[Dev] New Product Manager at OSAF

Chih-Chao Lam chao at osafoundation.org
Mon Nov 25 17:22:37 PST 2002

Hi all,

My name is Chao Lam and I'm the latest member at OSAF! I just started last
Thursday and it's been a fantastic ride so far.

I play the Product Manager role for Chandler which to me means making sure
we create the most useful and usable PIM on this planet. I'm responsible for
each product release and the decisions of what goes in (and out) of each
release. Together with this heavy responsibility is the key fact that no one
is accountable to me (which is the way it should be). If I need something
done, I need to convince people it's the right thing to do. Thus, I need to
play a strong coordination and communication role. I view everyone who
contributes to the Chandler project as my 'client' or 'customer' whom I need
to learn to serve well to make Chandler a success.

If you have ideas on how I can do things better, please send them to me
(chao at osafoundation.org) or the process at osafoundation.org list.

Having hung around on OSAF's mailing list since inception, I share the
frustration felt by many that there is not enough communication about
Chandler and the sentiment voiced by some that "I really want to help but
please tell me how, when and what!".

The good news is that everyone I've spoken to at OSAF wants to do the right
thing: we want to be as open as possible. It's definitely a case of "the
spirit is willing, but...". Having been recently brought into the OSAF fold,
I think the reason why things seem opaque are:

1) OSAF is very young. Individual members (like Mitch & Andy) may have
thought long and hard about PIM issues but institutionally only a small
fraction is documented and thus there isn't much more to reveal. We're just
at a very early stage.
2) There needs to be a lot more organization and process to stimulate
further design and development of Chandler
3) Things are chaotic and everyone has a full plate.
4) As "professionals", we pride ourselves with producing well thought out
design and code. We need a slight shift in culture, to start sharing ideas
and designs while they're still half-baked.

In the coming weeks, Mitchell Baker and I will work hard to address these
issues. Concretely, here're highlights of what you can expect from us in
a) Our current design and thoughts on Calendars by Katie Capps Parlante
b) What to expect for our first developer release
c) More detailed product and architecture documents
d) Gradual introduction of shared infrastructure pieces roughly as 
described cogently by Michael Bernstein 
e) A way to categorize our discussions which I sketched out in
and which Dennis Lynch put more succinctly in

Finally, here's a short bio of mine:
I am a serial entrepreneur, having started two venture-backed (KPCB,
Mayfield, Brentwood etc.) technology startups. ClickOver (later AdKnowledge)
started as a Internet advertising software company and was one of the most
sophisticated software application written in Java in 1996. ShoppingList was
founded in 1998 as a place for people to research offline shopping
information online. We attracted millions of bricks and mortar consumers to
our site each month. I've worked in senior engineering positions at eBay,
Kaleida Labs and Apple Computer.

I'm 36, male, happily married (no kids) and come from tropical Singapore.
Besides a passion for product design and development, I love skiing,
traveling, reading and computer gaming.

Looking forward to creating Chandler with all of you,

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