Kristian Glass - Do I Smell Burning?

Mostly technical things

Distributed vs Remote

I like to distinguish between “distributed” and “remote”.

Being distributed is an intrinsic property - a team can be distributed, with no real central locus like an office.

Being remote is an extrinsic property - you’re remote from something, like a remote team in another country.

A remote team might be distributed, it might be colocated. You might have a distributed team, or you might be colocated, but if you are generally colocated then maybe you have one or two remote team members.

Being either totally colocated or totally distributed are both entirely reasonable choices depending on your situation, with their own trade offs. Being colocated with a few remote people can also be great, but I think it’s much harder, because it’s easy for everything to happen in the office where people the majority of people are.

Zach Holman’s excellent post, Remote-First vs. Remote-Friendly, is a great categorisation and exploration, but I’d argue that what he calls “remote first” is essentially “(mostly) distributed”, while his “remote-friendly” is more “(successfully) colocated with some remote workers”

Whichever model you have, if it works for you, great. Everything comes with tradeoffs. But it’s worth being deliberate about what you’re aiming for.