I was checking my notes and I found this email I sent to my team some months ago when we decided to set up a dedicated team for tech “research”. You probably know that moment in which every medium-size startup acknowledges the lack of “innovation” but it’s impossible to articulate a good process to make it happen within the tech team because of the high workload. In order to get old times back and recover the magic of a 5 people team you decide to create a “research team”.
I consider these ones the backbone of a technology research team within a company. And this is a personal opinion and the way I like to do things so don’t get them as a dogma.
(I modified it a little bit to remove some not really important details about CARTO)
Investing time on important things is always a good choice. It’s like investing in your own health, you are not going to regret it. It does pay off after some time tho. It’s easy to get distracted by short-term urgent stuff (MRR driven most of the times)
People need space. That means people need time to think, make decisions and fail. You can’t pretend people to generate value if they don’t have they own opinions/ideas.
Moving data here and there is not going to push CARTO to the sky. We need to do very well at something. That something is hard by nature and hard things require time.
Long-term rather than short-term: we are too used to thinking short term, thinking long-term requires willpower and knowledge. It’s easy to think “with this shortcut we could get to production early” or “I don’t see short-term results for this and I’m going to look like a failure”.
Focus on one thing at a time. It should be the most important thing and we should own it: you shouldn’t be afraid of touching anything there because of the lack of ownership.
Everything should be though to end in production. Not only that, it should push production forward so it helps to get rid of deprecated technology, renews the internals and keeps the platform healthy.