As you may know, Igalia is a singular company. Not only because it works on free software and their members are a bunch of geeks but because it works as a democracy with a flat structure. What actually does this mean? Well, briefing, every worker in Igalia has the right to end owning a part of the company after 4 years, and to take part on the decisions of the company pretty soon, just after 1 year, usually.
As a partner, owning a part of Igalia in the same conditions as the other company partners, but not a founding member, I’ve gone through the whole process, worker, worker with participation in assemblies and right to vote on decisions (we call them “prepartners” in Igalia) and, finally, partner. With this background I can, more or less, to give some advices to those that, like me, started to work in Igalia after its foundation.
What I would say to anyone who starts working in Igalia is that they feel Igalia as being of them as much as any other partner actually and legally is.
This is the most important thing and, actually, if everything goes well for both parts, as it usually goes, they will own Igalia in the end.
The reason is easy, anytime I talk to my friends or family about Igalia’s business model, the same subject rises up. “Yeah, yeah, this is quite romantic, but you are living in real world and for sure there should be someone who is taking advantage of your model to work less and earn as much as the others. That won’t work in the end.” In fact, reality gives us the reason. That is the way of thinking of someone who is used to the general business model with a hierarchy in the company, workers and bosses. What it happens in Igalia is that every Igalo or Igala is interested in the success of the company, at least, as much as any other partner, because they know that the success of the company is their success now and in the future. Indeed this is such in this way that sometimes workers tend to think that they have to work harder since they will feel ashamed if they can’t cope with the same work or expertise than other Igalos. Of course, this is not true since, in my honest opinion, Igalia can be quite proud of having one of the best staffs in the (Free) Software business, but I cannot be objective 😉 .
Even if sometimes I don’t agree with some of the ideas of my partners, I know that they are always thinking in the best for the company and I assume Igalia’s decisions as mine as soon as they are approved. In any case, it’s the common way that all the decisions are taken after debate and agreement better than going through a “cold” polling 🙂 .
So, because all of this, the Igalians have the possibility, and even the must to share their ideas or concerns about the way to enhance our company because every single member of this company acts and thinks in the best way to improve it.
May Igalia be with you 😉 .