different challenges that you got to approach there.>>John: Stu, get a word in, I’m sorry if I’ve taken all of it.>>Yeah, John’s passionate about
community if you can’t tell. The question I have for you is, building a community takes time, and things are changing faster than ever. How do you help people
manage that pace of change versus I want results? It seems strategy is
something that is for today, and we’re changing often. So, how do you manage that give and take of growing yet breaking?>>It’s a great question. And again, I think it varies. To me, there’s some fundamental pieces that are involved in the way that I, and I take one approach and other people will take different approaches, I’m certainly not the only
person who’s doing this. The approach that I like to take is is we first of all need to
treat communities as a journey. I think a lot of people think we have a product or a service, let’s get people interested,
and it’s seen as a series of individual interactions
with individual people. Whereas the way I like to look at it is when that person
discovers your product, your service, your framework,
whatever it may be, there’s a journey from
how they learn about it, how they go up an on-ramp
to get something done, how you get people making
their first contribution or how they derive their
first piece of value, and then how you
incentivize and reward them to keep them moving along the journey. So to me I look at it as this
zoomed-out birds-eye view of this journey that I want to craft. And then I like to break
that down into small bite-sized pieces that form the strategy. But the other thing is, and this varies depending on the company, is to what level of
transparency and openness you need to communicate
with different people. So, for example, one of the first things I do with inner source when people bring in open source
principles inside a company is to make sure we have
weekly reports going out and we’re updating the stakeholders, more specifically, on a regular cadence. Because in that kind of environment where there’s an existing enterprise, we all see these like
digital transformation consultants come in–>>Oh god, it’s a total gravy train. They make the bookings and the billings. Reminds me of the old ERP deployments. Write a big fat check, and it’d be like, all these consultants come
in and make all the cash.>>I think a lot of people
look around thinking, alright, Lunchbox, you’ll
be here for a year. You’ll be gone then, all right, and we’ll go on to the next
thing now our CEO cares about. So to me it’s like–>>John: Well, the consulting
is being disrupted. It’s interesting, you’re
a contrarian in your world because you have a consulting firm, but the old model things used to be the next gig is get that
next consulting gig, so you worked not to actually
put yourself out of a job, which is where the client wants to get. And that’s where Agile
and cloud has come in. It’s interesting is, this is
where the work product is. You know what success is in that model. You can come in and say, look,
we did our work, everything. You’ve got a community that’s vibrant. You got operational, they operationalized your value.>>Jono: Yep.>>You don’t need me
anymore, unless you want me. So, it’s one of those
kinds of conversations. Your thoughts?>>I agree. And it’s interesting you mentioned Agile. One of the things that
I’ve noticed as well, and I’m sure lots of not just consultants but people notice this
as well is there are, I think there are broadly two
types of people in the world. I think there’s people who
take a very kind of organic and somewhat animated approach
to how they do things. And then there’s some people
who really need a roadmap. They need to follow a plan. I think a lot of people who are building organizational design
or building communities default to we need to create
a process and a workflow so people can follow that and
we can have a sense of order. I don’t think most people
naturally want to work like that. I think there’s a reason why people don’t stick with to-do lists. It’s because people like to have a more organic way of working. And a good example of
this, in my mind, is Agile. Some people will take
Agile to the nth degree with story points and epics and a lot of that kind of stuff–>>You serve the process, the process doesn’t serve the objective. I mean, it’s the classic
effectiveness model. But, I mean, that’s the whole point. I mean, you could foreclose opportunities if you’re too structured. But yet you got to have some boundaries, let the ball bounce around. So, you kind of want both. What is the ideal in your mind?>>In my mind, the
approach that I’m a big fan is an approach called munsing, which was a story of, I forget his name, there’s a story of a guy
back in like the 50s. And he basically owned a TV factory. And what he’d do is he’d
go up to like an engineer who’s building one of
these big, bulky old TVs, and he’d basically pull out components until it stopped working. And then he’d put that last component in so it would be the minimum
level of components for it to work. Ended up saving the
company a ton of money. I like to take the same approach process. What’s the minimum level that you need that gives people the creativity to be successful in a predictable way? So, like with Agile,
these epics and stories and things like that, I
think a lot of that stuff is just there to deal with
crappy product managers, like people who aren’t very
good at manning your project. No process is going to deal with someone who’s not good at organizing.>>You need to bring to
me the right level of the human ingredient and the
process is what keeps people ticking over–>>The other thing too
that I find in that area is people kind of redefine, or they maybe mischaracterize
what outcome is. Everyone’s outcome driven. Love that word.
(Jono laughs) It’s all about the outcome. In this case, the TV’s got
to work with a less amount of moving parts.
>>Jono: Right.>>That’s the outcome. And so, outcomes can be
bastardized if you will, could be really mangled in its definition. How do you work with clients on trying to really temper and set the expectations on what the outcome is? Cause the manager still wants to know what the outcome is going to be. So, do you reverse engineer from there? How do you tackle that?>>Jono: It’s interesting. A big chunk of it for me
is just being realistic. There is no minimum amount of work that needs to be put in to achieve any kind of community. I think you can build a tiny
community with one person. However, depending on the
requirements and the goals, there’s just certain
things you have to do. And there’s certain time and resources that are required. And also just expectations. Like one of the expectations
that some people wrestle with I think is, if you’re building a community they’re either inside your
organization or outside, it’s only going to succeed if a broader set of people participate. You know, we see this trend where you hire a community manager and
that person lives in a forum or a slack channel to
build out the community. Doesn’t work.
>>John: Yeah.>>Because the people in that community want access to other people.>>This value creation
mindset in communities. Value has to be a group dynamic. This individual contributions, I get that. But the group dynamic is critical. Not just a message board moderator. I mean, that’s basically
what you’re saying.>>Jono: Exactly.
>>That’s a message board.>>Nobody wants to deal with
>>John: That’s a tool.>>the interface of the
thing you care about. And that’s the community manager. So, a chunk of this then
is a different mindset in how people operate. One of my clients is a
company called HackerOne. I wrapped up work with
them a little while ago, and their CEO is this guy
called Mårten Mickos who–>>John: Yeah, Mårten’s great CUBE alumni.>>Phenomenal. For me, he’s one of the
people I most respect in our industry.>>John: He’s a great strategic thinker, understands community, knows tech. Great guy
>>Jono: Amazing.>>One of the things that he said when he joined HackerOne was I want everybody in this
company to know a hacker. Everybody’s got to know our audience. Everybody’s got to understand
the needs, the desires, the insecurities, the
worries, the dynamics, otherwise we can’t build a community. It’s not just hiring a
person to interface to that. That’s one of the trickiest
things because, again, it takes time.>>John: It’s alignment to the audience.>>Right
>>John: This is classic.>>Ingratiating in and
actually being cool. Aligning with them
>>Right. And if it’s done well
it’s really rewarding because I think people who
ordinarily wouldn’t see the fruits of their labor.>>Well, Jono, I want to get
your thoughts as we wrap up the segment here on
what’s exciting you about potential new things that
are coming around the corner. Obviously, we see the
promise of blockchain which could have a great big
application for communities. We’re doing some things with it now that we’re testing in our community around trying to create
these new value networks. Certainly, there’s new tooling coming out. Things like theCUBE and
content and communities. New things are coming. The growth is going to be here which is going to create
great new opportunities.>>Jono: Yeah.
>>What are you excited about as you want to navigate
the community landscape? Because the thesis is
more people are coming in, more rivers of distinct audiences are going to want specialty
but yet the broad market … What are you excited about
the community opportunity? From compensation to
interaction to culture. What’s your thoughts?>>There’s a few things I’ll
subdivide it into things that relate to my bread and
butter which is communities and things just more
broadly in technology. The one thing I’m really
excited about communities is I feel like the value proposition has become well understood,
is not just in open source but outside with Proctor
& Gamble, H&R Block, Harley Davidson, all these examples. Where people see the
value in doing this work and doing it well. And that’s great because
I think we’re improving the state-of-the-art of how we do this. One of the reasons why I got into this was I want my career to leave a
fingerprint on structured, predictable ways in which we can do this as opposed to seeming magic science that a lot of people seem
to think community is.>>John: Or a series of
one-offs that are not understood or can’t be operationalized
or leveraged in any way.>>Jono: Yeah, exactly. From a technology perspective,
there’s a bunch of things. I’m really excited about
crowdsource security, things like HackerOne, Bugcrowd,
Synack, things like that. I think there’s a lot of
excitement in my mind around bringing open source
into financial services. I think that’s an industry
that’s ripe to be disrupted which is a sentence I
never thought I’d ever say. Ripe to be disrupted. (John laughs) And then I’m also really excited about the work that’s
going on obviously in A.I., but the intersection of A.I. with kind of like voice control. Obviously, things such
as Google Home and Alexa, but also things like Mycroft. I think blockchain is interesting. It’s kind of less interesting to me. It’s not really something
I’ve really been following very closely, but I think it is. I think it’s pretty neat. But then also just the formalization of the end-to-end software
development lifecycle and how we’re seeing, you know, GitHub was
transformative in technology for a lot of companies. And now we’re seeing GitHub as one piece, and you’ve got continuous delivery and continuous deployment. And also, we manage ideas,
the project manager, all that kind of stuff.>>I think there’s a lot of
transformative ideas coming. And I think it’s super exciting. Congratulations on all the
great work you’re doing.>>Jono: Thank you. Appreciate it.>>I just think that the
self-governing community model that’s now becoming mainstream people are starting to figure
out how to balance that with the command and control
top down and hierarchy job definition specifics,
and balancing that. I think the self-governing
open source model certainly prove that. And communities as a working example of what you can operationalize.>>It’s exciting.>>And crowdsourcing just
takes it to the consumer level.>>Right.>>Okay, it’s working there too. Okay, great job. Thanks for coming on.>>Thank you.
>>John: Jono Bacon,>>John: Bacon Consulting. This is theCUBE. I’m John Furrier, Stu Miniman. More live coverage after this short break. (upbeat techno music)

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