Something that comes up often at Amazon is the idea of ownership. We all own the things that we make and we’re responsible for making sure that everything works the way that’s it’s supposed to.

This, of course, isn’t news.

The issue that I sometimes see is that people are very myopic about what it is that they own. As a developer it’s easy to say that you own a feature or an SDK, but neglect the overall product that you’re trying to make. It’s important to make sure that the features that you’re working on fit into the bigger picture and make it a useful product.

Key to this is that a product isn’t just a collection of features. A product is more than the sum of its parts. A product is a vision made into a concrete collection of technology.

It’s easy to get lost and only care about the trees. It’s easier. It’s also why much of the open source software out there is, frankly, crap. A collection of features, but not a product.